B.S.R.T.C. Vs. Ranjana Majhi & Ors  Insc 419 (17 July 2006)
Pasayat & Lokeshwar Singh Panta
out of SLP (C) No. 20744of 2003) ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
in this appeal is to the legality of the judgment rendered by a Division Bench
of the Calcutta High Court. By the impugned judgment the High Court directed
that the amount of compensation awarded by the 4th Court of Motor Accidents
Claims Tribunal/Additional District Judge Burdwan (in short the 'Tribunal') was
to be paid by the appellant.
facts in a nutshell is as follows:
Claim applications were disposed of by the Tribunal.
accident resulting in the death of Basudev Majhi two vehicles were involved,
one belonging to the appellant Corporation while the other one belonged to the
police department of West
Bengal. The Tribunal
after considering the evidence on record directed, inter alia, as follows :-
"That the application under section 166 of the M.V. Act is allowed no
contest against the contesting O.Ps. 1 and 2 and ex parte against the rest but
without cost in the facts and circumstances of the case. The petitioners do get
an award of Rs.2,30,400/-. The O.P. the Superintendent of the Police, Burdwan,
in respect of Police Jeep No. WBP-2655 and the Chairman-cum-Managing Director,
B.S.R.T.C. are directed to pay the awarded sum of Rs. 2,30,400/- in equal
shares i.e. Rs. 1,15,200/- each to the petitioners in the following manner
within two months from the days of the order failing which the petitioners are
entitled to get an interest @ 12% p.a. till realization of the full
amount." (Underlined for emphasis) Tribunal disposed of the Claim Petition
lodged in terms of Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (in short the
questioned correctness of the Tribunal's judgment before the High Court by
filing an appeal. As noted above, Claim Petitions relating to the same accident
were adjudicated. One of the two appeals filed was FMA No. 1178 of 2002 which
forms the subject matter of dispute in the present Appeal.
High Court in essence upheld the Award made by the Tribunal, but directed that
the entire amount awarded was to be paid by the appellant.
support of the appeal, learned counsel for the appellant-Corporation submitted
that the Corporation had questioned correctness of the Award. The
Superintendent of Police Burdwan, who was one of the respondents in the Claim
Petition, did not prefer any appeal. In other words, he accepted his liability
to pay 50% of the awarded amount in terms of the Tribunal's direction. No
appeal having been preferred by the said respondent-Superintendent of Police, Burdwan
the High Court could not have directed that the appellant was to pay the whole
compensation amount awarded. No reason has been indicated as to why the High
Court thought that the Superintendent of Police, Burdwan did not have any
response, learned counsel for the respondent- Superintendent of Police, Burdwan
submitted that the High Court has analysed the factual position and has come to
hold that the appellant alone was responsible. It is, however, accepted that no
appeal was preferred questioning correctness of the direction that 50% of the
amount awarded was to be paid by the Superintendent of Police, Burdwan.
find substance in the plea of learned counsel for the appellant that since
there was no challenge by the respondent No. 3 questioning correctness of the
direction given by the Tribunal that he was liable to pay 50% of the amount awarded,
the High Court could not have directed that the appellant was to pay the entire
amount. Appellant-Corporation questioned correctness of the view expressed by
the Tribunal regarding the quantum. The High Court could not have made out a
new case to direct payment of the whole amount awarded by the Tribunal.
Respondent No. 3 had not preferred an appeal and in essence accepted the
direction that he was liable to pay 50% of the awarded amount. The High Court
on its own directed that appellant was liable to pay the whole amount awarded
as compensation. The High Court has not indicated any reason for directing the
appellant to pay the whole amount awarded. To that extent the appeal deserves
to be allowed. The amount awarded shall be equally paid by the appellant and
the respondent No. 3-Superintendent of Police- Burdwan as directed by the
is allowed to the aforesaid extent. No costs.