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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Accident claim - 100% disability - for reducing the claim, high court has to assign the reasons - in the absence of reasons, order not maintainable - Tribunal fixed income at Rs.5000 per month as a senior electrician - claimed Rs.26 lakhs, tribunal awarded Rs. 14 lakhs and odd , High court with out assigning reason reduced it for Rs. 9 lakhs and odd - Apex court set aside the order of high court and confirmed the award of Tribunal = M.D. JACOB ... APPELLANT VS. UNITED INDIA INSURANCE LTD. & ANR. ... RESPONDENTS = 2014 ( January - Vol - 1)judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41165

Accident claim - 100% disability - for reducing the claim, high court has to assign the reasons - in the absence of reasons, order not maintainable - Tribunal fixed income at Rs.5000 per month as a senior electrician - claimed Rs.26 lakhs, tribunal awarded Rs. 14 lakhs and odd , High court with out assigning reason reduced it for  Rs. 9 lakhs and odd - Apex court set aside the order of high court and confirmed the award of Tribunal =
The appellant was a victim of road accident on 27th  July,  1997.   On
account of several serious injuries including amputation  of  complete  left
hand, severe injuries in head, dislocation of bones in hip  and  both  knees
and severe injuries in foot, the Doctor assessed his disability at 100%.
3.    The appellant preferred a claim petition before  the  Motor  Accidents
Claims  Tribunal  at  Chennai  and  sought  compensation  of  Rs.26,00,000/-
(rupees  twenty  six  lacs).  The  Claims  Tribunal  allowed  a  claim   for
Rs.14,20,000/-  (rupees  fourteen  lacs  and  twenty  thousand  only)   vide
judgment dated 9.8.2000 rendered in M.C.O.P. No. 3365 of  1997.   The  claim
allowed on different heads includes:
        i) Loss of income for one year as Rs.60,000/-;
       ii) Special diet and transportation-Rs.50,000/-
      iii) Medical expenses –Rs.50,000/-
       iv) Pain and suffering – Rs.2,00,000/-
        v) Permanent disability – Rs.4,00,000/-
       vi) Loss of future earning – Rs.6,60,000/-


4.    The Insurance Company  preferred  appeal  before  the  High  Court  at
Madras and by the order under appeal dated 13.11.2006 passed in C.M.A.  Nos.
1963 of 2000 and 12 of 2001 the High  Court,  while  maintaining  the  Award
under the first three heads, reduced the amount of  Rs.2,00,000/-  for  pain
and suffering to Rs.1,00,000/-, Rs.4,00,000/- for  permanent  disability  to
Rs.3,00,000/- and Rs.6,60,000/- as loss of future earning to  Rs.3,96,000/-.
 As a result of aforesaid reduction, the appellant has  been  held  entitled
only to Rs.9,56,000/- (rupees nine lacs and  fifty  six  thousand  only)  in
place of Rs.14,20,000/- (rupees fourteen lacs and  twenty  thousands  only).
Assailing the order under appeal on account  of  reduction  of  compensation
under the three heads noted above, learned counsel  for  the  appellant  has
taken us through the materials on  record  including  the  judgment  of  the
Tribunal and the judgment of the High Court under appeal.
5.    It has been shown that the Tribunal has discussed  all  the  available
materials in detail for coming to a cogent and  well  reasoned  finding  for
calculating the loss of future earning on the basis  of  monthly  income  of
Rs.5,000/- whereas the High Court reduced the monthly income  to  Rs.3,000/-
without specifying any reasons for reversing the finding  of  the  Tribunal.
The Tribunal considered oral evidence of the claimant as well  as  documents
such as Ext. P.4 and Ext. P.5 showing that the applicant had  experience  of
working as Electrician and was employed as such.  In the light  of  all  the
relevant materials  the  Tribunal  assessed  the  earning  capacity  of  the
appellant as Rs.5,000/- p.m. and accordingly allowed a  sum  of  Rs.60,000/-
as loss of earning capacity for a period of one year  and  by  adopting  the
multiplier of 11 allowed Rs.6,60,000/- as loss of future earning.
6.    The High Court did not interfere with the multiplier and as  indicated
above, without good reasons treated the monthly income of the  appellant  to
be Rs.3,000/- in place  of  Rs.5,000/-.  Inexplicably  the  High  court  has
retained loss of income for one year to be  Rs.60,000/-  which  is  possible
only if the monthly income is  accepted  to  be  Rs.5,000/-.   There  is  no
reason assigned even for reducing  the  compensation  of  Rs.2,00,000/-  for
pain and suffering to  Rs.1,00,000/-  and  of  Rs.4,00,000/-  for  permanent
disability to Rs.3,00,000/-.
7.    Considering that the appellant had suffered 100%  disability,  in  our
view, the learned Tribunal was quite justified  in  allowing  Rs.14,20,000/-
as total compensation on the basis of monthly  income  of  Rs.5,000/-.   The
judgment of the High Court under appeal  is  therefore  set  aside  and  the
judgment and order of the Tribunal is restored.  The  dues  payable  to  the
appellant on account of this order should be deposited  by  the  respondent-
Insurance Company with the Tribunal within eight weeks along  with  interest
on such amount at the rate of 9% to be paid from the date of  petition  i.e.
27.08.1997. The appellant shall be entitled  to  withdraw  the  said  amount
without any condition.
8.    The appeals are allowed to the aforesaid extent.  No costs.
                                               
2014 ( January - Vol - 1)judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41165

   NON-REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                     CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 5601-5602 OF 2007


M.D. JACOB                           ... APPELLANT

VS.

UNITED INDIA INSURANCE
LTD. & ANR.                           ... RESPONDENTS



                               J U D G M E N T



SHIVA KIRTI SINGH, J.


      Heard learned counsel for the appellant and learned  counsel  for  the
respondent-Insurance Company.

2.    The appellant was a victim of road accident on 27th  July,  1997.   On
account of several serious injuries including amputation  of  complete  left
hand, severe injuries in head, dislocation of bones in hip  and  both  knees
and severe injuries in foot, the Doctor assessed his disability at 100%.
3.    The appellant preferred a claim petition before  the  Motor  Accidents
Claims  Tribunal  at  Chennai  and  sought  compensation  of  Rs.26,00,000/-
(rupees  twenty  six  lacs).  The  Claims  Tribunal  allowed  a  claim   for
Rs.14,20,000/-  (rupees  fourteen  lacs  and  twenty  thousand  only)   vide
judgment dated 9.8.2000 rendered in M.C.O.P. No. 3365 of  1997.   The  claim
allowed on different heads includes:
        i) Loss of income for one year as Rs.60,000/-;
       ii) Special diet and transportation-Rs.50,000/-
      iii) Medical expenses –Rs.50,000/-
       iv) Pain and suffering – Rs.2,00,000/-
        v) Permanent disability – Rs.4,00,000/-
       vi) Loss of future earning – Rs.6,60,000/-


4.    The Insurance Company  preferred  appeal  before  the  High  Court  at
Madras and by the order under appeal dated 13.11.2006 passed in C.M.A.  Nos.
1963 of 2000 and 12 of 2001 the High  Court,  while  maintaining  the  Award
under the first three heads, reduced the amount of  Rs.2,00,000/-  for  pain
and suffering to Rs.1,00,000/-, Rs.4,00,000/- for  permanent  disability  to
Rs.3,00,000/- and Rs.6,60,000/- as loss of future earning to  Rs.3,96,000/-.
 As a result of aforesaid reduction, the appellant has  been  held  entitled
only to Rs.9,56,000/- (rupees nine lacs and  fifty  six  thousand  only)  in
place of Rs.14,20,000/- (rupees fourteen lacs and  twenty  thousands  only).
Assailing the order under appeal on account  of  reduction  of  compensation
under the three heads noted above, learned counsel  for  the  appellant  has
taken us through the materials on  record  including  the  judgment  of  the
Tribunal and the judgment of the High Court under appeal.
5.    It has been shown that the Tribunal has discussed  all  the  available
materials in detail for coming to a cogent and  well  reasoned  finding  for
calculating the loss of future earning on the basis  of  monthly  income  of
Rs.5,000/- whereas the High Court reduced the monthly income  to  Rs.3,000/-
without specifying any reasons for reversing the finding  of  the  Tribunal.
The Tribunal considered oral evidence of the claimant as well  as  documents
such as Ext. P.4 and Ext. P.5 showing that the applicant had  experience  of
working as Electrician and was employed as such.  In the light  of  all  the
relevant materials  the  Tribunal  assessed  the  earning  capacity  of  the
appellant as Rs.5,000/- p.m. and accordingly allowed a  sum  of  Rs.60,000/-
as loss of earning capacity for a period of one year  and  by  adopting  the
multiplier of 11 allowed Rs.6,60,000/- as loss of future earning.
6.    The High Court did not interfere with the multiplier and as  indicated
above, without good reasons treated the monthly income of the  appellant  to
be Rs.3,000/- in place  of  Rs.5,000/-.  Inexplicably  the  High  court  has
retained loss of income for one year to be  Rs.60,000/-  which  is  possible
only if the monthly income is  accepted  to  be  Rs.5,000/-.   There  is  no
reason assigned even for reducing  the  compensation  of  Rs.2,00,000/-  for
pain and suffering to  Rs.1,00,000/-  and  of  Rs.4,00,000/-  for  permanent
disability to Rs.3,00,000/-.
7.    Considering that the appellant had suffered 100%  disability,  in  our
view, the learned Tribunal was quite justified  in  allowing  Rs.14,20,000/-
as total compensation on the basis of monthly  income  of  Rs.5,000/-.   The
judgment of the High Court under appeal  is  therefore  set  aside  and  the
judgment and order of the Tribunal is restored.  The  dues  payable  to  the
appellant on account of this order should be deposited  by  the  respondent-
Insurance Company with the Tribunal within eight weeks along  with  interest
on such amount at the rate of 9% to be paid from the date of  petition  i.e.
27.08.1997. The appellant shall be entitled  to  withdraw  the  said  amount
without any condition.
8.    The appeals are allowed to the aforesaid extent.  No costs.


                                  ……………………………………………C.J.I.
                                  (P. SATHASIVAM)



                                                      ……………………………………………………J.
                 (RANJAN GOGOI)



                                                      ……………………………………………………J.
                       (SHIVA KIRTI SINGH)
New Delhi,
January 21, 2014.

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