Having lost their 17-year-old daughter in a road accident owing to rash and negligent driving of a Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) bus driver, the parents of the victim have got some relief as district and sessions judge SK Aggarwal, presiding over Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT), directed the CTU to pay Rs 11.56 lakh as compensation to the family.
Dismissing the plea of CTU bus driver Vijay Kumar that the victim had failed to notice the bus as she was crossing the road using head phones, the tribunal directed the driver, the bus owner, CTU and the insurer (New India Assurance Company Limited), to pay the claim along with 7.5% rate of interest from January 30, 2014. The tribunal held, “Vijay Kumar failed to make representation to before the higher police officials regarding his false implication in the FIR registered after the accident. He admitted that in this accident, the victim, Rajni, received serious injuries and died.” The claim amount will be paid to Sonia (35), victim’s mother, and Jagdish (40), her father, both residents of Milk Colony, Dhanas. The victim was crushed to death by a speeding CTU bus in January this year.
On January 23, 2014, at about 8:20am, Rajni, a Class-12 student at Government Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, was crossing the road at the entry gate of ISBT, Sector 17, Chandigarh. Suddenly, a speeding CTU bus, rashly driven by Vijay, came from the Parade Ground side and hit Rajni while taking the left turn to go in-side the bus stand. Hit by the bus, Ranji fell down on the road and was crushed under the wheels of the bus. She was rushed to PGIMER but was declared brought dead.
‘Victim crossing road with headphones on’
Denying the allegations of rash and negligent driving, the CTU blamed Rajni for the accident. It stated that when the bus entered in the ISBT, the speed of the bus was normal but Rajni was listening to music and also looking at the mobile screen. Thus, she failed to notice the bus. Being so engrossed in her mobile, she fell down on the road after seeing the bus due to which, she struck with the bus tyre.
New India Assurance Company Limited claimed that the driver of the offending vehicle was not holding a valid and effective driving licence at the time of alleged accident. So, the claim should be dismissed.