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Compensate truck passenger: Court

The owner of a truck will have to pay compensation to its passengers if the truck meets with an accident, ruled the Bombay High Court.

mumbai Updated: Jul 19, 2010 01:05 IST
Urvi Mahajani

The owner of a truck will have to pay compensation to its passengers if the truck meets with an accident, ruled the Bombay High Court.

Justice D.G. Karnik directed Shivananda Konapure to pay Rs 25,000 with an interest of 12 per cent to Vishwanath Koli who was permanently disabled after a truck owned by Konapure met with an accident.

On November 23, 1987, Koli took a ride on a truck which crashed into a tree. The driver died and Koli was injured. Koli approached Motor Accident Claims Tribunal seeking compensation.

The MACT held that the accident was caused due to the driver's negligence. It directed Konapure to pay Rs 25,000 to Koli with an interest of 12 per cent. Konapure then challenged the order in the high court.

His advocate Girish Godbole claimed that Koli had not proved that the accident took place due to the driver's negligence. Hence, he was not liable to pay compensation. Konapure said the driver was not authorised to take a passenger.

Koli's advocate A.S. Rao argued that Konapure had not shown any agreement of employment between him and the driver.

Disagreeing with the argument, Justice Karnik remarked: "Ordinarily, a vehicle is expected to be driven on the road. It is not expected to move beyond the width of the road and hit any tree."