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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Accident claim - M.V.Act - Death - [([pic]7330+30/100 x [pic]7330) x 12 x 13] = [pic]14,86,524/-.]-([pic]14,86,524/- - 1/3 x [pic]14,86,524/-) = [pic]9,91,016/- compensation of [pic]1,00,000/- each towards loss of consortium and towards loss of love - [pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of expectation of the life of the deceased. We also award a sum of [pic]50,000/- for funeral expenses and cost of litigation. Therefore, a total sum of [pic]14,51,016/- rounded to 14,51,000/- with 9% interest = KALPANARAJ & ORS. ………APPELLANTS VS. TAMIL NADU STATE TRANSPORT CORPN. ……RESPONDENT = 2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41448

  Accident claim - M.V.Act - Death - [([pic]7330+30/100 x  [pic]7330) x 12 x 13] = [pic]14,86,524/-.]-([pic]14,86,524/- - 1/3 x  [pic]14,86,524/-) = [pic]9,91,016/- compensation  of
[pic]1,00,000/- each towards loss of consortium and  towards  loss  of  love - [pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of expectation of the life of the deceased.  We also award a sum of        [pic]50,000/- for funeral expenses  and  cost  of litigation. Therefore, a total sum of   [pic]14,51,016/-  rounded to 14,51,000/- with 9% interest  =

As per the Income Tax return of the financial year 1994-1995 produced  on
record, the deceased was earning  [pic]88,660/- per  annum  or   [pic]7330/-
per month. 
Further, the deceased being 46  years  of  age  at  the  time  of
death, he is entitled to 30% increase in the future prospects of  income  as
per the legal principle laid down by this Court in Santosh Devi v.  National
Insurance Company Ltd. and Ors.[2]

10.   Also, since the deceased was 46 years  of  age  at  the  time  of  the
accident, a multiplier of 13 seems appropriate for determining  the  quantum
of compensation as per the principle laid down by this Court in the case  of
Sarla Verma and Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation and Anr.[3]

11. Therefore, the total amount of compensation  the  appellants-  claimants
are entitled to under the head of loss of income is:

[([pic]7330+30/100 x  [pic]7330) x 12 x 13] = [pic]14,86,524/-.]

12.   Further,  since  the  deceased  has  left  behind  his  wife  and  two
children, the amount to be deducted under the head of personal  expenses  is
1/3rd of the total income in the light of the principle laid down  in  Sarla
Verma case (supra) which  was  reiterated  in  Santosh  Devi  case  (supra).
Therefore, the amount to be awarded as compensation to the  appellant  is  =
([pic]14,86,524/- - 1/3 x  [pic]14,86,524/-) = [pic]9,91,016/-.

13.   The  appellant-claimants  sought  an  amount  of         [pic]10,000/-
towards damage  to  the  motorcycle.  Since,  the  claim  has  neither  been
rebutted  with  evidence  by  the  respondent,  we  grant  compensation   of
[pic]10,000/- towards the damage caused to the bike.

14.   Further, the High Court awarded a  sum  of               [pic]30,000/-
towards loss of consortium and  [pic]20,000/- each towards loss of love  and
affection by the minor children. This amount awarded by the  High  Court  is
on the lower side in the light of the principle  laid  down  in  Rajesh  and
Ors. v. Rajbir Singh and Ors.[4] wherein the Court  awarded  [pic]1,00,000/-
towards loss of consortium  and [pic]1,00,000/- towards  loss  of  care  and
guidance to the minor children. Accordingly,  we  award  a  compensation  of
[pic]1,00,000/- each towards loss of consortium and  towards  loss  of  love
and affection.

15.   Apart from this, we award  [pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of estate  and
[pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of expectation of the life of the deceased.  We
also award a sum of        [pic]50,000/- for funeral expenses  and  cost  of
litigation. Therefore, a total sum of   [pic]14,51,016/-  which  is  rounded
off at [pic]14,51,000/- is awarded to the appellants-claimants.

16.   Further, the High Court has awarded  the  compensation  with  interest
@9% per annum. We concur with this holding of the High Court  in  the  light
of the decision of this Court in Municipal Corporation of  Delhi,  Delhi  v.
Uphaar Tragedy Victims  Association  &  Ors.[5]  Accordingly,  we  award  an
interest @ 9% per annum on the compensation to be awarded to the appellants-
 claimants. The  compensation  awarded  shall  be  apportioned  between  the
appellants equally with proportionate  interest.  We  direct  the  Insurance
Company to deposit 50% of the awarded amount with proportionate interest  in
any of the Nationalized Bank of the choice of the appellants  for  a  period
of 3 years. The rest of  50%  amount  awarded  with  proportionate  interest
shall be paid to the appellants by way of a demand draft  within  six  weeks
from the date of receipt of a copy of this order after deducting the  amount
if already paid.  During the  said  period,  if  they  want  to  withdraw  a
portion  or  entire  deposited  amount  for  their  personal  or  any  other
expenses, including development of their asset, then they are at liberty  to
file application before the Tribunal  for release of the  deposited  amount,
which may be considered by it and pass appropriate order in this regard.  We
set aside the impugned judgment and order of the High Court and  modify  the
judgment in the aforesaid terms by allowing this appeal. In  the  facts  and
circumstances of the case, no order as to costs.
2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41448
GYAN SUDHA MISRA, V. GOPALA GOWDA

                                                  REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3461 of 2003






KALPANARAJ & ORS.                            ………APPELLANTS

                                     VS.

TAMIL NADU STATE TRANSPORT CORPN.             ……RESPONDENT




                               J U D G M E N T




V.GOPALA GOWDA, J.


      This appeal is filed by the appellants questioning the correctness  of
the judgment and final Order dated 30.01.2002 passed by the  High  Court  of
Judicature at Madras in Civil Misc. Appeal No. 1487 of 1999, urging  various
facts and legal contentions in justification of their claim.

2.    Necessary relevant facts are stated hereunder to appreciate  the  case
of the appellants and also to find out whether the appellants  are  entitled
for the relief as prayed in this appeal.

3.     The  deceased,  while  going  on  his  motorcycle  from  Vellore   to
Kannamangalam, collided with the bus  of  the  respondent-Corporation  as  a
result of which he sustained fatal injuries and died on the spot. The  legal
representatives of the deceased viz, his wife and two minor  children  filed
M.C.O.P. No. 539 of  1994  contending  that  the  accident  occurred  solely
because of the rash and negligent driving of  the  bus  of  the  respondent-
Corporation. If the driver of the bus had driven the bus  with  carefulness,
there might have been no possibility of dragging  the  deceased  along  with
the motorcycle for a distant of 120 feet. The appellants- claimants  claimed
an amount of  [pic]20  lakhs  compensation  for  the  death  caused  by  the
respondent.

The Tribunal, after considering the material evidence  on  record  of  P.W.1
and P.W. 2 and R.W.1 and the ten exhibits filed on behalf of the  appellant-
claimants, found that the  accident  has  occurred  only  due  to  rash  and
negligent driving of the driver of the bus  of  the  respondent-Corporation.
Therefore, the learned judge, holding the monthly  income  at  [pic]15,000/-
and adopting the multiplier of 18, determined a sum of  [pic]32,40,000/-  as
compensation.  However,  he  restricted   the   sum   of   compensation   to
[pic]20,90,000/-, since that was  the  amount  claimed  by  the  appellants-
claimants. The Tribunal further awarded interest @12% per annum on the  said
amount.

4.    Aggrieved by the Award of  the  Tribunal,  the  respondent-Corporation
filed an appeal challenging the Order  of  the  Tribunal.  The  High  Court,
however, only restricted itself to ascertain as to whether the  compensation
awarded by the Tribunal was excessive. And if so, then what  is  the  amount
to which the appellants- claimants are entitled to.

5.    The High Court opined that the Tribunal  erred  in  relying  upon  the
statement of evidence of the wife of the deceased to determine  the  monthly
income of the deceased at [pic]15,000/- instead of relying upon  the  income
shown in the Income Tax return. Further, the  High  Court  opined  that  the
Tribunal  erred  in  not  deducting  1/3rd  for  personal  expenses  of  the
deceased. Further, according to  the  High  Court,  the  Tribunal  erred  in
determining the multiplier of 18 instead of 13 considering the  age  of  the
deceased which was 46 at the time of the accident.

6.    Accordingly,  the  High  Court  held  that  the  unsubstantiated  oral
evidence alone of P.W.1 cannot be taken into consideration in the  light  of
Exhs. A.8, A.9 and A.10. The monthly income of  the  deceased  is  therefore
taken as [pic]3,115/- per month for computation of the multiplicand  on  the
basis of net average income of the deceased calculated  as  per  the  income
tax return produced as  evidence  on  record.  Therefore,  the  compensation
determined under the head of loss of income  under  the  head  of  ‘loss  of
income’  of  the  deceased   was   determined   by   the   High   Court   at
[pic]4,86,000/-. Further, the High Court has reduced compensation under  the
head  of  funeral  expenses  from     [pic]25,000/-  to  [pic]10,000/-.  The
Tribunal awarded a consolidated amount for loss of  love  and  affection  by
the children, loss  of  income  and  loss  of  consortium  by  the  wife  at
[pic]19,55,000/-. The High Court reduced the compensation under the head  of
‘loss of love and affection’ by the minor children  at  [pic]20,000/-  each.
Also, the amount awarded towards loss of consortium to the wife was  reduced
by the High Court to [pic]30,000/-. Therefore,  in  total,  the  High  Court
awarded a total amount of [pic]5,76,000/- as compensation to the appellants-
claimants. The interest rate was also reduced to 9% per annum  by  the  High
Court from 12% awarded by the Tribunal.

7.    It is pertinent to note that the only available  documentary  evidence
on record of the monthly income of the deceased is  the  income  tax  return
filed by him with the Income Tax Department.  The  High  Court  was  correct
therefore, to determine the monthly income on the basis of  the  income  tax
return. However, the High Court erred in ascertaining the net income of  the
deceased as the amount  to  be  taken  into  consideration  for  calculating
compensation, in the light of the principle laid down by this Court  in  the
case of National Insurance Company Ltd. v.  Indira  Srivastava  and  Ors.[1]
The relevant paragraphs of the case read as under:

        “14. The question came for consideration before  a  learned  Single
        Judge of the Madras High Court in  National Insurance  Co.  Ltd. v.
        Padmavathy and Ors. wherein it was held:
             ‘7…..Income tax, Professional tax which are deducted  from  the
             salaried person goes to the coffers  of  the  government  under
             specific head and there is  no  return.  Whereas,  the  General
             Provident Fund, Special Provident  Fund,  L.I.C.,  Contribution
             are amounts paid specific heads and the contribution is  always
             repayable to an employee at the time of  voluntary  retirement,
             death or for any other reason. Such contribution  made  by  the
             salaried person are deferred payments and they are savings. The
             Supreme Court as well as various High Courts have held that the
             compensation payable under the Motor Vehicles Act is  statutory
             and that  the  deferred  payments  made  to  the  employee  are
             contractual.  Courts  have  held  that  there  cannot  be   any
             deductions  in  the  statutory  compensation,  if   the   Legal
             Representatives are entitled to  lump  sum  payment  under  the
             contractual  liability.  If  the  contributions  made  by   the
             employee which  are  otherwise  savings  from  the  salary  are
             deducted from the gross income and only the net income is taken
             for computing  the  dependency  compensation,  then  the  Legal
             Representatives of the victim would lose  considerable  portion
             of the income. In view of the settled proposition of law, I  am
             of the view, the Tribunal can make  only  statutory  deductions
             such  as  Income  tax  and  professional  tax  and  any   other
             contribution, which is not repayable by the employer, from  the
             salary of the deceased person  while  determining  the  monthly
             income  for  computing   the   dependency   compensation.   Any
             contribution made by the employee during his  life  time,  form
             part of the salary and they should be included in  the  monthly
             income, while computing the dependency compensation.’

        15. Similar view was expressed by a learned Single Judge of  Andhra
        Pradesh High  Court  in S.  Narayanamma  and  Ors. v. Secretary  to
        Government of  India,  Ministry  of  Telecommunications  and  Ors.
        holding:
             13….In  this  background,  now  we  will  examine  the  present
             deductions made by the tribunal from the salary of the deceased
             in fixing the monthly  contribution  of  the  deceased  to  his
             family. The tribunal has  not  even  taken  proper  care  while
             deducting the amounts from the salary of the deceased, at least
             the very nature of deductions from the salary of the  deceased.
             My view is that the deductions made by the  tribunal  from  the
             salary such as recovery of housing loan, vehicle loan, festival
             advance and other deductions, if any, to  the  benefit  of  the
             estate of the deceased cannot be deducted while  computing  the
             net monthly earnings of the deceased. These advances  or  loans
             are part of his salary. So  far  as  House  Rent  Allowance  is
             concerned, it  is  beneficial  to  the  entire  family  of  the
             deceased during his tenure, but  for  his  untimely  death  the
             claimants are deprived of such benefit which  they  would  have
             enjoyed  if  the  deceased  is  alive.  On  the   other   hand,
             allowances,   like   Travelling   Allowance,   allowance    for
             newspapers/periodicals,  telephone,  servant,   club-fee,   car
             maintenance etc.,  by  virtue  of  his  vocation  need  not  be
             included in the salary while computing the net earnings of  the
             deceased. The finding of the tribunal  that  the  deceased  was
             getting Rs.1,401/- as net income every month  is  unsustainable
             as  the  deductions  made  towards  vehicle  loan   and   other
             deductions were also taken into consideration while fixing  the
             monthly income of  the  deceased.  The  above  finding  of  the
             tribunal is contrary to the principle  of  'just  compensation'
             enunciated by the Supreme Court in the judgment in Helen's case
             (1 supra). The Supreme Court in Concord of India Insurance  Co.
             v.  Nirmaladevi   and   Ors. 1980   ACJ   55   (SC) held   that
             determination of quantum must  be  liberal  and  not  niggardly
             since law values life and limb in a free country  'in  generous
             scales'.”

                      (Emphasis laid down by this Court)


8.     In the light of the principle of law laid down by this Court  in  the
Indira Srivastava case mentioned supra, we are of the opinion that the  High
Court erred in making deductions under various heads to arrive at   the  net
income instead of ascertaining the gross income of the deceased out  of  the
annual income earned from his occupation mentioned in the income tax  return
submitted for the relevant financial year 1994-1995.

9. As per the Income Tax return of the financial year 1994-1995 produced  on
record, the deceased was earning  [pic]88,660/- per  annum  or   [pic]7330/-
per month. Further, the deceased being 46  years  of  age  at  the  time  of
death, he is entitled to 30% increase in the future prospects of  income  as
per the legal principle laid down by this Court in Santosh Devi v.  National
Insurance Company Ltd. and Ors.[2]

10.   Also, since the deceased was 46 years  of  age  at  the  time  of  the
accident, a multiplier of 13 seems appropriate for determining  the  quantum
of compensation as per the principle laid down by this Court in the case  of
Sarla Verma and Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation and Anr.[3]

11. Therefore, the total amount of compensation  the  appellants-  claimants
are entitled to under the head of loss of income is:

[([pic]7330+30/100 x  [pic]7330) x 12 x 13] = [pic]14,86,524/-.]

12.   Further,  since  the  deceased  has  left  behind  his  wife  and  two
children, the amount to be deducted under the head of personal  expenses  is
1/3rd of the total income in the light of the principle laid down  in  Sarla
Verma case (supra) which  was  reiterated  in  Santosh  Devi  case  (supra).
Therefore, the amount to be awarded as compensation to the  appellant  is  =
([pic]14,86,524/- - 1/3 x  [pic]14,86,524/-) = [pic]9,91,016/-.

13.   The  appellant-claimants  sought  an  amount  of         [pic]10,000/-
towards damage  to  the  motorcycle.  Since,  the  claim  has  neither  been
rebutted  with  evidence  by  the  respondent,  we  grant  compensation   of
[pic]10,000/- towards the damage caused to the bike.

14.   Further, the High Court awarded a  sum  of               [pic]30,000/-
towards loss of consortium and  [pic]20,000/- each towards loss of love  and
affection by the minor children. This amount awarded by the  High  Court  is
on the lower side in the light of the principle  laid  down  in  Rajesh  and
Ors. v. Rajbir Singh and Ors.[4] wherein the Court  awarded  [pic]1,00,000/-
towards loss of consortium  and [pic]1,00,000/- towards  loss  of  care  and
guidance to the minor children. Accordingly,  we  award  a  compensation  of
[pic]1,00,000/- each towards loss of consortium and  towards  loss  of  love
and affection.

15.   Apart from this, we award  [pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of estate  and
[pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of expectation of the life of the deceased.  We
also award a sum of        [pic]50,000/- for funeral expenses  and  cost  of
litigation. Therefore, a total sum of   [pic]14,51,016/-  which  is  rounded
off at [pic]14,51,000/- is awarded to the appellants-claimants.

16.   Further, the High Court has awarded  the  compensation  with  interest
@9% per annum. We concur with this holding of the High Court  in  the  light
of the decision of this Court in Municipal Corporation of  Delhi,  Delhi  v.
Uphaar Tragedy Victims  Association  &  Ors.[5]  Accordingly,  we  award  an
interest @ 9% per annum on the compensation to be awarded to the appellants-
 claimants. The  compensation  awarded  shall  be  apportioned  between  the
appellants equally with proportionate  interest.  We  direct  the  Insurance
Company to deposit 50% of the awarded amount with proportionate interest  in
any of the Nationalized Bank of the choice of the appellants  for  a  period
of 3 years. The rest of  50%  amount  awarded  with  proportionate  interest
shall be paid to the appellants by way of a demand draft  within  six  weeks
from the date of receipt of a copy of this order after deducting the  amount
if already paid.  During the  said  period,  if  they  want  to  withdraw  a
portion  or  entire  deposited  amount  for  their  personal  or  any  other
expenses, including development of their asset, then they are at liberty  to
file application before the Tribunal  for release of the  deposited  amount,
which may be considered by it and pass appropriate order in this regard.  We
set aside the impugned judgment and order of the High Court and  modify  the
judgment in the aforesaid terms by allowing this appeal. In  the  facts  and
circumstances of the case, no order as to costs.



                                  ………………………………………………………………………J.
                                  [GYAN SUDHA MISRA]




                      ………………………………………………………………………J.
                            [V. GOPALA GOWDA]

New Delhi,
April 22, 2014
-----------------------
[1] (2008) 2 SCC 763

[2] (2012) 6 SCC 421

[3] (2009) 6 SCC 121

[4] (2013) 9 SCC 54

[5] (2011) 14 SCC 481



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