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Accident victim to get Rs 4.95 lakh

- Tribunal asks insurance firm to pay up

Guwahati, Jan. 21: The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal has directed an insurance company to pay Rs 4.95 lakh compensation to the family of a person who died in a road accident caused by rash driving on National Highway 37 in June 2007.

The judgment issued by the tribunal’s Kamrup member P.K. Phukan recently has positive implications for those families, which had claimed compensation for the irreparable loss caused to them because of death of their sole earning member in road mishaps that occurred because of rash driving or road rage.

The tribunal directed Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, with which the vehicle (a truck bearing registration number AS-01/R-6871) was insured, to pay Rs 4.95 lakh as compensation to the family of Sanjoy Dewri who died in a road accident on National Highway 37 at Raha in Nagaon district on June 1, 2007.

The order stated that the amount should be paid with interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from the date of filing of the claim, which was August 6, 2007.

The insurance company was directed to pay the award within one month.

“Of the awarded amount, Rs 1 lakh shall be fixed deposited in the name of the wife of the victim, Rupa Devi, for three years, in a nationalised bank located in her home district and Rs 1 lakh each in the name of the minor sons of the victim — Akash and Bikash — till they become adults,” the order said.

The rest of the amount, Rs. 1.95 lakh, will be paid in cash to the family. The victim, who was a handyman of a truck (bearing registration number AS-01/Q-8150), died when another truck, which was coming from the opposite direction, collided head-on with the stationary truck, in which Dewri was travelling at Raha, as a result he sustained injuries and died the same day.

The tribunal stated that since the offending vehicle hit the stationary truck, it indicates that the vehicle was driven in a “rash and negligent” manner.

The owner of the offending truck, R.S. Khandelwal, in his written statement claimed that there was no rash and negligent driving by the driver, Rajesh Mahato.

Khandelwal also submitted that the truck was insured with Oriental Insurance Company Ltd, and the driver had a valid driving licence at the time of accident and as such, the liability, if any, should be borne by the insurer only.

The insurance company, in its written statement, contended that the claim petition was not maintainable and declined to accept the liability.

The driver of the offending vehicle did not contest the case and as such the case proceeded ex parte (done by, for, or on the application of one party alone) against him.