Court may award compensation greater than the one demanded by claimant if it deems it fit to do so

High Court of Judicature at Madras: S. Vimala J. recently dealt with an appeal under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act wherein the claimant challenged the award he had been provided by the Claims Tribunal, for an accident that had occurred owing to which he suffered 60% disablement, as being insufficient.

The counsel for the claimant contended that when 60% disablement along with multiple surgeries exists, consequential to which permanent disablement occurs, the right procedure to adopt for the Tribunal to determine the compensation that needs to be awarded, should have been the Multiplier method.

The counsel for the respondent Insurance Company on the other hand put across the contention that even though the Tribunal had not adopted the Multiplier method, it had assessed the compensation properly. The compensation for the injury, the loss of income during the period of treatment, the disablement itself and the loss of earning power added up to more than the relevant amount that would necessarily need to be paid in such an instance.

The Court held that the right test that needed to be incorporated in this case was indeed the Multiplier test as was affirmed in Smt. Sarla Verma v. Delhi Transport Corporation. In this case it was held that the only appropriate test to determine loss of earning in case of the person having sustained 60% disability, which has a substantial effect on his earning capacity, is the Multiplier test. The court thus held that the initial compensation awarded needed to be restructured. It also noted that no compensation had been awarded for future medical expenses.

Additionally, the counsel for the Insurance Company contended that the appellant had only claimed an amount of 10,00,000/- and hence, compensation greater than that amount could not be awarded. However, the Court held that owing to the grievous injuries succumbed by the Claimant, he was not in a position to assess his future medical expenditures and hence, the initial compensation demanded for by the Claimant could be amended accordingly by the Court. For that purpose the Court referred to Nagappa vs. Gurdayal Singh (2003) 2 SCC 274, wherein it was held that there needs to be no restriction as to determining the compensation to be awarded to the claimants. In an appropriate case, where from the evidence brought on record, if the Tribunal/court considered that the claimant was entitled to get more compensation than claimed, the Tribunal could pass such award. This proposition of law was undisputable.

For the aforementioned reasons, the Court held in the favor of the appellant and restructured the compensation that needed to be awarded to him by the Insurance Company. [Ravi v. V.P Jayakal; C.M.A. No. 834 of 2014 dated 19/12/2017]

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.