A bench of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has ordered the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to pay Rs 7 lakh as compensation to a 23-year-old girl who suffered 40 per cent permanent disability in an accident in 2009.
Sampada Santosh Shinde,then a first year B.Com student at BJS College in Wagholi,was walking home from her college with friend Bhagyashree More when a state transport bus hit her near Keshanad Phata on a non-metalled road along the Ahmednagar-Pune highway on September 2,2009.
Shinde was rushed to a private hospital in Kharadi where she had remained an indoor patient for about 45 days. She had suffered injuries on legs and hands and had to undergo several surgeries. She was unable to lift her right hand and was also unable to walk. She had to spend Rs 3 lakh on treatment and Rs 32,100 on physiotherapy.
Shinde used to take tuition of students of Class V to VII at her residence and earned Rs 3,000 per month.
In August 2010,she moved the tribunal seeking a compensation of Rs 7 lakh from MSRTC as it owned the bus that hit her.
During the trial,MSRTC opposed her claim stating that the two girls suddenly tried to cross the busy highway,thus resulting in the accident.
The driver of the bus had tried to avoid the accident by taking the bus on the kachha road,but unfortunately the rear side of the bus dashed the claimant (Shinde). The police wrongly chargesheeted the driver for rash driving, MSRTC submitted to the tribunal.
However,MACT Chairman and Principal District Judge Anant Badar dismissed the MSRTC theory. The state transport bus driver was driving the vehicle with utter disregard to traffic rules and regulations and safety of public at large. It shows that at the spot of accident the width of highway is 24 feet and the place of accident is situated on kachcha road at a distance of 3 feet from edge of the tar road, the judge observed.
The MSRTC has to pay the compensation amount with 9 per cent interest from the date of filing of claim petition in 2010.