Bombay High Court: M.G. Giratkar, J., allowed an appeal filed against the order of the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal (“MACT”) whereby the appellants-claimants were granted a compensation of Rs 3.7 lakhs.

A boy aged 7 years died in a motor accident. Considering the claim raised by the appellants (parents of the deceased), the MACT granted a compensation of Rs 3.7 lakhs by taking into consideration a notional income of Rs 20,000 per year. Against that order, the appellants filed the instant appeal seeking enhancement in the amount of compensation granted.

Monali Pathade, Advocate, appeared for the appellants. She submitted that the deceased was helping his father with his business. On the other hand, Anita Mategaonkar, Advocate, represented the insurer — Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.

The High Court noted that as the MACT, the deceased was a brilliant student and had a bright future. The Court then referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in Kishan Gopal v. Lala, (2014) 1 SCC 244, where the deceased boy aged about 10 years was assisting in his father’s agricultural work. In that case, the Supreme Court took into consideration the drastically falling rupee value and assessed the notional income of the deceased at Rs 30,000 per annum and adopted a multiplier of 15.

The High Court observed that “notional income in the Second Schedule of Section 163-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, was inserted long back.” Accordingly, the Court held that in view of the Supreme Court decision in Kishan Gopal v. Lala, (2014) 1 SCC 244, the appellants were entitled to an increased compensation of Rs 5 lakhs along with the interest of 7.5% per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till its realisation. [Praveen v. Baby Ulhahnan, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 194, decided on 30-01-2020]

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