A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) in Mumbai has ordered a truck owner and an insurance company to pay a compensation of over Rs. 20 lakhs to the young widow, six-year-old son and the parents of a 26-year-old labourer who had succumbed to injuries after being knocked down by a truck in 2016.
The claimants had sought a compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs. On 17 October, 2016, the deceased Pankaj Kumar was pulling a handcart loaded with aluminium pipes along with his coworkers around 2.15 PM on Container Road below Eastern Express Freeway at Mazgaon. As per the FIR registered at Sewree police station, a rashly-driven truck hit them and their cart. In the accident, Kumar’s co-worker died before admission in hospital and Kumar died during treatment at JJ Hospital.
The Tribunal’s Chairman SC Chandak considered in his judgment that the applicants belong to poor strata of society. He further said that the compensation amount is not huge and that the family had lost a very young and sole earning member of the family who could have been of great help and assistance.
The truck owner had not responded to the Tribunal’s notice and the order was made ex-parte against him. The insurance company Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd. had opposed the claim and said that the accident had taken place due to circumstances beyond the control of the truck driver. At the most, it said that the incident could be considered one due to “contributory negligence”. If contributory negligence is found, the tribunal deducts half the amount claimants are entitled to. It had also denied his income which the family claimed to be Rs. 10,000 monthly.
The tribunal held that there is no evidence that Kumar was getting work daily and hence said that the monthly income of Rs. 10,000 is unacceptable. It said that considering that he was doing very hard work, it can be gathered that he earned Rs. 7,000 monthly.
While holding the truck responsible for negligence the Tribunal said that as per police papers it shows that the road on which the accident took place was wide enough so that the truck could pass easily but it dashed the handcart.