Misc Appeal C No 14 of 2011
1 Vishnudev Singh
2 Smt Rajkumar
1 Jitendra Pd Dubey
2 Devendra Giri Goswami
3 Royal Sundaram
! Shri Parag Kotecha and Shri Yogesh Chandra counsel for the appellants ^ Shri Devershi Thakur counsel for respondent No 3 CORAM: HONBLE SHRI RAJEEV GUPTA CJ & HONBLE SHRI RANGNATH CHANDRAKAR J Dated: 15/12/2011
Memo of appeal under Section 173 of Motor Vehicle Act 15th December 2011
The following order of the Court was passed by Rajeev Gupta, C.J.
This is claimants' appeal for enhancement of the compensation awarded by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Kanker (for short `the Tribunal') vide award dated 12.10.2010, passed in Claim Case No.82/2009. 2) As against the compensation of Rs.17,00,000/- claimed by the appellants/ claimants, unfortunate parents of deceased Ashok Singh, by filing a claim petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, for his death in the motor accident on 13.07.2009, the Tribunal awarded a total sum of Rs.5,97,960/- as compensation along with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till the date of actual payment.
3) The Tribunal on a close scrutiny of the entire evidence led before it held that claimants' son Ashok Singh died on account of the injuries sustained by him in the motor accident on 13.07.2009; the accident occurred due to rash and negligent driving of the driver of the offending vehicle Mahindra Bolero bearing registration No.CG-17-D/0537; as the above offending vehicle Mahindra Bolero, on the date of the accident, was insured with Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Limited and the Insurance Company could not establish any breach of the policy conditions, the Insurance Company was liable to pay the compensation to the claimants. 4) As the respondents have not filed any appeal against the award, the above findings recorded by the Tribunal have now attained finality.
5) The Tribunal assessed the income of the deceased at Rs.9,715/- per month. By deducting 50% of Rs.9,715/- towards the personal expenses of the deceased, the claimants' dependency was assessed at Rs.4,758/- per month and Rs.58,296/- per annum. By multiplying the annual dependency of Rs.58,296/- with the multiplier of 10, the compensation was worked out to Rs.5,82,960/-. By awarding further sum of Rs.15,000/- under other heads, the Tribunal awarded a total sum of Rs.5,97,960/- as compensation to the claimants for the death of their son Ashok Singh in the motor accident. The Tribunal further directed payment of interest on the above amount of compensation of Rs.5,97,960/- @ 6% per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till the date of actual payment.
6) Shri Parag Kotecha and Shri Yogesh Chandra, learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the Tribunal has erred in assessing the income of the deceased at Rs.9,715/- per month on the basis of his net-salary whereas his gross- salary was Rs.10,935/- per month; in deducting 50% of the income of the deceased towards his personal expenses; in selecting the lower multiplier of 10; and in awarding low compensation of Rs.5,97,960/- only.
7) Shri Devershi Thakur, learned counsel for respondent No.3, Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Limited, the insurer of the offending vehicle Mahindra Bolero, on the other hand, supported the award and contended that the compensation of Rs.5,97,960/- awarded by the Tribunal cannot be termed as inadequate so as to warrant enhancement in this appeal.
8) Deceased Ashok Singh was aged about 26 years on the date of the accident. He was working as Constable in 5th Battalion, C.A.F. and was posted at Jagdalpur. The claimants are his father and mother aged about 49 years and 45 years respectively. The mother in her evidence before the Tribunal admitted that her husband was 10 years older to her.
9) The salary certificate of the deceased (Ex.P/7) reveals his gross-salary as Rs.10,935/- per month and net-salary after deductions as Rs.9,715/- per month. 10) It is now settled that for the purposes of assessment of the compensation in a motor accident claim case, gross- salary of the deceased is to be taken into consideration. The Tribunal, therefore, ought to have assessed the compensation taking the gross-salary of Rs.10,935/- per month as income of the deceased. We, therefore, propose to recompute the compensation taking the income of the deceased at Rs.10,935/- per month and Rs.1,31,220/- per annum. 11) As deceased Ashok Singh on the date of the accident was unmarried 50% of his income is to be deducted towards his personal expenses, in view of the dicta of the Apex Court in the cases of Syed Basheer Ahamed and others Versus Mohammed Jameel and another reported in (2009) 2 Supreme Court Cases 225 and Sarla Verma (Smt) and Others Versus Delhi Transport Corporation and another, reported in (2009) 6 SCC 121. The claimants' dependency, therefore, is assessed at Rs.65,610/- per annum by deducting 50% of Rs.1,31,220/- towards the personal expenses of the deceased.
12) As the claimants are parents of the deceased, the appropriate multiplier in the present case would be 10 in view of the dictum of the Apex Court in the case of Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay Vs. Laxman Iyer and another, reported in (2003) 8 SCC-731 wherein it was held that in those cases where the claimants are parents of the deceased, the multiplier should never exceed 10. 13) By multiplying the annual dependency of Rs.65,610/- with the multiplier of 10 the compensation works out to Rs.6,56,100/-. The claimants are further entitled to receive a sum of Rs.5,000/- towards funeral expenses and Rs.5,000/- for loss of estate. The claimants, thus, become entitled to receive a total sum of Rs.6,66,100/- as compensation for the death of their son Ashok Singh in the motor accident.
14) Learned counsel for the parties submitted that with a view to avoid any possible dispute between the parties before the Tribunal about the period for which the claimants are entitled to receive interest on the enhanced amount of compensation, the amount of interest on the enhanced amount of compensation may be quantified in this appeal itself. 15) Considering all the relevant aspects of the matter including the delay in disposal of the claim petition and the fact that the Insurance Company alone is not to be blamed for the entire delay in the matter, we quantify the amount of interest on the enhanced amount of compensation of Rs.68,140/- at Rs.6,860/-.
16) For the foregoing reasons, the appeal filed by the appellants/ claimants for enhancement of the compensation is allowed in part. The compensation of Rs.5,97,960/- awarded by the Tribunal is enhanced to Rs.6,66,100/- with further quantified amount of interest of Rs.6,860/- on the enhanced amount of compensation of Rs.68,140/-.
17) Respondent No.3 the Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Limited is granted three months' time for depositing the total sum of Rs.75,000/- (Rupees seventy-five thousand only) (Rs.68,140/- towards enhanced amount of compensation + Rs.6,860/- towards quantified amount of interest on the enhanced amount of compensation of Rs.68,140/-) before the concerning Claims Tribunal.
18) No order as to costs.J U D G E