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[Motor accident cases] Multiplier has to be determined based on completed age, not running age: Kerala High Court

(i) Is the finding of the contributory negligence attributed against Madhavan sustainable in law?

The tribunal after rejecting the oral testimonies of prosecution witnesses on the ground that they were interested witnesses, had accepted the First Information Report in the case and concluded that the accident occurred due to the negligence of the drivers of both the vehicles.

The Court referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in National Insurance Company Ltd v. Chamundeswari & Ors, in which it was held that if any evidence which is recorded before the Tribunal runs contrary to the contents in the FIR, there is no reason to give weightage to the contents in the FIR.

Thereafter, the Kerala High Court had in Sampath M.P and Ors. v Binu & Ors. held that if the tribunal feels that the charge-sheet does not satisfy its judicial conscience, then the tribunal can record its reasons and call upon the parties to let in oral evidence.

In the instant case, the Court found that even though the police stated that the drivers of both the vehicles were negligent in causing the accident, relevant supporting materials were not appended to the charge-sheet relied on by the MACT. However, oral testimonies given by eye-witnesses stated that the accident occurred due to the negligence of the other driver.

Therefore, the Court opined that the tribunal’s finding of negligence on the part of Madhavan was erroneous and set aside the same.

Source: Barandbench

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