Law for determining compensation in Motor Vehicle Accident Cases clarified

Supreme Court:  While dealing with the never ending dissension regarding the compensation to be granted in Motor Vehicle Accident cases, a three Judge Bench comprising of Anil R. Dave, Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph,  JJ., held that the correct multiplier to be used shall be with reference to the age of the deceased and not that of the dependents as there is certainty with regard to the age of the deceased but as far as that of dependants is concerned, there will always be room for dispute as to whether the age of the eldest or youngest or even the average, etc., is to be taken. Also, in case of a self-employed bachelor, 50% deduction shall be made towards personal and living expenses.

The present case evolved from the decision of the Motor Vehicles Claim Tribunal and the subsequent appeal in the High Court regarding the award granted for the loss of dependency wherein the claimants are the parents of the deceased, a self-employed bachelor aged 30 years.

The Court with regards to the deduction towards personal and living expenses, fixed it at 50% in cases of bachelors as they would be expected to spend more on themselves unless there is evidence of the dependents. With regards to the multiplier used, the bench altered it from 13 to 17 as the age of the deceased is to be considered while determining the multiplier and the deceased was between 26 to 30 years.  Munna Lal Jain v. Vipin Kumar Sharma2015 SCC OnLine SC 505, decided on 15.05.2015



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