11. The other principle that is pressed in aid by the courts in such cases is the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. This doctrine serves two purposes – one that an accident may by its nature be more consistent with its being caused by negligence for which the opposite party is responsible than by any other causes and that in such a case, the mere fact of the accident is prima facie evidence of such negligence. Secondly, it is to avoid hardship in cases where the claimant is able to prove the accident but cannot prove how the accident occurred. The courts have also applied the principle of res ipsa loquitur in cases where no direct evidence was brought on record. The Act itself contains a provision which concerns with the consequences of driving dangerously alike the provision in the Indian Penal Code that the vehicle is driven in a manner dangerous to public life. Where a person does such an offence he is punished as per the provisions of Section 184 of the Act. The courts have also taken the concept of ‘culpable rashness’ and ‘culpable negligence’ into consideration in cases of road accidents. ‘Culpable rashness’ is acting with the consciousness that mischievous and illegal consequences may follow but with the hope that they will not and often with the belief that the actor has taken sufficient precautions to prevent such happening. The imputability arises from acting despite consciousness (luxuria). ‘Culpable negligence’ is acting without the consciousness that the illegal and mischievous effect will follow, but in circumstances which show that the actor has not exercised the caution incumbent upon him and that if he had, he would have had the consciousness. The imputability arises from the neglect of civic duty of circumspection. In such a case the mere fact of accident is prima facie evidence of such negligence. This maxim suggests that on the circumstances of a given case the res speaks and is eloquent because the facts stand unexplained, with the result that the natural and reasonable inference from the facts, not a conjectural inference, shows that the act is attributable to some person’s negligent conduct.
12. In the case of Nageshwar Shri Krishna Ghobe v. State of Maharasthra MANU/SC/0182/1972 : (1973) 4 SCC 23, the Court observed that the statements of the witnesses who met with an accident while travelling in a vehicle or those of the people who were travelling in the vehicle driven nearby should be taken and understood in their correct perspective as it is not necessary that the occupants of the vehicle should be looking in the same direction. They might have been attracted only by the noise or the disturbance caused by the actual impact resulting from the accident itself. The Court held as under:
“6. In cases of road accidents by fast moving vehicles it is ordinarily difficult to find witnesses who would be in a position to affirm positively the sequence of vital events during the few moments immediately preceding the actual accident, from which its true cause can be ascertained. When accidents take place on the road, people using the road or who may happen to be in close vicinity would normally be busy in their own pre-occupations and in the normal course their attention would be attracted only by the noise or the disturbance caused by the actual impact resulting from the accident itself. It is only then that they would look towards the direction of the noise and see what had happened. It is seldom – and it is only a matter of coincidence – that a person may already be looking in the direction of the accident and may for that reason be in a position to see and later describe the sequence of events in which the accident occurred. At times it may also happen that after casually witnessing the occurrence those persons may feel disinclined to take any further interest in the matter, whatever be the reason for this disinclination. If, however, they do feel interested in going to the spot in their curiosity to know some thing more, then what they may happen to see there, would lead them to form some opinion or impression as to what in all likelihood must have led to the accident. Evidence of such persons, therefore, requires close scrutiny for finding out what they actually saw and what may be the result of their imaginative inference. Apart from the eye-witnesses, the only person who can be considered to be truly capable of satisfactorily explaining as to the circumstances leading to accidents like the present is the driver himself or in certain circumstances to some extent the person who is injured.”
13. We have gone through the award and judgment passed by the learned Tribunal. Learned Tribunal has properly appreciated the evidence and found that PW-2 Monu had clearly stated that the motorcycle was at the left side of the road and the driver of the offending vehicle that is Car by driving the vehicle in high speed, rashly and negligently, collided with the motorcycle and caused injuries. Learned Tribunal has also examined the proposition of law as laid down in the following cases:- i. Meera Devi and others v. HRTC and others – 2014 (2) TAC 01 (SC) ii. Krishna Nandan Prasad v. New India Assurance Co. Ltd. – 2011 (1) SCCD 216 (Patna) iii. Manniya Uchcha Nyayalaya and Narmada Prasad Chaure and others Nanak Pawar and others – 2012(2) SCCD 737 (MP) iv. Manniya Uchcha Nyayalaya Yogendra Pal Singh v. Motor Accident Claims Tribunal and others – 1995(2) TAC 153 (Allahabad) v. Manniya Uchcha Nyayalaya and Dr. Smt. Lilarani v. Shekh K.S. Hora and others – 1994(2) TAC 615 (MP) vi. Smt. Rashida and others v. Ishtiyaq and others – 2012 (3) TAC 387 (Allahabad) vii. Manniya Uchcha Nyayalaya and Vijay Kumar Dugar v. Vidyadhar Datta and others – 2006(1) TAC 989 (SC)