Court seizes Karnataka government bus for failing to pay compensation to family of accident victim
Initially, a lower court in Karnataka seized a bus owned by the state-owned company after failing to pay compensation of 2.82 crore rupees to the family of a traffic accident victim.
The court ordered the North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) to pay the money to the family of a software developer who died in a road accident in 2013. The victim, Sanjeev M Patil, 39, was run over by a public transport bus as it crossed the road at the Jall tollgate on the Bengaluru-Pune highway around 6 a.m.
The family went to court to seek compensation on the grounds that Sanjeev was only 39 years old at the time of the accident and was earning Rs 2.10 lakh per month at IBM. The family claimed compensation of Rs 3.55 crore with interest.
NWKRTC claimed that the accident happened due to Sanjeev’s negligence. However, the court ruled that the accident happened due to reckless and negligent driving by the bus driver. The court also observed that an independent witness blamed the driver and that the NWKSRTC had no evidence to prove that Patil’s negligence resulted in his death.
The court ruled that the plaintiffs were entitled to compensation of Rs 2.15 crore as well as an interest rate of 8 percent per annum payable by the NWKSRTC.
The Second Additional Senior Civilian Judge in Davanagere said: “The court which reviewed the documents and payslips came to the conclusion that Sanjeev Patil’s monthly income was Rs 1,57,178 and deducting Sanjeev’s personal expenses Patil, this is around Rs 1,17,884. Taking into account the age, 15 multiplier was adopted and Rs 2,12,19,120 on the account of the loss of dependency and with an annual interest of 8% from the date of the accident.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Jagadeesh VS, Divisional Controller of the Haveri Division of NWKRTC, who is the first defendant in the case, said: “We have paid compensation of 1.52 crore rupees and brought l case before the High Court. However, there was no stay order that forced court officials to seize the bus. We are asking the court to give us more time to pay the money, as the company has also suffered huge losses due to the Covid-19 situation.
He said a bus costs around Rs 29 lakh and the bus which was seized is two years old and has not been in operation much due to the pandemic situation.