Death of pedestrian
Accused was a passenger in the bus.He opened the door of the bus for getting down ,door hit on the head of the pedestrain. Pedestrain died. Whether insurance of the bus is liable to compensate the legal heirs of the deceased.Any ruling?
Yes owner and insurer of bus are liable to compensate dependants of deceased. Dependents will have to raise a claim under motor vehicle act before concerned motor accident claim Tribunal of the district.
The question is did the pedestran tried to jump down before the driver requested him to stop before bringing the bus to halt or otherwise , its difficult to make a case of 'contributory negligence ' to justify his action ...
As per the current status of law, a person is liable for the actions committed directly by him/her i.e. actions being the act that led to the commission of an offence. The said commission very well covers Omission also, where the person should have taken due care and caution while doing an act. As a result, of being negligent and omitting to take precaution while opening the door of the vehicle thereby, not understanding the consequence that might happen – makes a person liable under the below mentioned offence.
Here, the consequence of your act in person – led to the damage (a severe one) to the pedestrian, making you liable in your individual capacity. Had it been the conductor or the driver of the public transport opening the vehicle gate for you, the liability would have definitely shifted to the shoulders of the state, (under whose employment – they are duty bound) since it was a public transport.
Talking into legal terms and language, the discussed action of the passenger comes under the purview of Section 304A in The Indian Penal Code. The section talks about Causing death by negligence. The legal definition of negligence is as follows – Negligence is a breach of a duty caused by omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by the those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs would do.
Insurance of the bus would have been held liable to compensate the legal heirs of the deceased in a situation where the negligence was on part of the driver or the conductor (as discussed above). But unfortunately, as it seems to be the case, the liability to compensate the legal heirs of the deceased devolves upon the passenger. No specific judgement to this effect, because the law is already settled on this point.
 Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both
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