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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Accident claim- M.V.Act - Leg amputated - Engineer - unmarried - aged 24 years - now working as Desk job - does not bar him from getting financial loss at salary x 17 times multiplication Rs.15,72,000/-. - Therefore, the reasoning of the High Court that the appellant has not suffered any financial loss because of permanent disability having regard to the fact that subsequently he took up employment in Industrial Development Bank of India as Grade-B Officer, cannot be sustained. Once the permanent disability is fixed, taking into consideration, its impact on the employment/profession of the claimant, the compensation has to be awarded. = DINESH SINGH … APPELLANT VERSUS BAJAJ ALLIANZ GENERAL … RESPONDENTS INSURANCE CO LTD.= 2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41454

 Accident claim- M.V.Act - Leg amputated - Engineer - unmarried - aged 24 years - now working as Desk job - does not bar him from getting financial loss at salary x  17 times multiplication Rs.15,72,000/-. -  Therefore, the reasoning of the  High  Court  that  the  appellant  has  not suffered any financial loss because of permanent  disability  having  regard to  the  fact  that  subsequently  he  took  up  employment  in   Industrial Development Bank of India as Grade-B Officer,  cannot  be  sustained.   Once the permanent disability is fixed, taking into consideration, its impact  on the employment/profession of  the  claimant,  the  compensation  has  to  be awarded. =
 According to him, due to amputation of his left leg, he suffered  100%
permanent disability.  At the time  of  accident,  he  was  getting  monthly
salary of Rs.17,200/-.as an Engineer.  Because of the disability, he had  to
resign his job as  an  Engineer  and  take  up  a  desk  job  in  Industrial
Development Bank of India.  Being a  bachelor,  he  has  lost  prospects  of
getting married.  He thus  laid  the  claim  for  a  total  compensation  of
Rs.40,75,000/- under different heads for the injuries sustained by him.=    

11.   The appellant, admittedly, was in hospital as an inpatient for a  long
time.  He was operated upon for two times, and presently he is able to  move
with the assistance of  an  artificial  limb,  and  he  still  has  to  take
treatment, as is evident from the evidence of the  Doctor,  and  considering
the fact that loss of limb causes lot of pain to any living  being,  we  are
of the considered opinion that compensation payable to the  appellant  under
the head ‘pain and agony’, should be reasonable.  The Tribunal  has  awarded
Rs. 70,000/-, and we feel it appropriate to enhance by another  Rs.50,000/-,
and upon such enhancement, the appellant would be entitled to  Rs.1,20,000/-
under the head ‘pain and agony’.  Therefore, we hold  that  the  High  Court
erred in reducing the compensation payable to the appellant under  the  head
“pain and agony’.

12.   The compensation payable to the appellant under  the  heads  ‘loss  of
amenities’ and ‘loss of  marriage  prospects’,  also  requires  enhancement.
The Tribunal has awarded Rs.2,50,000/- under the head ‘loss  of  amenities’.
We feel it appropriate to enhance the same by another  Rs.1,00,000/-.   Upon
such enhancement, the appellant would be  entitled  to  Rs.3,50,000/-  under
the head ‘loss of amenities of life.

13.   The Tribunal awarded Rs.50,000/- towards ‘loss of marriage  prospects’
.   We feel it appropriate to enhance the same by another  Rs.50,000/-,  and
on such enhancement, the appellant would be entitled to Rs.1,00,000/-  under
the head ‘ loss of marriage prospects.

14.    The  Tribunal  has  awarded  Rs.5,00,000/-  towards  future   medical
expenses.  Considering the fact that the appellant still requires  treatment
and has to change his artificial limb as and when required, we  are  of  the
considered  opinion  that  the  compensation  under  the  said  head   needs
enhancement, and accordingly, we enhance the same  by  another  Rs.50,000/-.
The appellant therefore, would be entitled to Rs.5,50,000/-.

15.   In view of the evidence produced by the appellant that  he  has  spent
about Rs.3,10,000/- towards medical expenditure,  including  conveyance  and
attendance fee, for the period  he  was  under  treatment,  we  are  of  the
opinion that the same needs to be granted, and  accordingly,  we  grant  the
same as awarded by the Tribunal, and find  fault  with  the  High  Court  in
reducing the same.

16.   Thus, in all, we hold that the appellant is entitled  to  compensation
of Rs. 33,10,160/- as under:
|1.    |Pain and Agony                         |Rs.1,20,000/-          |
|2.    |Medical expenditure, including         |Rs.3,10,000/-          |
|      |conveyance, attendant fee etc (During  |                       |
|      |the period of treatment                |                       |
|3.    |                                       |Rs.3,08,160/-          |
|      |Loss of income during                  |                       |
|      |hospitalization/treatment              |                       |
|      |Loss of future income                  |Rs.15,72,000/-         |
|4.    |                                       |                       |
|      |Loss of happiness and loss of amenities|Rs.3,50,000/-          |
|5.    |                                       |                       |
|6.    |Loss of marriage prospects             |Rs.1,00,000/-          |
|7.    |Future medical expenses                |Rs.5,50,000/-          |
|IN TOTAL                                     |                       |
|                                             |                       |
|                                             |Rs. 33,10,160/-        |

17.   The above compensation amount shall carry interest @ 6% p.a. from  the
date of filing of  the  petition  before  the  Tribunal  till  the  date  of
payment,

18.   Accordingly, we set aside the judgment of the  High  Court  and  allow
the appeals in the above terms with no order as to costs.
 2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41454
P SATHASIVAM, RANJAN GOGOI, N.V. RAMANA
                                                       NON - REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                    CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 8215 – 8216 OF 2009


DINESH SINGH                                  …    APPELLANT

                                   VERSUS

BAJAJ ALLIANZ GENERAL                  … RESPONDENTS
INSURANCE CO LTD.


                                  JUDGMENT


N.V. RAMANA, J.



      These appeals by special  leave  are  directed  against  the  Judgment
passed by the High Court of Karnataka, Circuit Bench at  Dharwad  in  M.F.A.
No. 4502 of 2007 C/W. M.F.A. No. 3293 of 2007.

2.    The appellant is the claimant.  He filed claim petition  being  M.V.C.
No. 515 of 2004 before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal,  Hubli,  stating
that he is B.E. Degree holder in Metallurgy.  He is aged 24  years  and  was
working as Quality Engineer in Hospet Steels Ltd.   On 13.04.2004  while  he
was returning to his home from the company he met with an accident.  In  the
accident, he sustained grievous and fracture injuries to the knee  and  also
left hand.  He was taken to a hospital in Hubli  for  treatment,  where  his
left leg was amputated.  He was in the said hospital as  an  inpatient  till
June, 2004.  Thereafter, he took treatment at Tulasidas  Gopalji  Charitable
and Dhakleswar Temple Trust and All India  Institute  of  Physical  Medicine
and Rehabilitation, Bombay and he is still  under  treatment  and  presently
walking with the assistance of an artificial limb.


3.    According to him, due to amputation of his left leg, he suffered  100%
permanent disability.  At the time  of  accident,  he  was  getting  monthly
salary of Rs.17,200/-.as an Engineer.  Because of the disability, he had  to
resign his job as  an  Engineer  and  take  up  a  desk  job  in  Industrial
Development Bank of India.  Being a  bachelor,  he  has  lost  prospects  of
getting married.  He thus  laid  the  claim  for  a  total  compensation  of
Rs.40,75,000/- under different heads for the injuries sustained by him.

4.    The respondent resisted the claim  of  the  appellant.   The  Tribunal
considering  the  evidence  placed  by  the   appellant,   both   oral   and
documentary, awarded in all Rs.30,60,160/- as compensation to the  appellant
under different heads.  Against the said award, both the appellant  as  well
as the respondent filed appeals before the  High  Court  of  Karnataka,  the
appellant seeking enhancement, while  the  respondent  for  reduction.   The
High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant  and  partly  allowed
the appeal filed by the respondent and reduced the compensation  awarded  by
the Tribunal from Rs.30,60,160/- to Rs. 6,32,000/-.

5.    The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the appellant  at
the time of accident, was a young boy of 24 years  age  and  was  unmarried.
He completed his Engineering in Metallurgy and  was  working  in  a  private
company as Quality Engineer and was getting Rs.17,200/- p.m.  The  appellant
is very intelligent, and because of amputation of his  left  leg  above  the
knee, he suffered more than 80% permanent disability, and his future  became
very bleak.  The appellant had to resign his job as an Engineer and take  up
a desk job in a private Bank, which he may lose  due  to  recession  in  the
economy.  However, the High Court has without any valid and  proper  reason,
without considering the above facts and without  appreciating  the  evidence
properly, has drastically  reduced  the  just  and  reasonable  compensation
awarded  by  the  Tribunal.   He  thus  prayed  that  in   the   facts   and
circumstances of the case, just and reasonable compensation  be  granted  to
the appellant.

6.    On the other hand, the learned counsel for  the  respondent  supported
the judgment of the High  Court  insofar  as  it  reduced  the  compensation
awarded  by  the  Tribunal,  and  further   contended   that   the   reduced
compensation awarded by the High Court being  just  and  reasonable  in  the
facts and circumstances of the case, needs no further enhancement.

7.    Heard the learned counsel for the appellant and  the  learned  counsel
for the respondent.

8.    The fact that the appellant suffered injuries in the accident  is  not
in dispute.  It is also not in dispute that the  appellant  is  B.E.  Degree
holder in Metallurgy and was working as Quality Engineer  in  Hospet  Steels
Ltd.   Though the appellant contended that at the time of  accident  he  was
earning Rs.17,200/- per month, but in the absence of any  document  produced
by the appellant to prove the same, the Tribunal as well as the High  Court,
took the monthly salary of the appellant  at  Rs.12,840/-  as  evidenced  by
Ex.P35, and we do not find any error with  the  said  income  taken  by  the
Tribunal and the High Court.  The appellant due to  the  injuries  sustained
by him, undisputedly, was out of employment  for  a  period  of  two  years.
However, the High Court committed an error in  holding  that  the  appellant
was out of employment for only six months.  As  the  appellant  was  out  of
employment for a period of two years (24 months), his loss of  earnings  for
the said period  would  be  Rs.12,840/-  x  24  =  Rs.3,08160/-,  which  the
Tribunal has rightly awarded.
9.    The Tribunal taking into  consideration  the  monthly  salary  of  the
appellant at Rs.12,840/- and considering his young age at  24,  applied  the
multiplier 17 and having regard to the 60% permanent disability suffered  by
him,  arrived  the  compensation  towards  future  loss   of   earnings   at
Rs.15,72,000/-.  However, while agreeing that  the  appellant  that  as  per
Schedule I of the Workmen’s Compensation  Act,  he  suffered  80%  permanent
disability, taking into  consideration  the  subsequent  employment  of  the
appellant in Industrial Development Bank of  India  as  a  Grade-B  Officer,
held that the appellant did not  suffer  any  loss  of  future  earnings  on
account of his permanent disability, and accordingly, disallowed  the  claim
of the appellant under the head ‘loss of earnings’.

10.   We have considered the material placed  before  us,  particularly  the
evidence  of  the  Doctor,  who  stated  that  the  appellant  suffered  60%
disability of the total  body,  and  in  his  cross-examination  denied  the
suggestion that the appellant does not require any further  treatment.   The
fact that the appellant has resigned as Quality Engineer from Hospet  Steels
Ltd and took up desk job in Industrial Development Bank of India because  of
his permanent disability,  suffered  by  him  in  the  accident  is  not  in
dispute.  Obviously, because of the permanent  disability  suffered  by  the
appellant,  who  is  an  Engineer  by  profession,  cannot  take   up   such
profession,  which  requires  moving  from  one  place   to   other   place.
Therefore, the reasoning of the  High  Court  that  the  appellant  has  not
suffered any financial loss because of permanent  disability  having  regard
to  the  fact  that  subsequently  he  took  up  employment  in   Industrial
Development Bank of India as Grade-B Officer,  cannot  be  sustained.   Once
the permanent disability is fixed, taking into consideration, its impact  on
the employment/profession of  the  claimant,  the  compensation  has  to  be
awarded.  Since the disability suffered by the appellant, which is fixed  at
60% and which is permanent in nature, impacted  his  employment  and  future
prospects, we are of the considered opinion that the  Tribunal  has  rightly
determined the compensation Rs.12,840/- x 12 x 17 =  Rs.26,19,360/-  towards
loss of future earnings, and taking into  consideration  the  60%  permanent
disability suffered by the appellant, awarded him  the  actual  compensation
under the head ‘loss of future earnings’ at Rs.15,71,616/- by  rounding  off
the same to Rs.15,72,000/-.

11.   The appellant, admittedly, was in hospital as an inpatient for a  long
time.  He was operated upon for two times, and presently he is able to  move
with the assistance of  an  artificial  limb,  and  he  still  has  to  take
treatment, as is evident from the evidence of the  Doctor,  and  considering
the fact that loss of limb causes lot of pain to any living  being,  we  are
of the considered opinion that compensation payable to the  appellant  under
the head ‘pain and agony’, should be reasonable.  The Tribunal  has  awarded
Rs. 70,000/-, and we feel it appropriate to enhance by another  Rs.50,000/-,
and upon such enhancement, the appellant would be entitled to  Rs.1,20,000/-
under the head ‘pain and agony’.  Therefore, we hold  that  the  High  Court
erred in reducing the compensation payable to the appellant under  the  head
“pain and agony’.

12.   The compensation payable to the appellant under  the  heads  ‘loss  of
amenities’ and ‘loss of  marriage  prospects’,  also  requires  enhancement.
The Tribunal has awarded Rs.2,50,000/- under the head ‘loss  of  amenities’.
We feel it appropriate to enhance the same by another  Rs.1,00,000/-.   Upon
such enhancement, the appellant would be  entitled  to  Rs.3,50,000/-  under
the head ‘loss of amenities of life.

13.   The Tribunal awarded Rs.50,000/- towards ‘loss of marriage  prospects’
.   We feel it appropriate to enhance the same by another  Rs.50,000/-,  and
on such enhancement, the appellant would be entitled to Rs.1,00,000/-  under
the head ‘ loss of marriage prospects.

14.    The  Tribunal  has  awarded  Rs.5,00,000/-  towards  future   medical
expenses.  Considering the fact that the appellant still requires  treatment
and has to change his artificial limb as and when required, we  are  of  the
considered  opinion  that  the  compensation  under  the  said  head   needs
enhancement, and accordingly, we enhance the same  by  another  Rs.50,000/-.
The appellant therefore, would be entitled to Rs.5,50,000/-.

15.   In view of the evidence produced by the appellant that  he  has  spent
about Rs.3,10,000/- towards medical expenditure,  including  conveyance  and
attendance fee, for the period  he  was  under  treatment,  we  are  of  the
opinion that the same needs to be granted, and  accordingly,  we  grant  the
same as awarded by the Tribunal, and find  fault  with  the  High  Court  in
reducing the same.

16.   Thus, in all, we hold that the appellant is entitled  to  compensation
of Rs. 33,10,160/- as under:
|1.    |Pain and Agony                         |Rs.1,20,000/-          |
|2.    |Medical expenditure, including         |Rs.3,10,000/-          |
|      |conveyance, attendant fee etc (During  |                       |
|      |the period of treatment                |                       |
|3.    |                                       |Rs.3,08,160/-          |
|      |Loss of income during                  |                       |
|      |hospitalization/treatment              |                       |
|      |Loss of future income                  |Rs.15,72,000/-         |
|4.    |                                       |                       |
|      |Loss of happiness and loss of amenities|Rs.3,50,000/-          |
|5.    |                                       |                       |
|6.    |Loss of marriage prospects             |Rs.1,00,000/-          |
|7.    |Future medical expenses                |Rs.5,50,000/-          |
|IN TOTAL                                     |                       |
|                                             |                       |
|                                             |Rs. 33,10,160/-        |

17.   The above compensation amount shall carry interest @ 6% p.a. from  the
date of filing of  the  petition  before  the  Tribunal  till  the  date  of
payment,

18.   Accordingly, we set aside the judgment of the  High  Court  and  allow
the appeals in the above terms with no order as to costs.


                            …………………………………………CJI.
                            (P. SATHASIVAM)




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




                            ……………………………………………J.
                            (N.V. RAMANA)
 NEW DELHI,
 APRIL  23 , 2014
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