Delay in filing FIR can't hit claims: SC

 A bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma, however, said that the courts should scrutinise the claims cases closely in case of delay in registering an  first information report (FIR).

“Knowing Indian conditions, we cannot expect a common man to first rush to the police station immediately after an accident. Human nature and family responsibilities occupy the mind of kith and kin to such an extent that they give more importance to get the victim treated rather than to rush to the police station,”the court said.

It said family members are not expected to “act  mechanically with promptitude”in lodging the FIR after accidents.        

The purpose of lodging the FIR in accident cases is primarily to intimate the police to initiate investigation of criminal offences, the bench said, adding that the FIRs only proved the fact of mishap.

The court made these observations while providing relief to Ravi, 16, who suffered permanent disability after being hit by a truck in a road accident, with Rs 2.50 lakh compensation.

The court took note of the agony and trauma suffered by Ravi as he is not able to control his urine due to the injuries following the accident on October 7, 2001 in Jaipur.

His plea to be awarded compensation under the Motor Vehicle Act was dismissed by a motor accident claims tribunal and the Rajasthan High Court on the ground that he could not prove he suffered injuries due to the accident caused by a particular truck.

He then filed an appeal in the apex court relying upon the statement of the truck owner claiming he was informed of the accident on the same date and other evidence. Still in the Vth  standard, Ravi’s schooling has been affected due to his precarious physical condition.

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