She was fatally hit by bus in 2010

A city court has awarded Rs.1.54-crore compensation to the family of a woman doctor who died after she was hit by a bus belonging to the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) in 2010. It also directed the MTC management to deposit the compensation in two months along with 7.5 per cent interest per annum.

The fateful accident happened on June 24, 2010 while N. Chandramouli Hariharan, also a doctor, dropped his wife Neetu at Saidapet bus terminus. The 45-year-old woman was working as a doctor and associate professor in Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute and was earning Rs.2 lakh per month.

She alighted from husband’s car to catch a bus to Kelambakkam to attend her duty. When she was about to board the bus, another MTC bus suddenly came in a rash and negligent manner and knocked her down. The victim was taken to private hospital where she died on November 7, 2010. The family members filed the petition through counsel, Chevanan Mohan seeking compensation from the MTC. They contended that the driver of the bus was responsible for the accident and the MTC as owner of the bus was liable to pay compensation.

Reacting to the judgement, Dr. Hariharan told The Hindu, “The way in which the MTC management defended the case was worse. In fact, they took more than a year to file a reply in this case. This accident occurred in a broad daylight inside the bus terminus.

A large number of passers-by and witnesses were present at the time of accident. The bus driver reported accident to the management which also conducted an enquiry. However, they defended the case as if it was not responsible and stated the victim tripped by a single brick median and fell on the road and sustained injuries. Despite all, we fought this for three years and won the case.”

The MTC said the deceased got down from the car near the bus terminus and crossed the road hurriedly to catch another bus and tumbled on the median wall in the bus terminus and sustained injuries. The bus did not involve in the accident at all.

Rejecting the stand of MTC, S.D. Parimala, Judge of Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, concluded that the MTC bus driver was responsible for the accident. “The accident occurred only due to negligence of the driver and hence the MTC is liable to pay compensation”, she added.

Considering the factors such as the age of claimants as well as the deceased, loss of consortium and medical expenses, the court fixed the compensation as Rs.1.54 crore.