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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

HC relief for Kharar resident in 2006 hit-and-run accident

Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 01, 2014
First Published: 22:49 IST(1/3/2014) | Last Updated: 00:00 IST(2/3/2014)

A Kharar resident, charged in a 2006 hit-and-run case, and facing harassment for eight years was finally granted some relief after the Punjab and Haryana high court held that the accused was not liable to pay the compensation to the accused.

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This accused can hope for the withdrawal of 'conditional warrants' issued against him  by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), his counsel has claimed.

The UT police had charged one Gurpal Singh Bains on June 3, 2006, for causing death due to rash and negligent driving. However, it was later found that that his car (CH01 Z 7812), which was allegedly involved in running down a resident of Bapu Dham Colony, Rajesh Kumar, had been impounded by the police at least three hours before the accident.

Irrespective of his pleas, he was charged and the FIR against him was quashed only in 2008, after the Punjab and Haryana high court intervened. However, this was just one part of the problem.

The family of victim had filed a claim with the accident tribunal, which in June 2010, directed Bains, to pay a claim of Rs. 3.65 lakh to the family as the vehicle was not insured. The tribunal had dismissed his submissions that the vehicle was in the custody of UT police at the time of accident.

Challenging the tribunal's order, Bains approached the high court. However, till then the tribunal had issued orders to attach the vehicle  owned by Bains and issued conditional warrants. This meant that in case of failure to honour the claim, his vehicle could be auctioned to realise the claim.

However, the high court had disposed off his appeal on January 31, 2014, stating that as the vehicle was in possession of the UT police and thus the UT administration as well as police department should pay the claim of Rs. 3.65 lakh to the deceased family and not Bains.

"Bains, who is suffering for callousness of UT police, will finally get some relief due to the high court. The tribunal did not consider his submissions while awarding the claim. Now, we hope to get justice," said advocate Vinod Kumar Verma, counsel for Bains.

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