It is noted that PW-1 was traveling in the same car and PW–3, who has given a statement before the police, was examined as eye–witness. In view of such evidence on record, there is no reason to give weightage to 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. Such an observation was made by the Hon’ble Supreme court before Hon’ble Justice R. SUBHASH REDDY Hon’ble Justice HRISHIKESH ROY in the matter of National Insurance Company Ltd. vs Chamundeswari & Ors. [CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6151 OF 2021].
The fact of the case was that the husband of Respondent no. 1 died in a motor vehicle accident on 14.10.2013. The deceased Mr Subhash Babu, aged about 35 years was working as Manager HR in a Private Limited Company. On the date of the accident, he was driving a Maruti car on NH-47 – the main road from Perumanallur to Erode. At that time, the Eicher van was proceeding in front of the car driven by the deceased. It was the contention of the claimant that the driver of the Eicher van turned right without any signal or indication and thus the accident occoured resulting in the death of the husband and injuries to respondents no. 1 & 2. The tribunal held that the accident occurred due to the negligence of both the driver and thus allowed the claim partly and awarded compensation of Rs.10,40,500/-. Aggrieved the claimant approached the High court and the high court allowed her appeal and awarded a compensation of Rs.1,85,08,832/- Aggrieved by the said order of the High Court the insurer has preferred the instant appeal on the contention that according to the FIR the accident happened due to the sole negligence of the deceased.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that “The evidence of PW–1 & PW–3 is categorical and in absence of any rebuttal evidence by examining the driver of Eicher van, the High Court has rightly held that the accident occurred only due to the negligence of the driver of Eicher van.”
Additionally, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the fact should be appreciated that PW-1 & PW-3 were traveling in the same car as the deceased. PW-3 was examined as eye-witness by the police who has supported the story of PW-1. In view of such evidence on record, there is no reason to give weightage to the contents of the FIR.
Finally, the Hon’ble Supreme Court dismissed the appeal observing that there is no merit in the instant appeal.
Judgment Reviewed by: Rohan Kumar Thakur