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Punjab Roadways GM, driver to pay 5.90 lakh to parents of schoolboy killed in 2018 mishap

Incident took place in February 2018 when the roadways bus rammed into a school bus, killing the 11-year-old on the spot
Shailee Dogra, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON SEP 17, 2019 01:10 AM IST

The motor accident claims tribunal (MACT), Mohali, has directed a bus driver and the general manager of Punjab Roadways, Ludhiana, to pay 5.9 lakh to the parents of an 11-year-old boy who had died in an accident in Kharar last year.

As per the orders of MACT presiding officer Girish, the compensation amount would carry 9% interest and is to be paid “jointly and severally” by bus driver Balbir Singh of Samrala and Punjab Roadways general manager.

The compensation is to be paid to Pooja Sachdeva, 40, and Rampal Sachdeva, 46, residents of Green Avenue, Anaj Mandi Road, Kharar, whose 11-year-old son Samrath Sachdeva, a student of St Jospeh School, Sector 44-D, was killed in an accident caused due to the negligence of a Punjab roadways bus driver. The incident took place on February 2, 2018 when Samrath was on way to school in his school bus. Around 7.10am, a roadways bus hit the school bus on Kharar-Morinda road.

“The impact of the collision caused shards of the windowpane to slit Samrath’s throat and hurt his head, killing him on the spot,” police had said after the mishap. Three other students, including Samrath’s sister Khwaish, 13, had been injured in the incident.

ROADWAYS CLAIMED SCHOOL BUS DRIVER WAS NEGLIGENT

Denying all allegations, the Roadways GM said that a wrong FIR was lodged in connivance with the claimants (parents) and police. The GM maintained that the accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the school bus driver. Similarly, bus driver Balbir Singh submitted that the FIR was “fake and fictitious”.

BUS WAS NOT INSURED, DRIVER AND GM TO PAY

The tribunal ruled that as the bus was not insured and the accident was caused due to the rash and negligent driving of bus driver Balbir Singh and the offending vehicle is owned by Punjab Roadways Ludhiana Depot, the respondents are liable to pay the compensation jointly and severally.

The tribunal, relying on Supreme Court’s order, said that the registration of a criminal case against the driver of the offending vehicle was prima-facie proof that the accident was the result of rashness and negligence on his part. 

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