Can’t Assume That Vehicle Was On Wrong Side Merely On The Basis Of Site Map Showing Its Position After Accident: SC [Read Judgment]

Can’t Assume That Vehicle Was On Wrong Side Merely On The Basis Of Site Map Showing Its Position After Accident: SC [Read Judgment]

‘The spot where the motor vehicle was found lying after the accident cannot be the basis to assume that it was driven in or around that spot at the relevant time’

The Supreme Court, in Mangla Ram vs. The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., while enhancing compensation in a motor accident claim case, observed that the spot marked in the sitemap where the motor vehicle was found lying after the accident cannot be the basis to assume that it was driven in or around that spot at the relevant time.

The Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal, in this case, had attributed contributory negligence to the claimant referring to the sitemap of the accident to conclude that he was riding his motorcycle one foot on the wrong side from the middle of the road.

One of the questions that arose in the appeal was whether the tribunal was justified in concluding that the claimant was also negligent and had contributed equally, which rests only on the sitemap indicating the spot where the motorcycle was lying after the accident.

A bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar agreed with the contention taken by the claimant that the spot where the motor vehicle was found lying after the accident cannot be the basis to assume that it was driven in or around that spot at the relevant time.

The bench said: “It can be safely inferred that after the accident of this nature in which the appellant suffered severe injuries necessitating amputation of his right leg above the knee level, the motorcycle would be pushed forward after the collision and being hit by a high speeding jeep. Neither the Tribunal nor the High Court has found that the spot noted in the sitemap, one-foot wrong side in the middle of the road was the spot where the accident actually occurred. However, the finding is that as per the sitemap, the motorcycle was found lying at that spot. That cannot be the basis to assume that the appellant was driving the motorcycle on the wrong side of the road at the relevant time.”

The court also noted that there was no contra evidence produced to indicate that the motorcycle was being driven on the wrong side of the road at the time when the offending vehicle dashed it, the bench said holding that there is no title of evidence about the motorcycle being driven negligently by the appellant at the time of accident.

Read the Judgment Here