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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Accident claim - M.V. Act - Just compensation - Lower courts failed to pay just compensation - keeping in view the future prospects of income and further, correct multiplier method was not applied taking into consideration the age of the deceased at the time of death. Lastly, compensation under the conventional heads towards loss of love and affection towards the widow, children and parents of the deceased was also not awarded. - Apex court allowed the appeal stating the Sarala Varma case applies to all pending cases Mutatis Mutandis and enhanced the compensation = ANJANI SINGH & ORS. … APPELLANTS VS. SALAUDDIN & ORS. … RESPONDENTS - 2014 ( April.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41490

Accident claim - M.V. Act - Just compensation - Lower courts failed to pay just compensation - 
keeping in view the future prospects of income and  further, correct multiplier method was not applied taking into consideration the  age of the deceased at  the  time  of  death.  Lastly,  compensation  under  the conventional heads towards loss of love and  affection  towards  the  widow, children and parents of the deceased  was  also  not  awarded. - Apex court allowed the appeal stating the Sarala Varma case applies to all pending cases Mutatis Mutandis and enhanced the compensation =

“40. In what we have discussed above, we  sum  up  our  conclusions  as
    follows:


    (i) In the applications for compensation made under Section 166 of  the
    1988 Act in death cases where the age of the deceased is 15  years  and
    above, the Claims Tribunals shall select the multiplier as indicated in
    Column (4) of the table prepared in Sarla Verma read with  para  42  of
    that judgment.


    (ii) In cases  where  the  age  of  the  deceased  is  upto  15  years,
    irrespective of the Section 166 or Section 163A under which  the  claim
    for compensation has been made, multiplier of 15 and the assessment  as
    indicated in the Second Schedule subject to correction as  pointed  out
    in Column (6) of the table in Sarla Verma should be followed.


    (iii)  As  a  result  of  the  above,  while  considering   the   claim
    applications made under Section 166 in death cases where the age of the
    deceased is above 15 years,  there  is  no  necessity  for  the  Claims
    Tribunals to seek guidance  or  for  placing  reliance  on  the  Second
    Schedule in the 1988 Act.


    (iv) The Claims Tribunals shall follow the steps and guidelines  stated
    in para 19 of Sarla Verma for determination of compensation in cases of
    death.


    (v) While making addition to income for future prospects, the Tribunals
    shall follow paragraph 24 of the judgment in Sarla Verma.


    (vi)  Insofar  as  deduction  for  personal  and  living  expenses   is
    concerned, it is directed that the Tribunals  shall  ordinarily  follow
    the standards prescribed in paragraphs 30, 31 and 32 of the judgment in
    Sarla Verma subject to the observations made by us in para 38 above.


    (vii) The above  propositions  mutatis  mutandis  shall  apply  to  all
    pending matters where above aspects are under consideration.”

In view of the above decision  of  the  larger  Bench  of  this  Court,  the
appellants were held entitled to future prospects of  income  considered  at
the time of determination of compensation both  by  the  Tribunal  and  High
Court.  The monthly salary of the deceased was taken as [pic]4030/-  by  the
Tribunal. The High Court, in view of the answer  to  the  points  raised  by
this Court and keeping in view the age of the deceased which was  35  years,
has taken  50%  of  the  monthly  salary  to  arrive  at  the  multiplicand.
Therefore, towards future prospects at the rate of 50% with  monthly  income
of [pic]4030/- it would  come  to  [pic]2015/-,  making  the  total  monthly
income  to  [pic]6045/-.  Out  of         [pic]6045/-,   one   fourth   i.e.
[pic]1511/- shall be deducted towards personal expenses of the deceased,  as
per the decision of this Court in Sarla Verma  &  Ors.  v.  Delhi  Transport
Corporation & Anr.[3] case, as the deceased has five  dependents,  thus  the
resultant figure would be [pic]4534/- per month  which after multiplying  by
12 would come to  [pic]54,408/- as annual income. The  multiplier  would  be
16 as per the above case which would come to [pic]8,70,528/- under the  head
of loss of dependency. We further award towards funeral expenses, a  sum  of
[pic]25,000/-, towards loss of love and affection of the  children  and  the
parents,   a   sum   of   [pic]1,00,000/-   and   further,    a    sum    of
[pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of consortium by the widow of the deceased,  as
per the legal principle laid down by this Court in  the  three  judge  bench
decision in Rajesh  & Ors. v. Rajbir Singh & Ors.[4] We also award a sum  of
[pic]25,000/- for the cost of litigation as per the principle laid  down  by
this Court in Balram Prasad v. Kunal Saha & Ors.[5]  Therefore,  the  amount
would come to [pic]11,20,528/-. Further, the Tribunal has passed  the  award
in the year  2000  and  the  appellants  have  received  [pic]3,25,298/-  on
22.7.2000 and [pic]1,80,221/- on  9.3.2007.  In  total  they  have  received
[pic]5,05,519/-. Now, they  are  entitled  to  the  remaining  amount,  i.e.
[pic]6,15,009/-. This amount shall bear interest  at  the  rate  of  9%  per
annum following the decision of  this  Court  in  Municipal  Corporation  of
Delhi, Delhi v. Uphaar Tragedy Victims Association & Ors.[6] from  the  date
of application till the date of payment. Out of this amount,  50%  shall  be
deposited in any nationalized bank of Appellants’ choice and  the  remaining
amount to be paid to them through demand draft within  six  weeks  from  the
date of receipt of a copy  of  this  judgment.  The  appeal  is  accordingly
allowed. There shall be no order as to costs.

2014 ( April.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41490

GYAN SUDHA MISRA, V. GOPALA GOWDA

                                 REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4647 OF 2009


ANJANI SINGH & ORS.                     … APPELLANTS

                           VS.

SALAUDDIN & ORS.                        … RESPONDENTS





                               J U D G M E N T


V. Gopala Gowda, J.

      This civil appeal is directed against the  judgment  and  award  dated
29th November, 2006 passed by the  High  Court  of  Punjab  and  Haryana  at
Chandigarh in FAO No.236 of 2001, wherein the High Court  allowed  the  said
appeal and enhanced the compensation  by       [pic]1,20,600/-  and  awarded
interest at the rate of  6%  per  annum.  The  same  is  questioned  by  the
appellants-claimants, on the ground that just  and  reasonable  compensation
was not awarded keeping in view the future prospects of income and  further,
correct multiplier method was not applied taking into consideration the  age
of the deceased at  the  time  of  death.  Lastly,  compensation  under  the
conventional heads towards loss of love and  affection  towards  the  widow,
children and parents of the deceased  was  also  not  awarded.  Hence,  this
appeal  was  filed  by  the  appellants  seeking  further   enhancement   of
compensation.

2. The facts in brief are stated hereunder:
      On 17.09.1997 Sergeant Dalbir  Singh,  husband  of  appellant  No.  1,
father of appellant nos. 2 to 4 and son of appellant no. 5 died  in  a  road
accident. The accident took place at 10.15 p.m. on National Highway  No.  28
between Air Force Station, Gorakhpur and  Nandanagar  Police  Station,  when
the deceased was going on his bicycle and was hit by truck  No.  UP-41A/1901
coming from Gorakhpur side. The said truck was driven  by  Respondent  No.1,
owned by Respondent No.2  and  insured  by  Respondent  No.3,  United  India
Insurance Company.

      On 24.11.1997, the appellant/claimants filed the Claim Petition No.217
of 1997 before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Faridabad (in short  “the
Tribunal”) and claimed for [pic]15,00,000/-  as  compensation  for  loss  to
estate of the deceased.  The  Tribunal  held  that,  the  deceased  Sergeant
Dalbir Singh died because of the accident which took place due to  rash  and
negligent  driving  of  respondent   No.1   and   awarded   the   appellants
[pic]2,49,600/- as compensation. The Tribunal determined the  dependency  of
appellants as  [pic]31,000/- per annum  and  applied  the  multiplier  of  8
since the deceased  suffered  death  at  the  age  of  35  and  the  age  of
superannuation in the Air Force is 45-50 years.


3.    Aggrieved by the judgment  and  order  passed  by  the  Tribunal,  the
appellants-claimants filed First Appeal No. 234  of  2011  before  the  High
Court of Punjab and Haryana at  Chandigarh  on  12.7.2000.  The  High  Court
allowed the appeal and  held  that  assessment  of  monthly  income  by  the
Tribunal as [pic] 4030/- is correct based on the examination of  the  salary
certificate. The finding of the  Tribunal  leading  to  deduction  of  1/3rd
amount towards personal expenses was  held  to  be  erroneous.  Hence,  this
finding was set aside and  only  1/4th  of  the  compensation  was  deducted
towards  personal  expenses.  The  total  dependency  amount  came   up   to
[pic]3,62,700/- by applying a multiplier of 10 and [pic]2,500/- was  awarded
towards funeral expenses and      [pic]5,000 towards loss of consortium  for
the widow of the deceased. In total, a compensation of  [pic]3,70,200/-  was
awarded. Thus, the compensation was enhanced  by     [pic]1,20,600/-,  which
carried an interest of 6% per annum from the date of  filing  of  the  claim
till the date of payment.

4. This Court, vide judgment dated  23rd  July,  2009,  granted  leave,  and
referred the issue to a larger bench. This was in view of the divergence  of
opinion across judgments of this  Court,  and  this  aspect  of  the  matter
having not been considered in the earlier  decisions,  particularly  in  the
absence of any clarification from Parliament  despite  recommendations  made
by this Court in U.P. State Road Transport  Corporation  &  Ors.  v.  Trilok
Chandra & Ors.[1], it was further directed to  the  Registry  to  place  the
matter before the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India for  an  appropriate  order
to constitute a larger Bench to answer the points referred to  it.  Pursuant
to the said order, the  matter  was  placed  before  a  larger  Bench  which
answered the points of  reference  in  favour  of  the  appellants,  in  the
decision reported in Reshma Kumari & Ors.  v.  Madan  Mohan  &  Anr.[2]  The
points answered read as under:
    “40. In what we have discussed above, we  sum  up  our  conclusions  as
    follows:


    (i) In the applications for compensation made under Section 166 of  the
    1988 Act in death cases where the age of the deceased is 15  years  and
    above, the Claims Tribunals shall select the multiplier as indicated in
    Column (4) of the table prepared in Sarla Verma read with  para  42  of
    that judgment.


    (ii) In cases  where  the  age  of  the  deceased  is  upto  15  years,
    irrespective of the Section 166 or Section 163A under which  the  claim
    for compensation has been made, multiplier of 15 and the assessment  as
    indicated in the Second Schedule subject to correction as  pointed  out
    in Column (6) of the table in Sarla Verma should be followed.


    (iii)  As  a  result  of  the  above,  while  considering   the   claim
    applications made under Section 166 in death cases where the age of the
    deceased is above 15 years,  there  is  no  necessity  for  the  Claims
    Tribunals to seek guidance  or  for  placing  reliance  on  the  Second
    Schedule in the 1988 Act.


    (iv) The Claims Tribunals shall follow the steps and guidelines  stated
    in para 19 of Sarla Verma for determination of compensation in cases of
    death.


    (v) While making addition to income for future prospects, the Tribunals
    shall follow paragraph 24 of the judgment in Sarla Verma.


    (vi)  Insofar  as  deduction  for  personal  and  living  expenses   is
    concerned, it is directed that the Tribunals  shall  ordinarily  follow
    the standards prescribed in paragraphs 30, 31 and 32 of the judgment in
    Sarla Verma subject to the observations made by us in para 38 above.


    (vii) The above  propositions  mutatis  mutandis  shall  apply  to  all
    pending matters where above aspects are under consideration.”

In view of the above decision  of  the  larger  Bench  of  this  Court,  the
appellants were held entitled to future prospects of  income  considered  at
the time of determination of compensation both  by  the  Tribunal  and  High
Court.  The monthly salary of the deceased was taken as [pic]4030/-  by  the
Tribunal. The High Court, in view of the answer  to  the  points  raised  by
this Court and keeping in view the age of the deceased which was  35  years,
has taken  50%  of  the  monthly  salary  to  arrive  at  the  multiplicand.
Therefore, towards future prospects at the rate of 50% with  monthly  income
of [pic]4030/- it would  come  to  [pic]2015/-,  making  the  total  monthly
income  to  [pic]6045/-.  Out  of         [pic]6045/-,   one   fourth   i.e.
[pic]1511/- shall be deducted towards personal expenses of the deceased,  as
per the decision of this Court in Sarla Verma  &  Ors.  v.  Delhi  Transport
Corporation & Anr.[3] case, as the deceased has five  dependents,  thus  the
resultant figure would be [pic]4534/- per month  which after multiplying  by
12 would come to  [pic]54,408/- as annual income. The  multiplier  would  be
16 as per the above case which would come to [pic]8,70,528/- under the  head
of loss of dependency. We further award towards funeral expenses, a  sum  of
[pic]25,000/-, towards loss of love and affection of the  children  and  the
parents,   a   sum   of   [pic]1,00,000/-   and   further,    a    sum    of
[pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of consortium by the widow of the deceased,  as
per the legal principle laid down by this Court in  the  three  judge  bench
decision in Rajesh  & Ors. v. Rajbir Singh & Ors.[4] We also award a sum  of
[pic]25,000/- for the cost of litigation as per the principle laid  down  by
this Court in Balram Prasad v. Kunal Saha & Ors.[5]  Therefore,  the  amount
would come to [pic]11,20,528/-. Further, the Tribunal has passed  the  award
in the year  2000  and  the  appellants  have  received  [pic]3,25,298/-  on
22.7.2000 and [pic]1,80,221/- on  9.3.2007.  In  total  they  have  received
[pic]5,05,519/-. Now, they  are  entitled  to  the  remaining  amount,  i.e.
[pic]6,15,009/-. This amount shall bear interest  at  the  rate  of  9%  per
annum following the decision of  this  Court  in  Municipal  Corporation  of
Delhi, Delhi v. Uphaar Tragedy Victims Association & Ors.[6] from  the  date
of application till the date of payment. Out of this amount,  50%  shall  be
deposited in any nationalized bank of Appellants’ choice and  the  remaining
amount to be paid to them through demand draft within  six  weeks  from  the
date of receipt of a copy  of  this  judgment.  The  appeal  is  accordingly
allowed. There shall be no order as to costs.




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


                                                   ……………………………………………………………J.
                                       [V. GOPALA GOWDA]
New Delhi,
April 25, 2014











ITEM NO.1E               COURT NO.13             SECTION IV
FOR JUDGMENT

            S U P R E M E   C O U R T   O F   I N D I A
                         RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
                  CIVIL APPEAL NO(s). 4647 OF 2009

ANJANI SINGH & ORS.                           Appellant (s)

                 VERSUS

SALAUDDIN & ORS.                              Respondent(s)

Date: 25/04/2014  This Appeal was called on for judgment today.



For Appellant(s) Mr. Ashok K. Mahajan,Adv.

For Respondent(s)      Mr. Debasis Misra, Adv.


                  Hon'ble  Mr.  Justice  V.  Gopala  Gowda  pronounced  the
        judgment of the Bench comprising Hon'ble Mrs.  Justice  Gyan  Sudha
        Misra and His Lordship.
                 Civil Appeal is allowed  in  terms  of  signed  reportable
        judgment with no order as to costs.






                 |(Pardeep Kumar)                        |(Renu Diwan)                           |
|AR-cum-PS                              |Court Master                           |


            [SIGNED REPORTABLE JUDGMENT IS PLACED ON THE FILE]






-----------------------
[1]    (1996) 4 SCC 362
[2]    (2013) 9 SCC 65
[3]    (2009) 6 SCC 121
[4]    (2013) 9 SCC 54
[5]    (2014) 1 SCC 384
[6]    (2011) 14 SCC 481

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