Taking Rs 15,000 as notional income of a family member who is non-earning, in a motor accident claim: Is it reasonable? All HC decides

Allahabad High Court: The Division Bench of Dr Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Ajai Tyagi, JJ., enhances quantum of award of a non-earning member in a motor accident claim, while referring to the Supreme Court decision in Kurvan Ansari v. Shyam Kishore Murmu, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1060.

Present appeal had been preferred by the claimants-appellants against the decision of Presiding Officer, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Kanpur whereby the Tribunal awarded a sum of Rs 1,80, 000 as compensation to the claimants with interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum.

The appeal was preferred for the purpose of enhancement of quantum.

By the present claimant’s appeal, appellant claimed enhancement of award for the death of a child who was 7 years old at the time of his death.

Appellant’s counsel submitted that the deceased was a brilliant student and he had very bright future, but the said aspect was not considered by the Tribunal. Further, it was added that the notional income of the deceased was taken Rs 15,000 per annum by the Tribunal and held that the contribution of the deceased towards his family was only assumed as 1/2 of his income and in this way the Tribunal has awarded only 1/2 of his income as compensation, which was not just and proper.

Supreme Court decided the controversy and settled the law regarding the death of a child in Kurvan Ansari v. Shyam Kishore Murmu, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1060, wherein it was stated that in spite of repeated directions, Scheduled-II of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 was not yet amended. Therefore, fixing notional income of Rs 15,000 per annum for non-earning members is not just and reasonable.

Hence, the Supreme Court took the notional income of the deceased at Rs 25,000 per annum, hence Court is opined that notional income of the deceased must be assumed Rs 25,000 as he was a non-earning member.

Court further expressed that, when the notional income is multiplied with applicable multiplier ‘15’ as prescribed in Scheduled-II for the claims under Section 163-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, it comes to Rs 3,75,000/- towards loss of dependency.

Therefore, appellants 1 and 2 were entitled to the following amounts towards compensation:

(i) Loss of Dependency: 25,000/- X 15 = Rs.3,75,000/-

(ii) Filial consortium: 40,000/- X 2 = Rs.80,000/-

(iii) Funeral expenses: Rs.15,000/-

(iv) Total compensation: Rs.4,70,000/-

The Bench also added that in view of the latest decision of the Supreme Court in National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Mannat Johal, (2019) 15 SCC 260, the appellants 1 and 2 shall be entitled to the rate of interest as 7.5% per annum from the date of filing the claim petition.

Lastly, the Court concluded by stating that the appeal was partly allowed in view of the above discussion. [Roop Lal v. Suresh Kumar Yadav, 2022 SCC OnLine All 25, decided on 4-1-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

Counsel for Appellant:- Mohd. Naushad Siddiqui

Counsel for Respondent:- Vipul Kumar, Shreesh Srivastava

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