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Motor Accident Claim - Evidence Recorded Before Tribunal To Be Given Weightage Over Contents Of FIR In Case Of Contradiction : Supreme Court

Srishti Ojha
2 Oct 2021 4:57 AM GMT
Motor Accident Claim - Evidence Recorded Before Tribunal To Be Given Weightage Over Contents Of FIR In Case Of Contradiction : Supreme Court
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While deciding the issue of negligence in a claim for motor accident , Supreme Court has observed that if any evidence before the Tribunal runs contrary to the contents in the First Information Report, the evidence which is recorded before the Tribunal has to be given weightage over the contents of the First Information Report."If any evidence before the Tribunal runs contrary to the contents...

While deciding the issue of negligence in a claim for motor accident , Supreme Court has observed that if any evidence before the Tribunal runs contrary to the contents in the First Information Report, the evidence which is recorded before the Tribunal has to be given weightage over the contents of the First Information Report.

"If any evidence before the Tribunal runs contrary to the contents in the First Information Report, the evidence which is recorded before the Tribunal has to be given weightage over the contents of the First Information Report", the Supreme Court held in the case National Insurance Company Ltd v. Chamundeswari and others.

A Bench comprising Justice Subhash Reddy and Justice Hrishikesh Roy made this observation while delivering its verdict in an appeal filed by National Insurance Company against Madras High Court's order partly allowing plea filed by wife and son of the deceased who lost his life in a motor vehicle accident, and enhancing compensation to Rs.1,85,08,832.

The observation was made by the Court while responding to Insurance Company's argument that in the First Information Report, it was mentioned that accident occurred only due to negligence by the deceased but such important documentary evidence was ignored by the High Court.

The Supreme Court noted that the eye witnesses of the accident in the present case were examined and had given their statements before the Tribunal and in view of such evidence on record, there is no reason to give weightage to the contents of the First Information Report.


Brief Facts:

The respondents in the present case are the wife and the minor son of the deceased who died in a road accident on 14.10.2013. According to them the accident happened when all of a sudden, the driver of Eicher van turned towards right side without giving any signal or indicator, and driver of the Maruti car died and they suffered injuries.

In the Claim Petition moved by them before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, respondents claimed compensation of Rs.3 crores pleading negligence on part of the driver of Eicher van. 

The Claims Tribunal through its order dated 11.12.2017 allowed the claim partly and awarded compensation of Rs.10,40,500 with a finding that there was a contributory negligence on the part of drivers of both the vehicles in ratio of 75% and 25% on the part of the deceased and the driver of Eicher van respectively.

On appeal, the High Court recorded that accident occurred only due to the negligence of the driver of the Eicher van and awarded a total compensation of Rs.1,85,08,832.

The appellant in the matter submitted that the Tribunal had correctly apportioned the negligence on the part of the deceased and the driver of Eicher van, but the same was overturned by the High Court, contrary to the evidence on record.

It was contended that in the First Information Report, it was categorically mentioned that accident occurred only due to negligence by the deceased, and in spite of the same, such important documentary evidence is ignored by the High Court.

The Supreme Court turned down the insurer's appeal observing that the evidence before the Tribunal has to be given weightage over the contents in the FIR.

Case Title: National Insurance Company vs Chamundeswari & Ors.

Citation : LL 2021 SC 529

Click here to read/download the judgment



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