0

The standard of proof required in a criminal case is different from the standard of proof required in deciding a claim petition under MV Act : Tripura High Court

The Tripura High Court in the case of The General Manager vs Sri Abhishek Debbarma (MAC App. No.22 of 2022 ) upheld that the standard of proof required in a criminal case is different from the standard of proof required in deciding a claim petition under MV Act. The claimant was awarded a sum of Rs. 21,05,360/-.

Facts of the case: An appeal was filed under Section 173(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (the MV Act, hereunder) by the Insurance company against the award passed by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal.

Abhishek Debbarma was going to Banikya Chowmuhani from Agartala on the ‘Scooty’ which was being driven by his friend Manab Debbarma. Claimant was the pillion rider on the said vehicle along with Sahil Debbarma, brother of Manab Debbarma who was driving the ‘Scooty’.The offending vehicle hit their ‘Scooty’ from the opposite direction at an excessive speed. As a result, the claimant and another pillion rider Sahil Debbarma received multiple fractures. Manab Debbarma died at the spot. Sahil Debbarma, an eye witness, lodged a written FIR alleging, inter alia, that while overtaking a school bus ahead of it, the offending vehicle hit the ‘Scooty’ face to face in which informant Sahil Debbarma was traveling as a pillion rider along with the claimant. 

Abhishek Debbarma claimed compensation of a sum of Rs.26,80,000/-(Rupees Twenty-Six Lakh Eighty Thousand) by filing a petition under Section 166 of the MV Act. He claimed that as a result of the accident he sustained permanent disability and became unable to carry out his occupation as a day laborer. In his petition the claimant impleaded the accused owner driver of the offending vehicle and the insurer of the offending vehicle as respondents.

The Counsel has argued that no compensation could be awarded in a case under Section 166 MV Act unless rash and negligent driving is proved against the driver of the offending vehicle. In the criminal trial held against the driver of the offending vehicle the driver was exonerated from the charges of rash and negligent driving.

Judgment: The court held that the standard of proof required in a criminal case is different from the standard of proof required in deciding a claim petition under MV Act. According to a witness, the offending vehicle hit the ‘Scooty’ when the vehicle was overtaking a school bus on the way. As a result of which the driver of the offending vehicle lost control and dashed against the ‘Scooty’ which caused the death of Manab Debbarma, driver of the ‘Scooty’ and injuries to the claimant and the other pillion rider. In view of such evidence, the court rightly held that the accident occurred due to rash and negligent driving of the offending vehicle. The claimant was awarded a sum of Rs. 21,05,360/-.

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

Click here to view the judgment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat