[MV Act] Jhar HC | If the deceased is a child of tender age, how is the amount of compensation dealt with in motor accidents cases?

Jharkhand High Court

Jharkhand High Court: Ananda Sen, J.,  dismissed and held that the amount which has been awarded by the Tribunal with the interest thereupon is just and fair compensation.

The facts of the case are such that the deceased Shashi Kumar Mahato was dashed by an unnumbered maruti omni van which was driven rashly and negligently by Lakshman Nayak, thereafter on the way to taking him to the hospital, the deceased died. The case was registered for offences under Sections 279, 304A of the Penal Code, 1860. The deceased, as per the claim application, was aged about 13 years. According to the claimants they were entitled to a compensation amount of Rs.3, 50,000/- along with interest. Therefore, the claimant-appellant has preferred this appeal for enhancement of the awarded amount passed by the District Judge-III-cum-Presiding Officer, Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Bermo at Tenughat, Bokaro in Motor Accident Claim Case No.51 of 2011.

Counsel for the claimants submitted that the deceased was 13 years and was having bright future, as such, the Tribunal could not have denied future prospect to the claimants. Counsel appearing for the claimants further submits that the Tribunal has erred in allowing only a meager sum of Rs.10, 000/- on account of funeral expenses and a sum of Rs.15, 000/- towards the loss of love and affection.

Counsel for the Insurance Company submitted that as the deceased was 13 years, his income cannot be assessed nor the claimants can get any amount towards future prospect.

The Court relied on New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Satender, (2006) 13 SCC 60 wherein it was observed,

“12. In cases of young children of tender age, in view of uncertainties abound, neither their income at the time of death for the prospects of the future increase in their income nor chances of advancement of their career are capable of proper determination on estimated basis. The reason is that at such an early age, the uncertainties in regard to their academic pursuits, achievements in career and thereafter in life are so many that nothing can be assumed with reasonable certainty. Therefore, neither the income of the deceased child is capable of assessment on estimated basis nor the financial loss suffered by the parents is capable of mathematical computation.”

 The Court thus held “Considering the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, I feel that there is no need of any interference with the impugned award dated 26.03.2015 passed by the District Judge-III-cum-Presiding Officer, Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Bermo at Tenughat, Bokaro in Motor Accident Claim Case No.51 of 2011.”

[Tukeshwari Devi v. Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Limited, 2021 SCC OnLine Jhar 705, decided on 25-08-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


 Appearances

For the Appellants: Mr Arvind Kumar Lall

For the Respondents: Mr Ashutosh Anand and Mr Satish Kumar

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