A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal last Saturday directed a tanker owner and an insurance company to pay Rs. 20.8 lakh compensation to the mother of a 20-year-old who had succumbed to head injuries in a road accident in January 2016.
Sandip Yadav, a Bhandup resident, used to work part-time as an assistant accountant at a shipping firm and was yet to finish his graduation when the unfortunate incident took place on 5 January 2016. He had been riding a motorcycle with his friend as a pillion from Kurla to Bhandup on the Eastern Express Freeway when near the Vikhroli Firozshah Godrej Bridge their bike was hit from the backside by a tanker. The two had fallen. While his friend escaped with minor injuries, Yadav had sustained serious head injuries. His friend took him to Mahatma Phule hospital, but he was declared dead on examination.
Yadav’s parents - father who worked as a driver and mother - a homemaker, had claimed a compensation of Rs. 25 lakhs. While the tanker owner did not appear before the tribunal despite notice, the insurance company denied the accident itself, the tanker’s involvement in the accident as well as the age and income of the deceased. The company had said further that the tanker driver had not been holding a valid license and the vehicle did not possess a proper permit and fitness, which it claimed was a breach of its policy terms.
Member SB Hedaoo in his judgment considered the FIR registered by the pillion rider friend of Yadav in which the tanker’s details were mentioned and the post-mortem report which proved Yadav's death due to the accident. The owner of the firm where the deceased worked was considered to establish Yadav's salary credentials.
The Tribunal observed that taking into account the nature of the work, the period when the deceased died, the income of Rs. 10,000 per month for the undergraduate deceased is a believable figure. It added that in a city like Mumbai there are many undergraduates who do a job side by side to help their family while doing graduation. It considered that the deceased’s father was working and was not dependent on Yadav's income and rejected his claim, while directing compensation only to his mother.
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