Mumbai: MACT orders ₹20 lakh payout to kin of 26-year-old handcart puller who died after truck mishap

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 lakh to the young widow, six-year-old son and the parents of a 26-year-old labourer who had succumbed to injuries in 2016 after being knocked down by a truck in Mazgaon.

The claimants had sought compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs. As per the claim, on October 17, 2016, the deceased Pankaj Kumar was pulling a handcart loaded with aluminium pipes along with other labourers around 2.15 PM on Container Road near Eastern Express Freeway at Mazgaon. As per the FIR registered at Sewri police station, a rashly-driven truck hit them. Another labourer died before admission to the hospital. Kumar died during treatment.

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 the sole earning member who could have been of great help and assistance.

The truck owner had not responded to the Tribunal’s notice and the order was passed ex-parte against him. Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd. had opposed the claim and stated that the accident had taken place due to circumstances beyond the control of the truck driver. It had also denied the deceased's 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 that it dashed the handcart.

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