Bench orders more compensation

Staff Reporter

For parents whose child died in an accident

MADURAI: "Children are not supposed to die... The death of a child is a loss of flawless innocence. This tragedy will certainly bring profound pain and grief to the parents.

The brightness in their home is gone, the voice they loved is still and the agony lengthened," said Justice S. Manikumar while passing orders on a petition filed by the parents of a nine-year-old boy who lost his life after being hit by a State-owned bus in 1996.

He went on to state, "The mental agony of the parents is inexplicable and it cannot be quantified in terms of money. The only answer to the grieving parents is time and time alone." However, citing a few apex court judgements, the Judge set aside the limited amount of Rs.55,000 awarded by the Motor Accidents Tribunal here in 1999 and directed the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation to pay Rs.1,80,000 towards compensation to the petitioners. The amount should be disbursed within two months.

M. Mohandas, a third standard student of Kambur near here, was playing in front of his house during the evening hours on January 22, 1996 when the TNSTC bus dashed against him and sped away. He suffered multiple injuries on his hip and fainted.

Immediately, the bystanders shifted him to the Government Rajaji Hospital where he took his last breath the same night.

Though the bus driver managed to escape from the scene of occurrence, the villagers waylaid him on the reverse direction (Natham-Karungalakudi) and handed him over to the police.

The parents moved the tribunal claiming that they had lost their only son and there was no chance of future issues because one of them had underwent family planning operation.

Defending the case before the tribunal, the TNSTC said the parents were not entitled to any claim since the accident had occurred due to the negligence of the deceased.

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