A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has ordered a total compensation of over Rs. 1.28 crore for families of two policemen in their mid-forties who died in a road accident with a truck in 2015.
In separate orders to the claim petitions of the families, the tribunal ordered Rs. 66 lakh for the kin of Abdul Shaikh and Rs. 61 lakh to the family of Raju Sonavane inclusive of interest from the time of filing the claim petitions in mid-2015.
Shaikh and Sonavane were both serving as Police Naiks. Shaikh was attached to the Special Branch, CID, Mumbai. On May 6, 2015, at 6.40 am the duo were proceeding to the wedding of a common friend’s son in Kolhapur by car and were at the village Dhunki in Kolhapur district on the Pune - Bangalore highway. Their car had developed a mechanical issue and was parked off the road by the side. Shaikh was standing outside the car and Sonavane was sitting in the car’s back seat, when the overloaded truck coming from Pune side had hit the car and Shaikh. As per their petitions, the car was dragged 100 ft. Shaikh had died on the spot, while Sonavane was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
The owner of the truck Kallappa Kutre did not respond to the tribunal’s notice. The insurance company Shriram Gen. Insurance Co. Ltd. stated that the accident took place due to sole or composite negligence of the deceased.
The tribunal relied on the FIR and spot panchnama and said it is very clear that when the accident occurred, the offending vehicle was in very high and excessive speed. It reasoned that there were 80 ft long marks and that the car was dragged or thrown up to 100 ft from the spot of the accident. It further referred to the spot panchnama and said that the road was 30-ft wide and the car was parked to the extreme left. The accident occured at 6.40 hrs in the morning in the month of May, so there was sufficient natural light to spot the car so parked. However, the driver of the offending vehicle failed to see the car and pass safely.