Madras HC | Order of Motor Accident Claims Tribunal modified; Court doubles the compensation finding it erroneous

Madras High Court: Abdul Quddhose, J., partly allowed an appeal that had been filed by the claimants seeking enhancement of compensation granted by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal under the impugned Award had directed the respondents to pay the Appellants/claimants a compensation of Rs 5,10,200 together with interest and cost for the death of Venkatesh as a result of an accident caused by a vehicle owned by the first respondent and insured with the second respondent. In the claim petition, the claimants had pleaded that the deceased was aged 28 years and was a businessman earning Rs 10,000 per month at the time of the accident but no documentary evidence was produced in support of the monthly income of the deceased, the Tribunal under the impugned Award had fixed the monthly income of the deceased on notional basis at Rs 3,300.

The Court while partly allowing the appeal enhanced the compensation stating Tribunal ought to have given due consideration to the year of the accident which happened in the year 2004 before assessing the notional monthly income of the deceased making it 4,500. Further, the Court relying on the Supreme Court judgment of National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680 stated that the Tribunal had not awarded any compensation towards loss of future prospects and loss of estate which the Appellants/claimants were legally entitled, it further reduced the deduction of personal expenses to 1/4th from 1/3rd calling it erroneous, further increasing the loss of consortium and funeral expenses in accordance with the judgment. Lastly, relying on the Supreme Court judgment of Sarla Verma v. DTC, (2009) 6 SCC 121 the Court held that Tribunal had erroneously adopted 18 multiplier instead of 17 while calculating the loss of dependency as correct multiplier to be adopted for a person aged 28 years was 17 multiplier and not 18. The Court however removed the compensation towards loss of love and affection to the Appellants/claimants which they were not entitled to as seen from the evidence available on record. The compensation awarded by the Tribunal under the impugned Award thus was enhanced from Rs 5,10,200 to Rs 10,33,900. [Lakshmi v. S. Rajashekar, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 2647, decided on 29-09-2020]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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