NEW DELHI, Feb 27 - In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court overruling the objections of insurance companies, directed payment of compensation to families of the victims of a road accident in Assam. The apex court allowed payment of Rs 1.09 crore as compensation to the two families of the deceased.
�We find no merit in any of the submissions,� said the Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre. �We find that merely because the compensation has not yet been paid to the claimants though the case is quite old (16 years), it cannot be a ground to deny the claimants the relief claimed in these appeals,� the Bench said.
The case dates back to July 3, 2001, when Ismail Hussain and Nirod Prasad Mohanty along with their families and some other passengers were travelling from Nagaon to Guwahati in a Tata Sumo (AR09-3997). The vehicle was involved in a head-on collusion at Jorabat with a truck coming from the opposite direction. Ismail Hussain and Nirod Prasad Mohanty died on the spot while some other passengers also sustained injuries.
Later, Manuara Khatun, wife of Ismail Hussain and her five minor children filed a claim totalling a compensation of Rs 55,20,400, while Mamoni Saikia Mohanty, wife of Nirod Prasad Mohanty and her three minor children sought a compensation of Rs 54,62,500.
They made claims before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Nagaon against Rajesh Kumar Singh, owner of the Tata Sumo, Bhadra Kt Das, owner of the truck, United India Insurance Company Limited, insurer of the Tata Sumo and New India Assurance Company Limited, insurer of the truck. The claim petitions were contested only by the insurance companies.