Kin of farmer killed in road mishap get Rs 9.90 lakh

Thane: The Thane Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has asked New India Assurance Company to pay Rs 9.90 lakh compensation to the family of a farmer who died in a mishap in 2012, and recover the amount from the owner of the offending vehicle.

The claimant, Sangeeta Vilas Kirkire (28), told the tribunal that her husband Vilas Kirkire (29), a farmer who also ran a chicken shop at Hirad Phata in Thane's Jawhar taluka, earned around Rs 9,000 per month and was the family's sole bread winner.

She informed MACT that on December 15, 2012, Vilas had hired a tempo for carrying a quintal of rice for sale at Jawhar and to purchase 100 broiler chicken from the marke.

As the tempo reached the limits of Bharsatmet Phata, the driver lost control of the vehicle and as a result, it rammed into a roadside tree. Vilas sustained injuries in the mishap and died two days later during treatment at Nashik Civil Hospital. The Jawhar police registered a case against the tempo driver.

Vilas' widow claimed Rs 5 lakh as compensation. The insurance company contested the claim saying that the widow was not an eyewitness, and there was breach of terms and conditions of policy, which the tribunal dismissed.

Upholding the submissions of the widow and the other applicants, including her four minor children and in-laws, MACT member K D Vadane recently concluded that it was the vehicle driver's fault, resulting in the accident and the subsequent death of the villager.

"The contention of the applicants is corroborated by the police papers on record. The opponents have not examined any eyewitness of the accident, including driver of the offending tempo. Thus, in the absence of any rebuttal evidence, contention of the applicants appears to be trustworthy. Therefore, I have no hesitation to come to the conclusion that the impugned accident occurred due to sole negligence on the part of driver of tempo," Vadane noted.

The tribunal said both the vehicle owner and the insurance company shall jointly jointly and severally pay the compensation of Rs 9.90 lakhs to the claimants, including Rs 7.65 lakh for future loss of dependency, Rs 1 lakh each for loss of estate and loss of love and affection and Rs 25,000 for funeral and last rites expenses.

However, deciding the matter ex-parte against tempo owner Awadesh Gupta who remained absent from hearing, the MACT directed the insurance company to first pay the compensation to the claimants and then recover the amount from the vehicle owner.

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