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Saturday, April 19, 2014

M.V.Act - Accident Claim - Lost right hand - 70% damage - Engineer graduate - working in overseas company - Salary certificate not produced though claimed Rs.50000 per month and claimed Rs.75 lakhs towards compensation - Trial court fixed his salary as Rs.3000/- High court enhanced and fixed as Rs.5000/- as Engineer graduate - Apex court enhanced and fixed as Rs.8000/- per month as he is working in overseas company - and awarded Rs. 7,90,000/- more = M.K. GOPINATHAN … APPELLANT VERSUS J. KRISHNA & ORS. … RESPONDENTS=2014 (April.Part ) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41423

 M.V.Act - Accident Claim - Lost right hand - 70% damage - Engineer graduate - working in overseas company - Salary certificate not produced though claimed Rs.50000 per month and claimed Rs.75 lakhs towards compensation - Trial court fixed his salary as Rs.3000/- High court enhanced and fixed as Rs.5000/- as Engineer graduate - Apex court enhanced and fixed as Rs.8000/- per month as he is working in overseas company -  and awarded Rs. 7,90,000/- more       =

  he was employed in Malaysia as  a
Tool & Die Engineer. He had come to his native town in Kerala to attend  his
sister’s wedding. On 15.5.1996, when the appellant was traveling in a  jeep,
a bus coming from the opposite direction rammed into the jeep  resulting  in
five deaths and the appellant  suffered  severe  injuries,  namely  a  crush
injury on his upper right arm which had to be -amputated. The appellant was treated as an in-patient in  the  hospital  for 42 days and during which time four surgeries were conducted on him.=

claiming Rs.75,00,000/-  as  compensation.   Before
the Tribunal, the appellant examined himself as P.W.14.   The  Tribunal  did
not believe  the  version  of  the  appellant  that  he  had  been  employed
permanently as  a  Tool  and  Die  Engineer  in  Malaysia  and  was  drawing
Rs.50,000/- per month.  However, the Tribunal noticed that the appellant  is
permanently disabled to an extent of 70% due to the  injuries  sustained  by
him in the  accident.   In  the  absence  of  any  authentic,  reliable  and
acceptable proof produced by the appellant to show his monthly  income,  the
Tribunal considering the fact that the appellant is  a  qualified  Engineer,
and having regard to the Schedule to the Workmen’s Compensation  Act,  fixed
his monthly income notionally at Rs.3,000/- and considering his age  at  the
time of accident, which is 34, applied the  multiplier  17.   The  Tribunal,
passed award on 28.02.2004, awarding compensation  to  the  appellant  to  a
tune of Rs.5,15,700/- in all, with interest thereon  at  9%  p.a.  from  the
date of claim petition and at 6% p.a. from 31.12.2001.=
 High Court fixed  the  monthly  income  of  the  appellant  at
Rs.5,000/- p.m., instead of Rs.3,000/- fixed by the Tribunal,  and  enhanced
the compensation from Rs.5,15,700/-, as awarded  by  the  Tribunal,  to  Rs.
8,43,500/-,  which  is  inclusive  of  Rs.4,200/-  awarded   towards   extra
nourishment.   The  High  Court,  enhanced  the  interest  payable  on   the
compensation to the appellant from 31.12.2001, from 6% p.a. to 7.5% p.a.=
conclusion 
   The appellant, before the Tribunal to prove his monthly  income  as
Rs.50,000/- and in support of his claim for compensation,  except  examining
himself as P.W.4, did not examine any person.   According  to  him,  he  was
working as a Tool and Die Engineer in a  company  in  Malaysia  and  getting
Rs.50,000/- as monthly  salary.  
He  did  not  even  produce  any  authentic
certificate to prove his income and qualification. 
He has  produced  only  a
xerox copy of a certificate issued  by  the  Institute  of  Engineers  India
showing that he has passed Sections A & B of the  Institution’s  examination
in Mechanical Engineering branch. 
Though the appellant failed to  prove  his
income  with  documentary  evidence,  the  fact  that  he  was  holding   an
engineering certificate and was working in Malaysia is not  in  dispute.  In
the circumstances, taking into consideration  the  undisputed  fact  of  his
qualification, and particularly his working in  overseas  Company,  we  feel
just and reasonable to consider his monthly income as Rs. 8,000/-.

-

11.       Accordingly,  taking  the  monthly  salary  of  the  appellant  as
Rs.8,000/-, the compensation payable to him has to be computed.  Apart  from
that, we enhance the amounts payable to the appellant under different  other
heads in the manner following:

|1|Loss of earnings                       |Rs. 30,000/- more         |
|.|(Rs.8,000/- x 6) minus Rs.18,000/-     |                          |
|2|Loss of amenities                      |Rs. 20,000/- more         |
|.|(Rs.30,000/- minus Rs.10,000/-)        |                          |
|3|Compensation for reduction             |Rs. 7,14,000/- more       |
|.|In earning capacity                    |                          |
| |(Rs. 8,000/- x 12 x 17 x 70/100)       |                          |
| |Minus Rs. 4,28,400/-                   |                          |
| |i.e. (Rs. 11,42,400  – Rs.4,28,400/-)  |                          |
|4|Extra nourishment                      |Rs. 20,000/-              |
|.|                                       |                          |
|5|Bills for payment to doctors           |Rs.   6,000/-             |
|.|                                       |                          |
| |Total                                  |Rs. 7,90,000/- more       |


12.       Accordingly, we set aside the impugned order and allow the  appeal
to the extent indicated above with interest @  6%  p.a.  from  the  date  of
petition till the date of deposit. There shall be no order as to costs.       
 2014 (April.Part ) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41423

P SATHASIVAM, RANJAN GOGOI, N.V. RAMANA

                                                NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION



                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 619 OF 2010



M.K. GOPINATHAN                    …        APPELLANT

VERSUS

J. KRISHNA & ORS.                  …        RESPONDENTS



                                  JUDGMENT

N.V. RAMANA, J.



      This appeal is directed against the judgment  dated  5th  March,  2009
passed by the High Court of Kerala in Motor Accident Claims Appeal
No. 1441 of 2004.

2.       The case of the appellant is that he was employed in Malaysia as  a
Tool & Die Engineer. He had come to his native town in Kerala to attend  his
sister’s wedding. On 15.5.1996, when the appellant was traveling in a  jeep,
a bus coming from the opposite direction rammed into the jeep  resulting  in
five deaths and the appellant  suffered  severe  injuries,  namely  a  crush
injury on his upper right arm which had to be -

amputated. The appellant was treated as an in-patient in  the  hospital  for
42 days and during which time four surgeries were conducted on him.

3.       The appellant filed O.P. (MV) No. 304  of  1997  before  the  Motor
Accident Claims Tribunal claiming Rs.75,00,000/-  as  compensation.   Before
the Tribunal, the appellant examined himself as P.W.14.   The  Tribunal  did
not believe  the  version  of  the  appellant  that  he  had  been  employed
permanently as  a  Tool  and  Die  Engineer  in  Malaysia  and  was  drawing
Rs.50,000/- per month.  However, the Tribunal noticed that the appellant  is
permanently disabled to an extent of 70% due to the  injuries  sustained  by
him in the  accident.   In  the  absence  of  any  authentic,  reliable  and
acceptable proof produced by the appellant to show his monthly  income,  the
Tribunal considering the fact that the appellant is  a  qualified  Engineer,
and having regard to the Schedule to the Workmen’s Compensation  Act,  fixed
his monthly income notionally at Rs.3,000/- and considering his age  at  the
time of accident, which is 34, applied the  multiplier  17.   The  Tribunal,
passed award on 28.02.2004, awarding compensation  to  the  appellant  to  a
tune of Rs.5,15,700/- in all, with interest thereon  at  9%  p.a.  from  the
date of claim petition and at 6% p.a. from 31.12.2001.

4.       The appellant, being  aggrieved  by  the  aforesaid  award  of  the
Tribunal, filed M.A.C.A. No. 1441 of 2004 before the High Court of -

Kerala. The Division Bench of the High Court,  reassessed  the  entire  case
and opined that the Tribunal ought to have reasonably assessed  the  monthly
salary which the appellant was getting at the time  of  accident.   However,
taking into consideration, the totality of the facts  and  circumstances  of
the case, the High Court fixed  the  monthly  income  of  the  appellant  at
Rs.5,000/- p.m., instead of Rs.3,000/- fixed by the Tribunal,  and  enhanced
the compensation from Rs.5,15,700/-, as awarded  by  the  Tribunal,  to  Rs.
8,43,500/-,  which  is  inclusive  of  Rs.4,200/-  awarded   towards   extra
nourishment.   The  High  Court,  enhanced  the  interest  payable  on   the
compensation to the appellant from 31.12.2001, from 6% p.a. to 7.5% p.a.

5.       Being dissatisfied with the order of the High Court, the  appellant
filed this appeal before this Court by way of Special Leave Petition.

6.       Learned counsel for the appellant contended that both the  Tribunal
and the High Court have erred  in  assessing  the  quantum  of  compensation
payable to the appellant.  The compensation awarded  is  not  in  consonance
with the income and status of the appellant. On the date  of  accident,  the
appellant was a Tool and Die Engineer on permanent rolls  of  a  company  in
Malaysia and was getting  salary  of  Rs.50,000/-  p.m.,  apart  from  other
benefits. Being a  well  qualified  and  permanently  employed  person,  the
appellant apart from maintaining -

himself in  Malaysia,  was  supporting  his  family  at  Kerala  by  sending
substantial amount to them.  He submitted that the High  Court  also  failed
to take into account the actual monthly income and status of the  appellant,
and has  grossly  erred  in  meagrely  enhancing  the  monthly  salary  from
Rs.3,000/- fixed by the Tribunal to Rs.5,000/- for the purpose of  computing
the compensation.  At the time of accident, the appellant was only 34  years
old and in view of the 70%  permanent  disability  suffered  during  to  the
injuries sustained by him in the  accident,  he  had  lost  all  the  growth
avenues. He, therefore, submitted that the appellant, having regard  to  his
qualification, profession and the salary drawn by him, was  entitled  to  be
awarded more compensation.

7.       On the other hand, learned counsel for the  respondents,  submitted
that the grounds raised in this appeal claiming enhancement of  compensation
are absolutely devoid of merit. The Division Bench of  the  High  Court  has
adequately enhanced the amount of compensation by Rs. 3,27,800/-,  which  is
just and reasonable.  Hence, it is submitted that the case of the  appellant
is without any substance and does not require interference from this Court.

8.       We have heard learned counsel  for  the  parties  and  perused  the
material on record.

-

9.       The only  issue  that  arises  for  consideration  is  whether  the
compensation payable to the appellant  has  to  be  computed  based  on  the
assertion made by him that at the time of accident, he was working  as  Tool
and Die Engineer in a company in Malaysia and  drawing         Rs.  50,000/-
p.m.?

10.      The appellant, before the Tribunal to prove his monthly  income  as
Rs.50,000/- and in support of his claim for compensation,  except  examining
himself as P.W.4, did not examine any person.   According  to  him,  he  was
working as a Tool and Die Engineer in a  company  in  Malaysia  and  getting
Rs.50,000/- as monthly  salary.  He  did  not  even  produce  any  authentic
certificate to prove his income and qualification. He has  produced  only  a
xerox copy of a certificate issued  by  the  Institute  of  Engineers  India
showing that he has passed Sections A & B of the  Institution’s  examination
in Mechanical Engineering branch. Though the appellant failed to  prove  his
income  with  documentary  evidence,  the  fact  that  he  was  holding   an
engineering certificate and was working in Malaysia is not  in  dispute.  In
the circumstances, taking into consideration  the  undisputed  fact  of  his
qualification, and particularly his working in  overseas  Company,  we  feel
just and reasonable to consider his monthly income as Rs. 8,000/-.

-

11.       Accordingly,  taking  the  monthly  salary  of  the  appellant  as
Rs.8,000/-, the compensation payable to him has to be computed.  Apart  from
that, we enhance the amounts payable to the appellant under different  other
heads in the manner following:

|1|Loss of earnings                       |Rs. 30,000/- more         |
|.|(Rs.8,000/- x 6) minus Rs.18,000/-     |                          |
|2|Loss of amenities                      |Rs. 20,000/- more         |
|.|(Rs.30,000/- minus Rs.10,000/-)        |                          |
|3|Compensation for reduction             |Rs. 7,14,000/- more       |
|.|In earning capacity                    |                          |
| |(Rs. 8,000/- x 12 x 17 x 70/100)       |                          |
| |Minus Rs. 4,28,400/-                   |                          |
| |i.e. (Rs. 11,42,400  – Rs.4,28,400/-)  |                          |
|4|Extra nourishment                      |Rs. 20,000/-              |
|.|                                       |                          |
|5|Bills for payment to doctors           |Rs.   6,000/-             |
|.|                                       |                          |
| |Total                                  |Rs. 7,90,000/- more       |


12.       Accordingly, we set aside the impugned order and allow the  appeal
to the extent indicated above with interest @  6%  p.a.  from  the  date  of
petition till the date of deposit. There shall be no order as to costs.
                            …………………………………………CJI.
                            (P. SATHASIVAM)


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


                            ……………………………………………J.
                            (N.V. RAMANA)
 NEW DELHI,
 APRIL 17, 2014

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