Q1. One of my Companies Driver took my car and committed an accident while going to deliver some goods of the Company. What is my liability in such circumstances as the owner of the car.
A. A master has vicarious liability for the acts of his servant acting in the course of his employment. Unless the act is done in the course of employment the servant’s act does not make the employer liable. The act must either be a wrongful act authorized by the master. The driver of a car taking the car of the master on mater’s business renders the master vicariously liable if he commits an accident but if the servant at the time of the accident is not acting within the course of his employment but is doing something for himself the master is not liable.
Q2. The Gujrat Government provided certain drinking water facility in my native village, but failed to provide over flow channels in the same. During the rainy season water over flowed from the reservoir constructed by Government and crop destroyed. Government now is claiming sovereignty and says that they can’t be liable for this fault. Please guide the poor villagers.
A. In case due to State Government’s failure to provide overflow channels water overflowed from the reservoir constructed by the Government for providing drinking water and the overflowing caused damage to the crop in heavy rains, the act of State in constructing the reservoir for the supply of water to its citizens at best could be considered a welfare act and not a an act in its capacity as a sovereign and as such the Government was liable.
Q3. A BSF Driver met with an accident and damaged my private vehicle and injured the driver. The Government is asking the BSF driver to deal with us on his own and they are not liable. How can I claim against Government ?
A. A driver of B.S.F. guilty of an accident done negligently resulting in extensive damage to a private vehicle and injury to the driver of the vehicle; although the duty of B.S.F . personnel is original and Union of India has no control over the manner in which such statutory employees performed their duties, the principals of vicarious liability is invocable, the Union of India is answerable in tort for the negligence.
Q4. If a person is travelling without a ticket in a train and it meets with an accident. What compensation would be given to the heirs of such a passenger ?
A. A trespasser travelling without ticket or pass in not a passenger. He or his heirs after a railway accident is not entitled to any compensation.
Q5. An accident taken place when the deceased was getting down from the compartment with her child in her arms. Compartment stopped short of platform-no warning or signal before train started- level of platform not raised after converting rail to broad gauge. Is railway liable for the same ?
A. Accident was due to negligence on part of railway servants.- no contributory negligence on part of deceased and hence railway is fully liable to compensate the family of the deceased.
Q6. I stay in a DDA flat on the third floor. My neighbor on the second floor has constructed a spiral staircase that comes upto the third floor level to land on the roof of the room they have constructed on the open verandah of their floor. This construction was done in Shop 1988. We have spoken to RWA, Police, DDA but no action has been taken against this. They have also covered up other verandahs of their house but all of that does not obstruct our space or privacy. Because of this construction we have to keep our doors closed and windows covered. What can I do and what are my legal rights on this matter.
A. The construction of the spiral staircase as well as the covering of the Verandah by your neighbor is clearly unauthorized and illegal, apart from the same obstructing your right to free passage as well as your right of free access to light and air. If the DDA and the Police has failed to take any action, you can file a suit or even a writ petition challenging the said illegal act of your neighbor. You should challenge the inaction of the DDA and Police in failing to check the said unauthorized construction and also make your neighbor one of the parties to the petition. It would be appropriate for you to take the action immediately since there is already a delay on your part in approaching the court, as the construction was raised in September, 1998.