Bombay High Court rejects petition to sue bus driver for negligence and proceeds with the contention that it was merely an accident.

The Bombay High Court on the 16th of January, 2023 has rejected the petition under the case of BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (Petitioner)  Vs. Shri. Shivaji K. Shinde (Respondent). The case was presided over by Honourable Justice G.S Kulkarni and it was a petition filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India ( Writ Petition No. 283 of 2020) 


The Respondent was a bus driver availing services to the petitioner. A charge-sheet dated May 4, 2010, was issued on account of an accident that occurred on April 21, 2010, while the respondent was operating a bus on route No. 33. The bus was travelling from Goregaon Bus Station to Goregaon Bus Depot. The pedestrian was struck by the bus and sustained a head injury. The pedestrian was immediately taken to the hospital by the respondent along with one other passenger who served as the only witness in this case, but was soon declared dead.

The respondent was charged with inexcusable negligence and performance of his tasks in violation of the directives and guidelines given to him. His services were also suspended from May 4, 2010. He claimed, among other things, that the bus he was driving was moving at a very moderate speed of 15 to 20 km per hour and that the pedestrian who struck the left corner of the bus was using his cellphone when he suddenly moved in front of the bus and was struck by the left side of the bus while talking on it. He stated that he had performed his duty without any sort of negligence. This was seconded by the witness in this case as well. 

Given the respondent’s hearing impairment, the Industrial Court had ordered the petitioner to offer alternative work to the applicant in light of his dismissal from the driver duties. 


The Court stated that it was obvious that the incident was purely an accident and that the respondent did not act negligently, much less grossly so. The claim that there were circumstances in which the respondent could have prevented the accident is also unsupported by the evidence in the record. The petitioner had not established a reason to intervene with the current petition and there were no merits to the petition. Hence, the petition was accordingly denied. 

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