Case BriefsHigh Courts

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]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: The Bench of R.K. Gauba, J. dismissed a husband’s petition filed against the order of Metropolitan Magistrate as confirmed by Additional Sessions Judge whereby he was directed to pay interim maintenance allowance of Rs 3500 to his wife and Rs 2000 for his minor daughter.

The parties were married to each other and a daughter was born to them from the wedlock. On account of certain circumstances, the wife left the matrimonial home along with the daughter. Subsequently, she filed a petition under Section 12 of the Protection of Women and Domestic Violence Act, 2005. On her application, the Metropolitan Magistrate directed the husband to pay the interim maintenance allowance as mentioned above. The husband challenged the order in an appeal which was dismissed by Additional Sessions Judge, Aggrieved thereby, he filed the present petition under Section 482 CrPC.

S.C. Singhal, Advocate for the husband submitted that he was unemployed and therefore unable to pay the allowance. It was also submitted that the wife was gainfully employed in a beauty parlour for the proof of which certain photographs were produced.

The High Court held that mere photographs showing the wife’s presence in a parlour were not sufficient to prove that she had a regular income sufficient to maintain herself and the minor daughter, Furthermore, the husband made a cursory statement that he was unemployed, but did not disclose as to how he had been surviving all along. The Court was of the view that he was concealing facts and intentionally withholding information about his income. In such a situation, the Court approved the course adopted by Metropolitan Magistrate as per which he assumed husband’s income notionally on the basis of minimum wages and passed the order of interim maintenance. Resultantly the petition was dismissed. [Khem Chand v. Bhagwati, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 6776, Order dated 22-01-2019]