BEST to pay Rs 15 lakh  to wife of hawker who died in 2015 accident

Mumbai: The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has directed the Bombay Electrical Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) to pay around Rs 15 lakh to the wife of a 53-year-old hawker who had died in a road accident in 2015 involving a BEST bus.

The unfortunate incident had taken place on March 28, 2015, when the motorcycle which the hawker was riding had got knocked off by the bus on Sion-Trombay road.

His wife, Rajabunisha Ibrahim (50), daughter (27) and son (32) had claimed compensation of Rs 10 lakh before the Tribunal in a complaint lodged against the undertaking. They complained that the accident had taken place because of rash and negligent driving of the bus. Their family member used to earn Rs 11,000 monthly by selling utensils on a handcart, they said.

The BEST had denied the allegations and had relied on the acquittal the bus driver had got in the criminal complaint registered in the case against him. The undertaking claimed that the accident took place due to negligence on the part of Ibrahim as he had tried to overtake the bus from the wrong side, lost his balance in the process, fell on the road and sustained serious injuries.

The bus driver involved in the accident had deposed before the tribunal. Member SB Hedaoo observed in his order that his deposition is getting falsified by the spot panchnama.

Regarding his acquittal by a criminal court, the Tribunal said that in a criminal court guilt has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, whereas before the tribunal even the slightest evidence of negligence is sufficient. Hedaoo further said that the bus driver being the very person against whom the chargesheet was filed would obviously have the tendency to save himself and speak against the deceased. It held that the mishap occurred due to rash and negligent driving of the bus.

Considering that late Ibrahim’s married daughter and son who is earning were not dependent on him, it directed that a compensation of Rs 11.34 lakh be paid to his wife with 8 per cent interest per annum from the date of filing of the complaint.

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