3 Oct 2023 10:02 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has reiterated that though driving a vehicle without a licence is an offence but the same by itself, may not lead to a finding of contributory negligence against the driver when met with an accident not caused by him.A division bench of Justice Mohammad Nawaz and Justice Rajesh Rai K modified the order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal which tied 23%...
The Karnataka High Court has reiterated that though driving a vehicle without a licence is an offence but the same by itself, may not lead to a finding of contributory negligence against the driver when met with an accident not caused by him.
A division bench of Justice Mohammad Nawaz and Justice Rajesh Rai K modified the order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal which tied 23% contributory negligence to deceased, saying he did not possess any driving licence and the vehicle (Motorcycle driven by deceased) was not having insurance coverage.
Parents and minor sister of the deceased had approached the court seeking enhancement of the compensation of Rs 8,86,000 and sought for a total compensation of Rs.54,50,000.
The accident was caused by a Bolero jeep approaching the deceased from the opposite direction when it went another three feet towards the deceased, who the Court said was on the correct (left) side of the road, and dashed into his motorcycle. Court came to the conclusion that the accident was only due to rash and negligent driving by the Bolero driver.
The Tribunal had held that the deceased was not having a driving licence, on the basis of the statement of the owner recorded during the investigation. Court said the said statement recorded by the police itself cannot be a basis to come to a conclusion that the rider was not holding a valid driving licence as on the date of accident.
“Even otherwise, when there is clear finding to the effect that the accident was solely due to the rash and negligent driving by the driver of the Bolero vehicle, which was insured with respondent No.2, the Tribunal was not proper in fixing contributory negligence on the rider of the motorcycle,” Court added.
It thus held that findings recorded by the Tribunal that the deceased contributed to the accident to an extent of 25% cannot be sustained.
Court also noted that the Tribunal failed to award any amount under the head 'loss of future prospects'. It said, “Considering the age of the deceased, 40% of the income has to be added towards future prospects. The appropriate multiplier applicable to the age of the deceased is 17.”
Accordingly, it awarded sum of Rs.14,63,700, towards loss of dependency and modified the compensation amount saying, “The claimants namely appellant Nos.1 and 2 being the parents are entitled for a sum of Rs.88,000, for loss of filial consortium. A sum of Rs.33,000, is awarded towards loss of estate and funeral expenses. Hence, the claimants are entitled for a total compensation of Rs.15,84,700, rounded off to Rs.15,85,000 as against Rs.8,86,000, awarded by the Tribunal.”
It added that the insurer is liable to pay the entire compensation.
Appearance: Advocate Sharanagowda V Patil for Appellants.
Advocate Preeti Patil for R2.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 379
Case Title: Shivamma & Others AND Govind Malothu & ANR
Case No: MISCL. FIRST APPEAL NO. 200517 OF 2019
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment