MSRTC asked to pay ₹21 lakh compensation to accident victim | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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MSRTC asked to pay 21 lakh compensation to accident victim

ByRutuja Gaidhani
Feb 04, 2024 06:18 AM IST

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal has ordered the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation to pay over ₹21 lakh as compensation to a woman who was injured in a bus accident. The amount includes a 'no fault liability' and 7% interest per annum.

MUMBAI: The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has directed the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to pay over 21 lakh as compensation to a 26-year-old woman from Thane who was partially disabled due to an accident in 2021 while travelling on a state transport bus. The amount includes a ‘no fault liability’, under which MSRTC was held responsible for the victim’s injuries without requiring proof of fault/ negligence, along with 7% interest per annum from the date of application till its payment.

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On September 10, 2021, the victim Snehal Baraf was traveling on an MSRTC bus from Wada in Thane to Jawhar district, where she worked at the Vikramgad rural hospital. She was occupying the third window seat behind the driver. When the bus reached Vasuri near Vikramgad, the driver drove on the wrong side in a rash and negligent manner, she said. He was speeding, and lost control of the vehicle, which scraped against another bus, leaving her with grievous injuries on her right hand, she added. She was initially taken to Sarvari Hospital, Wada, followed by Ayush Hospital, Kalyan, and finally, the LTMG Hospital in Sion for around seven times.

Baraf lodged a complaint with the Vikramgad Hill police station, and underwent prolonged treatment including bone grafting, during which time she was unemployed. She subsequently submitted a plea for compensation before the tribunal, contending she was permanently disabled to the extent of 69% due to negligence.

An advocate representing MSRTC opposed her plea, arguing that she had placed her hand outside the window of the bus on a narrow road, and was accidentally injured when the bus scraped against another one coming from the opposite direction at a sharp bend.

The tribunal noted the width of the road at the spot and the driver’s relative responsibility. “The width of said road is such that only two vehicles adjust on said road in opposite direction. Moreover, due to curve, the vehicle coming from opposite direction is not instantly visible. Considering these facts, it can be said that in such circumstances high responsibility is on the driver of the vehicle to drive the vehicle in moderate speed and also on the correct side of the road,” the tribunal said.

While the doctor originally assessed Baraf’s partial permanent disability at 69%, the tribunal observed that the applicant was allowed to resume her services after a fitness test and hence, assumed a functional disability of 10%. It held that Baraf was entitled to a total compensation of 21,48,831, including medical expenses, special diet and conveyance, loss of income during medication, loss due to disability, loss of enjoyment of life and marriage prospect, pain and suffering, future medical treatment, and a ‘no fault liability’.

The tribunal, on January 17, 2024, directed the MSRTC to pay the compensation within six weeks. MSRTC has been asked to credit the amount to the tribunal’s account, which will then be disbursed to the applicant.

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