August 6, 2017
Victim had lost her son in 1993 in Road Accident and has been awarded compensation only now.
“Sorry we’ve kept you waiting this long to secure your right.” The mighty Madras High Court has displayed a rare courage to apologize to a humble woman litigant, who had been waging a legal battle for 24 years to get compensation for the death of her son in year 1993.
Justice N. Seshasayee, rejecting an appeal by a public sector insurance co. against the award of ₹3.4 lakh ordered by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), said on Friday “The accident had taken place in May 1993, it’s little over 24 years now & this mother isn’t compensated yet.”
“And, whatever remedy that has been provided to her by the tribunal may have been possibly delayed further due to the pendency of this appeal..The insurance company which objects to giving of the award on a point of maintainability of the claim before this court is yet to part with its money. It reflects an attempt to write off the life of a citizen & the support he could’ve given to his parent as valueless,” said Justice Seshasayee.
It all began when Bakkiam’s lorry driver-son Lokeshwaran was killed on 18th May 1993, when his lorry had a head-on collision with a bus belonging to state transport corporation.
Her son died on the spot. For some reason, instead of moving a MACT for seeking compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act, mother sought to get compensation under Workmen’s Compensation (WC) Act, 1923; & it not being a case of industrial accidents, her claim was rejected summarily.
Later, she filed a fresh application in the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal for ₹5 lakh as compensation.
The insurer of the lorry, opposed the application saying since she had made a claim under the WC Act, a second claim before MACT wasn’t maintainable. The tribunal rejected objections, and awarded ₹3.47 lakh as compensation.
Sum had to be paid by Lokeshwaran’s employer & the state transport corporation in equal proportion. Aggrieved by the award, the insurer moved the present appeal.
Justice Seshasayee, dismissing it, directed authorities to deposit the compensation sum within 4 weeks.
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Source - PTI