Madras HC Directs TN Transport Co. To Pay ₹1.04 Cr Compensation To Family Of A Man Crushed To Death By Bus
A Madras High Court of Justice Nisha Banu and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy has directed the Tamil Nadu State Transport to pay Rs. 1.4 crores as compensation to the family of a man who was crushed to death by a bus at the bus stand.
While directing so, the Court observed that "On a perusal of the evidence on record, more specifically, the evidence of R.W.1 himself, who was examined on behalf of the appellant-Corporation, it is clear that without noticing the deceased, who is standing on the rear side, the bus was being reversed without listening to the proper guidance of the conductor. Therefore, it goes without saying that the accident happened only because of the negligence on the part of R.W.1 and thus, the appellant Corporation is liable to pay the compensation."
Further, it was held that "The compensation awarded by the trial Court is enhanced from Rs.83,47,120/- to Rs.1,04,24,605/- along with interest at the rate of 7.5% from the date of petition till the date of realisation with costs".
AAG P Kumaresan appeared for the appellants, while Counsel S Sathiaseelan appeared for the respondents.
In this case, petitions were filed by both parties against the order of compensation issued by the Tribunal.
The respondents claimed that the offending bus was driven rashly and negligently in the reverse direction by the driver, without noticing the deceased on the rear side, and as a result of which, the deceased was caught between the offending bus and yet another bus which was standing behind and he was crushed to death. Hence, the claim petition was filed claiming a total sum of Rs.2,00,00,000/- (Rupees Two Crores only) as compensation.
On perusal of the evidence on record, the Court held that it was clear that the bus was reversed without listening to the proper guidance of the conductor, and thus, since it was a case of negligence, the appellant corporation was liable to pay compensation.
Further, the Court also rejected the contention that the deceased contributed to the accident by standing in the middle of the bus stand instead of the bus bay. In that context, it was said that "if the rules in our bus stand are strictly followed by providing access only to the platforms and not to the bus stand in general, this argument can be appreciated. But in the Indian context, it is common knowledge that the passengers enter the bus stand and the platform from all directions and so far, the bus stands are not provided with busbays with access only through subways or overhead platforms with due gates, which is the case in railway stations and airports and it is the case which is done in bus stands in many other countries. Therefore, the said argument cannot be accepted. Secondly, even if a contributory negligence is to be considered, it can be considered only upto the level of 20%."
The Court relied on a catena of judgments to then enhance the compensation awarded by the Trial Court from Rs.83,47,120/- to Rs.1,04,24,605/- along with interest at the rate of 7.5% from the date of petition till the date of realisation with costs.
Cause Title: The Managing Director, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Limited vs Mythili & Ors.