8 July 2024


High Court of Himachal Pradesh

Hem Raj Vs. Dharmeshwar Kumar and Ors.



Motor Vehicles

Proof of rashness and negligence on part of driver of vehicle is sine qua non for maintaining a claim petition

In instant case, The Appellant filed a claim petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicle Act,1988 on account of multiple grievous injuries sustained by him due to accident and collision between vehicle (Jeep) being driven by Respondent No. 2 and vehicle (Scooter) being driven by Respondent No. 5. The Appellant was pillion rider on the scooter and on account of having sustained grievous injuries in the accident, he was initially taken to hospital. According to him, he could not fully recover from the injuries as is evident from the disability certificate issued by a duly constituted Medical Board certifying 15% permanent disability. It was alleged that, the accident in question was a direct result of the rash and negligent driving of the Jeep which hit the scooter being driven by Respondent No. 5 and on such basis, the Appellant claimed a compensation of Rs. 7,00,000 from the Respondents jointly and severally.

Tribunal dismissed the petition by holding that, the Appellant had, in fact, failed to prove on record that, the accident caused due to rash and negligent driving of the Jeep being driven by Respondent No. 2. Aggrieved by the award passed by the learned Tribunal, the Appellant has filed the instant appeal.

A judgment can be said to be perverse, if the conclusions arrived at by the learned Courts below are contrary in evidence on record, or if the Court's entire approach with respect to dealing with the evidence or the pleadings is found to be patently illegal, leading to the miscarriage of justice, or if its judgment is unreasonable and is based on erroneous understanding of law and of the facts of the case. A perverse finding is one which is based on no evidence or one that no reasonable person would have arrived at. Therefore, unless it is found that some relevant evidence has not been considered or that certain inadmissible material has been taken into consideration, the findings cannot be said to be perverse.

It is more than settled that, proof of rashness and negligence on the part of the driver of the vehicle is sine qua non for maintaining an application under Section 166 of the Act. The rashness and negligence in this case has been attributed by the Appellant specifically and only on the part of Respondent No. 2 and admittedly no such allegations have been levelled against Respondent No. 5 and, therefore, in the given circumstances the learned Tribunal could not have held Respondent No. 5 to be liable much less fasten the liability to pay the award even if it had so chosen to pass in favour of the Appellant. As regards, the other parts of the award whereby it has been held that the appellant has failed to prove on record that the accident had been caused due to rash and negligent driving of the Jeep by Respondent No. 2, such findings are otherwise exceptional and call for no interference.

It is duly proved on record that, FIR in the instant case was lodged by Respondent No. 2, wherein a clear and specific allegations of rash and negligent driving was set out against Respondent No. 5 and said allegations have not been controverted by Respondent No. 5, who not only failed to contest the proceedings before the learned Tribunal but has failed to put in appearance even before present Court. At this stage a faint attempt is made by the learned counsel for the Appellant to contend that FIR was manipulated, as the accident in question had taken place on 14th January, 2002 whereas the FIR came to be registered on 16th January, 2002. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Compensation Grant Proof Negligence

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