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The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here has awarded Rs 27 lakh compensation to the family of a jeweller who died in an accident in 2015. The applicants’ counsel told the tribunal that the deceased, Kisanlal Nerulal Sevak (then aged 28), used to run a jewellery shop at Wadala in Mumbai and earn around Rs 15,000 per month.
On February 8, 2015 Sevak was on his motorcycle when a speeding dumper allegedly hit his vehicle from behind on Thane–Belapur road. The victim fell from the motorcycle and was allegedly run over the dumper. He was admitted to a hospital at Vashi in Navi Mumbai where he succumbed to injuries, said the counsel.
The applicants – Sevak’s widow (28), parents (aged around 70) and two minor children (aged 2 and 3) – then approached the tribunal for compensation while alleging that the accident occurred due to the sole negligence of the dumper driver.
An offence was also registered against the dumper driver at Turbhe MIDC police station in Navi Mumbai, they informed the MACT. The offending vehicle’s owner did not appear before the tribunal and hence, the matter was decided ex-parte against him.
However, the counsel for the insurance company argued that the applicants did not file on record Sevak’s licence granted under The Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, to prove that he was doing business.
He further submitted that the income tax returns of Sevak for the assessment years 2014-15 and 2015-16 were submitted after his death. Therefore, they cannot be taken into consideration.
The insurer’s counsel also said that the applicants did not file on record any reliable evidence in respect of the business and income of the deceased. Therefore, a notional income of Rs 5,000 be considered and a compensation of Rs 6,19,940 be granted.
After hearing both the sides, MACT member and district judge K D Vadane observed that the opponents did not examine any eyewitness of the accident, including the driver of the dumper.
Therefore, in the absence of any rebuttal evidence, the applicants’ contention is corroborated by the police papers on record. “Therefore, I have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that the impugned accident occurred due to rash and negligent driving on part of the driver of dumper,” he said in a recent order.
The judge then ordered the dumper owner and the insurance company to jointly and severally pay Rs 27.47 lakh to the applicants along with an interest at eight per cent per annum from the date of filing of the claim.