The husband and son of a woman, who died in a road accident in November 2009, have been awarded Rs 11.70 lakh compensation by the Thane Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT).
Kanchan Kaushlesh Shrivastava (54), who used to take private tuitions and earn around Rs 7,500 per month, was travelling in an autorickshaw from Dahisar towards Bhayander in Thane on November 10, 2009, when the driver lost control over the vehicle as a result of which it overturned.
Kanchan sustained serious injuries in the accident and succumbed during treatment at a hospital on November 23, 2009. The claimants — Kanchan’s husband Kaushlesh Ramprasad Shrivastava (62) and Rishub Kaushlesh Shrivastava (27) –informed the tribunal that they incurred medical expenses of Rs 5 lakh on her treatment and sought compensation from the vehicle owner, Ignatius Albert Fernandes, and insurer – HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co Ltd.
The insurance company opposed the application saying there was no link between the alleged accident and death of the deceased, and hence the application was not maintainable.
It also argued that the deceased’s son was major and not dependent on her. It further contended that the autorickshaw was used for hire and reward although it was a private vehicle, and therefore there is breach of permit.
However, MACT president and Principal District Judge S M Gavhane recently dismissed all submissions by the insurance company as not proved and ordered Rs 11,70,727 compensation, including Rs 5,79,636 for loss of dependency, Rs 1 lakh towards loss of consortium, Rs 4,66,091 for medical expenses and Rs 25,000 for funeral expenses.
The judge observed that the applicants did not produce any document to show income and occupation of the deceased. However, considering her education on the basis of evidence, an inference can be drawn that she was (MA, BEd) taking private tuitions and that her income was not less than Rs 7,000 per month.
Also, the documents referred to and the oral evidence of a witness are not sufficient to infer that the offending autorickshaw is a private vehicle but it was used for carrying passengers in breach of permit, he noted.
Hence, the judge held that the applicants are entitled to compensation of Rs 11,70,727 from the opponent insurance company jointly and severally with the autorickshaw owner as there is no dispute that the offending vehicle was validly insured with the firm at the time of the accident.
The tribunal directed that upon realisation of the compensation, 70 per cent of the amount should be paid to the husband and the rest 30 per cent to the deceased’s son.