Tribunal: Fir needn’t be considered for compensation in accident cases

Mere registration of an FIR by police against the driver of an unknown vehicle cannot be a ground for throwing away the claimants’ case, the tribunal ruled
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Published on Nov 23, 2019 01:07 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Mohali

Providing relief to kin of a 27-year-old labourer killed in accident of the vehicle in which he had taken a lift, the motor accident claims tribunal, Mohali, directed the driver and insurer of the motorcycle to pay 14.98 lakh with 7.5% interest saying—“it is not necessary that in every case an FIR has to be registered”.

Disposing of the claim filed by the 19-year-old widow and 61-year-old father of deceased Vinod Das hailing from Bihar, the tribunal presided over by Devinder Kumar Gupta, ruled—“The award of claim under the Motor Vehicle Act is based on welfare legislation and it is not necessary that in every case FIR has to be registered.”

The tribunal dismissed the argument of Rupnagar resident Varinder Singh, the driver of the motorcycle, who had given a lift to Vinod, and the National Insurance Company Limited, saying “The FIR was registered against the unidentified driver of unknown vehicle”.

“Mere registration of an FIR by police against the driver of an unknown vehicle cannot be a ground for throwing away the claimants’ case,” the tribunal ruled, after considering the eyewitness account and Varinder’s admission about the accident. Vinod’s brother, who was the eyewitness, testified to negligence on Varinder’s part.

The deceased Vinod Das was a mixture machine operator, and on January 13, 2019, he was on his way back home to village Chhat. He had taken lift from Varinder on his motorcycle. Vinod’s brother Manoj Das was following them on his cycle. He said as they entered the highway, Patiala to Zirakpur, an unknown vehicle came from the Rajpura side at high speed, and both occupants of the motorcycle fell off. Vinod sustained serious injuries and was taken to GMCH, Sector-32, Chandigarh, from where he was referred to PGIMER, Chandigarh where, he died on January 14.

Manoj alleged that Varinder was driving fast but the police registered a false FIR against the unidentified driver. He said police officials took his signatures on blank papers and used same to lodge an FIR against the unknown driver of unknown vehicle instead of Varinder.

Varinder admitted the accident had taken place, but that it was an unknown vehicle that had hit his bike. Varinder and the insurance firm said that Manoj’s statement is an afterthought in order to extract compensation.

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