Kochi: The Kerala High Court has said that the deciding of compensation in motor accident cases should be mainly based on the final police report rather than merely relying on police mahazar details.
The mahazar serves as proof of occasion, cause or effect of facts, coming under section 7 and 9 of the Indian Evidence Act. It is a description of facts and state of things which an investigating officer observes in a scene of crime.
Judge Justice Badharudeen has said that if a chargesheet mentions the carelessness of the driver of one of the vehicles in an accident, then to prove the callousness of the driver of the other vehicle, a mere negative mention against him in the police mahazar is not enough.
The court ordered this while considering an appeal filed by T A Ansad of Malappuram, urging the revocation of the Ernakulam Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal order blaming him, the complainant in an accident case, for carelessness. The High Court annulled the order of the Tribunal in the case.
It was on November 27 that the accident occurred after the motorcycle the complainant was riding collided with a car. The police chargesheet blamed the driver of the car for his carelessness. Though the insurance company accepted the claim, it argued that going by the mahazar report, the accident occurred also due to the callousness of Ansad. The Tribunal accepted this argument and reduced the compensation to half the amount sought by Ansad.
Ansad challenged the Tribunal order in the High Court by questioning the propriety of finding him 50 per cent responsible for the accident solely based on the negative observations given in the police mahazar and that too without any proof. He informed the court that the relief he sought was not to claim full compensation but to set aside the observations made by the Tribunal.
The High Court termed the Tribunal order illegal, while saying that the Tribunal, without the backing of any proof and by going beyond the findings of the police chargesheet, wrongly came to the conclusion that the complainant committed carelessness. The court then ordered the insurance company to hand over the compensation fixed by the Tribunal with interest to the complainant.