Kar HC | Applying the law declared by SC in Motor Vehicle cases, Court enhances compensation amount; Appeal allowed

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of S. Sujatha, E.S. Indiresh, JJ., allow the appeal, increasing amount of compensation as granted by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.

 Brief Facts

The husband of the appellant – claimant, while proceeding towards Beltangadi to adduce evidence before JMF II Court, met with an accident and thereby succumbed to the injuries caused. It is to be noted that the deceased was traveling in the vehicle as a passenger on a hire basis which had a permit of luxury taxi owned by Respondent 1. Further, the deceased was instituted at the position of a Senior Motor Inspector at the time of the said fateful incident drawing salary conducive to adequate means of living.

Under the claim for compensation before the Tribunal, the appellant-claimant sought for damages amounting Rs 65,00,000/- citing several reasons, along with interest from the respondents herein. However, compensation of Rs 15, 91, 968/- along with an interest of 6% only was sanctioned by the Tribunal. The present appeal is preferred for the enhancement of compensation amount with the revaluation of the interest rate. 

Issues

  1. Whether the impugned judgment and award passed by the Tribunal requires interference by this appeal?
  2. Whether the claimants are entitled to enhancement of compensation in this appeal?

Arguments for Appellant

Counsel for Appellant submitted that the Tribunal erred in taking the salary of the deceased as Rs 32, 541/- per month without considering income from agricultural proceeds. Further, the promotional benefits to be accrued by the deceased during his lifetime working in the transport department have not been taken into account by the Tribunal. Furthermore, the deduction of 50% towards personal expenses of the deceased finds no rationale and accordingly, sought for interference by the present appeal. Lastly, the Counsel submitted that the compensation awarded by the Tribunal is contrary to the law declared by the Supreme Court as well as the present Court under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

Arguments for Respondent

Counsel for the Respondent insisted the compensation granted by the tribunal to be apt, proper and adequate in the given circumstances, requiring no interference by the present Court, whatsoever. 

Decision

The Court while allowing the appeal, ordered for an increase in compensation to Rs 23, 62, 552/- as against the compensation of Rs 15, 91, 968/- granted by the Tribunal. Moreover, referring to the judgment of Sarla Verma v. Delhi Transport Corporation, and National Insurance Company v. Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680, the Court revised the deductions made by the Tribunal.[D.S. Manjula v. Usha S Rao, Misc. Appeal No. 1211 of 2015 (MV), decided on 08-09-2020]

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