New Delhi: A Delhi court has ordered compensation of over Rs 16 lakh to the widow and two minor children of a man who had died after being hit by a bus.
MACT presiding officer Arun Bhardwaj directed insurance firm Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to pay Rs 16.17 lakh with an annual interest of 7.5 per cent to south Delhi resident Sarita whose husband Dhuruv Narayan, 34, was hit by the bus on December 20, 2010 while on his way to work riding a bicycle.
The counsel for insurance company contended that in the absence of any eyewitness, the petition for claim is liable to be dismissed.
The court said in the absence of any eyewitness, the driver of the private bus was the best person to give evidence regarding sequence of events leading to the accident and fatal injuries of the deceased to prove his innocence.
The driver had filed a written statement alleging that the victim was riding the cycle in a zig-zag manner and the accident happened due to his own negligence.
He, however, did not enter the witness box to prove his allegations.
"It was for the Respondent No. 1 (bus driver) to explain how the deceased had suffered fatal injuries in the accident but the driver did not enter the witness box to show that. Perusal of site plan prepared during investigation by the police also shows that the position of the deceased on the road was on one side and he could not have met with fatal injuries except for rash and negligent driving of the bus driver," the court said.
Citing a High Court judgement, the court said adverse inference was drawn because the driver of the offending vehicle had not appeared in the witness box to corroborate his defence taken in the written statement.