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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Accident claim - M.V. Act- Notional monthly income of a brilliant girl 11 th standard victim with permanent disability Apex court fixed the Monthly Notional income as Rs.10,000/- and also enhanced other heads and enhanced compensation from Rs.18 lakhs to Rs.33 lakhs = V. Mekala …Appellant Versus M. Malathi & Anr. … Respondents - 2014 ( April.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41491

   Accident claim - M.V. Act- Notional monthly income of a brilliant girl 11 th standard victim with permanent disability Apex court fixed the Monthly Notional income as Rs.10,000/- and also enhanced other heads and enhanced compensation from Rs.18 lakhs to Rs.33 lakhs = 

even though it has enhanced the  compensation  from
           [pic]6,46,000/- to [pic]18,22,000/- with interest at the rate of
           7.5% per annum from the date of filing the claim petition  under
           various heads urging various facts and grounds in  justification
           of her claim.=      

  
               1)   Whether  the   claimant-appellant   is   entitled    to
                  enhancement of compensation  under  the  following  heads
                  namely, loss of earning,  pain  and  suffering,  loss  of
                  amenities, loss of enjoyment of  marriage  prospects  and
                  the cost of crutches?

monthly notional income 
of  [pic]6,000/- in the absence of any
      document on record as she was a student. This assumption of the courts
      below is on the lower side in view of the observations  made  by  this
      Court in R.D. Hattangadi (supra). The said principle is reiterated  in
      Govind Yadav (supra). The relevant  para  from   R.D.  Hattangadi   is
      extracted below :
           “14. In  Halsbury's  Laws  of  England,  4th  Edition,  Vol.  12
           regarding non-pecuniary loss at page 446 it has been said:
           Non-pecuniary loss; the pattern. Damages awarded  for  pain  and
           suffering and loss of  amenity  constitute  a  conventional  sum
           which is taken to be the sum which society deems fair,  fairness
           being interpreted  by  the  courts  in  the  light  of  previous
           decisions. Thus there has been evolved  a  set  of  conventional
           principles providing a  provisional  guide  to  the  comparative
           severity of different injuries,  and  indicating  a  bracket  of
           damages into which a particular injury will currently fall.  The
           particular circumstances of the plaintiff, including his age and
           any unusual deprivation he  may  suffer,  is  reflected  in  the
           actual amount of the award.


           The  fall  in  the  value  of  money  leads  to   a   continuing
           reassessment of these awards and to  periodic  reassessments  of
           damages  at  certain  key  points  in  the  pattern  where   the
           disability is readily identifiable  and  not  subject  to  large
           variations in individual cases.”
                            (Emphasis laid by the Court)
      15.   In view of the aforesaid judgments of this Court  and  the  fact
      that the appellant is a brilliant student as  she  has  secured  first
      rank in the 10th Standard, she would have had a better future in terms
      of  educational career to acquire  basic  or  master  degrees  in  the
      professional courses and she could have got a suitable  either  public
      or private employment but on  account  of  permanent  disablement  she
      suffered due to injuries  sustained  by  her  in  the  accident,  that
      opportunity is  lost  to  her  and   therefore,  she  is  entitled  to
      compensation as per law laid down by this Court in the cases  of   Raj
      Kumar, R.D. Hattangadi  and Govind Yadav (supra).=

Therefore, in the light of  the  principles  laid  down  in  the
      aforesaid case, it would be just  and  proper  for  this  Court,   and
      keeping in mind her past results we take [pic]10,000/- as her  monthly
      notional income for computation of just  and  reasonable  compensation
      under the head of loss of income. 
Therefore,  the  appellant  is  justified   in   seeking   for
      re-enhancement under this head as well and we hold that the  claimant-
      appellant is entitled to 50% increase  under  this  head  as  per  the
      principle laid down by this Court in the case of Santosh Devi (supra).

Therefore, taking both the aspects into account, the total  amount  of
      compensation  under  this  head  is   calculated   as   Rs.22,68,000/-
      [([pic]10,000/-x 70/100 + 10,000 x 70/100 x 50/100) x 12 x 18 =

The compensation under the head pain & suffering and mental  agony
      was awarded by the High Court after recording concurrent finding  with
      the award passed by the Tribunal.
Therefore, under this head the amount awarded should  be  enhanced  to
      [pic]2,00,000/- as the Doctor-PW2 has opined  that   at  the  time  of
      walking with support  of  crutches,  the  claimant-appellant  will  be
      suffering pain permanently. Therefore, under this head it  has  to  be
      enhanced from [pic]1,00,000/- to       [pic]2,00,000/-.=
The amount of compensation awarded under the  head  of  ‘Loss  of
      enjoyment of  life  and  marriage  prospects’  at  [pic]2,00,000/-  is
      totally inadequate  since  her  marriage  prospect  has  substantially
      reduced and on account of permanent disablement she will  be  deprived
      of enjoyment of life. Therefore,  it  would  be  just  and  proper  to
      enhance the compensation from [pic]2,00,000/- to  [pic]3,00,000/-.  In
      so far as, purchase of crutches periodically, it  would  be  just  and
      proper to award a sum of [pic]50,000/-.=

The Insurance Company is directed to deposit 50%  of  the  awarded
          amount with proportionate interest within four weeks from the date
          of receipt of a copy of this order, after deducting the amount  if
          already paid, in any of the Nationalized Bank of the choice of the
          appellant, for a period of 3 years. 
During the said period, if she
          wants to withdraw a portion or entire  deposited  amount  for  her
          personal or any  other  expenses,  including  development  of  her
          asset, then she is 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.
The rest of 50% amount awarded with proportionate interest  shall  be
      paid to the appellant/claimant by way of a demand  draft  within  four
      weeks from the date of receipt of  the  copy  of  this  judgment.  The
      Insurance Company is further  directed  to  submit  compliance  report
      before this court within five weeks thereafter.


      26.   The appeal is allowed accordingly. No costs.
2014 ( April.Part) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41491

GYAN SUDHA MISRA, V. GOPALA GOWDA
                   REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                      CIVIL APPEAL NO.  4880    OF 2014
                  (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 16561 of 2013)



      V. Mekala                               …Appellant

                             Versus

      M. Malathi & Anr.                            … Respondents











                               J U D G M E N T








      V. Gopala Gowda, J.




            Leave granted.




        2. This appeal is preferred by  the  injured-claimant  as  she  was
           aggrieved  by the impugned judgment and  award  dated  31.8.2012
           passed by the High Court of Judicature at Madras in  C.M.A.  No.
           2131 of 2008 even though it has enhanced the  compensation  from
           [pic]6,46,000/- to [pic]18,22,000/- with interest at the rate of
           7.5% per annum from the date of filing the claim petition  under
           various heads urging various facts and grounds in  justification
           of her claim.


        3. The claimant-appellant is  aggrieved  by  the  determination  of
           monthly notional income of the deceased by  the  High  Court  by
           taking  a meager sum of [pic]6,000/-  instead  of  [pic]18,000/-
           per month as she is a student studying   in  the  11th  Standard
           holding first rank in her school. She had  an  excellent  career
           ahead of her but for the accident in  which  she  has  sustained
           grievous injuries and has become a  permanently  disabled.  Both
           the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Poonamallee (for  short  “the
           Tribunal”) as well as the High Court  of  Judicature  at  Madras
           failed to take into consideration all the relevant legal aspects
           of the matter namely, having arrived at the conclusion  that  on
           account of permanent total disablement suffered by the claimant-
           appellant on account of injuries sustained in the accident   her
           future loss of income should  have  been  assessed  taking  into
           consideration, her age at the time of accident which was 16  and
           that  she  is  a  brilliant  student  and  could  have  acquired
           professional degree and  procured  a well  paid  job  either  in
           public or private sector thereby at least she would have  earned
           a sum of [pic]18,000/- per month. Also, the future prospects  of
           revision  of   wages,   dearness   allowance,   increments   and
           promotional benefits could have been earned  by  her.   However,
           because of the accident caused by rash and negligent act of  the
           driver of the offending vehicle of the owner- respondent she has
           been deprived of her potential income to eke out  a  comfortable
           livelihood as she has become permanently  disabled,  this  legal
           and factual aspect has not been taken into consideration both by
           the Tribunal and the High Court. Therefore, she placed  reliance
           upon the law laid down by this Court in the case of Santosh Devi
           v. National Insurance Company Ltd. & Ors.[1], having  regard  to
           her age, 50% of the future prospects should have been added   by
           both the Tribunal and Appellate Court to  the  notional  monthly
           income that could be fixed for  determination  of  the  loss  of
           earning as she had lost her earning capacity as she  has  become
           permanently disabled. Therefore,  the  compensation  under  this
           head  of  loss  of  earnings  is   required   to   be   enhanced
           considerably.


        4. The second ground sought to be pressed  into  operation  by  the
           learned counsel on behalf of the claimant-appellant is that  the
           concurrent finding of fact recorded by the  High  Court  on  the
           basis of evidence of Doctor-PW2, who has examined the appellant,
           who has made observations regarding the nature of  her  injuries
           which will be recorded in the later part of this judgment.

        5. Upon  examination  of  the  claimant-appellant,  the  Doctor-PW2
           opined that  she  is  not  able  to  squat,  her  disability  is
           ascertained at 70%, therefore, she is not able to sit with cross
           legged comfortably on the floor and the right range of  movement
           (Gionimeter)  –  fixed  flexim  deformity  of  850   -  ligament
           instability present on account of grievous   injuries  sustained
           by her in the unfortunate accident. Therefore, PW2 has  assessed
           the permanent disability of the claimant-appellant  at  70%  and
           to this effect he has issued Ex. P12-the Disability  Certificate
           and the same was marked as an exhibit in  justification  of  the
           claim for awarding just and reasonable  compensation  under  the
           loss of earning, pain  and  suffering,  loss  of  amenities  and
           mental agony. The above said substantial piece  of  evidence  in
           the form of disability certificate on record has not been  taken
           into consideration in the proper perspective by the  High  Court
           though it has concurred with the finding of fact recorded by the
           Tribunal in re-appreciating the evidence on  record.  The  legal
           aspect of the matter regarding the quantum  of  compensation  is
           required to be dismissed and awarded  to  compensate  for  human
           pain and suffering and deprivation of happiness and enjoyment of
           personal life of the claimant. The compensation  that  would  be
           awarded can not be equated with the human sufferings or personal
           deprivation as observed by  this  Court  in  the  case  of  R.D.
           Hattangadi v. Pest Control (India) Pvt. Ltd. & Ors.[2].


        6. Both the Tribunal and Appellate Court were required to  consider
           the fall  in  the  value  of  money  which  requires  continuing
           reassessment of  these  awards  and  periodic  reassessments  of
           damages  at  certain  key  points  in  the  pattern  where   the
           disability is readily identifiable and are not subject to  large
           variations in individual cases as  held  in  the  case  of  R.D.
           Hattangadi (supra). Therefore, the learned counsel appearing  on
           behalf  of  the  claimant-appellant  submits   that   pain   and
           suffering, loss of amenities having lost both  the  limbs  which
           are the  relevant  important  material  facts  which  have  been
           completely ignored by both the Tribunal and the High Court while
           determining the  just  and  reasonable  compensation  under  the
           aforesaid heads while awarding compensation  in  favour  of  the
           claimant. Therefore, learned counsel for the appellant requested
           this Court for an award of just & reasonable compensation  under
           the aforesaid heads by applying the legal principles  laid  down
           by this Court in the cases referred to supra. In support of  his
           contention, the learned counsel has correctly  relied  upon  the
           principle laid down in the case of R.D. Hattangadi (supra) which
           was reiterated  in  the  case  of  Govind  Yadav  v.  New  India
           Insurance Company Limited[3], it would be appropriate to extract
           certain relevant paragraphs of R.D. Hattangadi case, which  read
           as under:
           “10. In cannot be disputed that  because  of  the  accident  the
           appellant  who  was  an  active  practising  lawyer  has  become
           paraplegic on account of the injuries sustained by  him.  It  is
           really difficult in this background to assess the  exact  amount
           of compensation for the pain and agony suffered by the appellant
           and for having become a life  long  handicapped.  No  amount  of
           compensation can restore the physical frame  of  the  appellant.
           That is why it has been said by courts that whenever any  amount
           is  determined  as  the  compensation  payable  for  any  injury
           suffered during an accident, the object is  to  compensate  such
           injury "so far as money can compensate" because it is impossible
           to equate the  money  with  the  human  sufferings  or  personal
           deprivations. Money cannot renew a broken and shattered physical
           frame.


           11. In the case Ward v. James [1965] 1 All E.R. 563 it was  said
           :
           Although you cannot give a man so gravely injured much  for  his
           "lost years", you can, however,  compensate  him  for  his  loss
           during his shortened span, that is, during his  expected  "years
           of survival". You can compensate him for his  loss  of  earnings
           during that time, and for the cost  of  treatment,  nursing  and
           attendance. But how can you compensate him for being rendered  a
           helpless invalid? He may owing  to  brain  injury,  be  rendered
           unconscious for the rest of his days, or, owing to back  injury,
           be unable to rise from his bed.  He  has  lost  everything  that
           makes life worth-while. Money is no good to him. Yet judges  and
           juries have to do the best they can and give him what they think
           is fair. No wonder they find it well nigh  insoluble.  They  are
           being asked to calculate the incalculable. The figure  is  bound
           to be for the most part a  conventional  sum.  The  judges  have
           worked out a pattern, and they keep it in line with  the  change
           in the value of money.”




        7. The learned counsel for the appellant further submitted that the
           claimant-appellant has been deprived of the enjoyment of life as
           well as the marital prospects. Further, the  concurrent  finding
           recorded by the High Court in the impugned judgment  shows  that
           the appellant on account of  the  knee  injuries  and  permanent
           disablement and mal-united knee bones, she  is  unable  to  walk
           without crutches and she is suffering  from  severe  pain  while
           walking and further the thickness of  both  the  legs  are  also
           reduced due to the injuries sustained by  her  in  accident  and
           multiple surgeries were conducted on her. This  relevant  aspect
           should have been taken into consideration both by  the  Tribunal
           and the High Court. Further, she has to use crutches  throughout
           her life for mobility which  she  is  required  to  periodically
           purchase, the cost of which has not been awarded either  by  the
           Tribunal or by the High Court. Therefore,  the  learned  counsel
           for the appellant has requested  this Court  to  award  suitable
           compensation keeping in view the above mentioned facts.


        8. On the other hand, Ms. Manjeet Chawla, the  learned  counsel  on
           behalf of the  respondent  No.  2-Insurance  Company  sought  to
           justify the impugned judgment and award contending that the High
           Court after re-appreciation of the  pleadings  and  evidence  on
           record has exorbitantly  enhanced  the  compensation  under  the
           various heads mentioned in the impugned judgment  such  as  pain
           and  suffering,   permanent   disablement,   medical   expenses,
           transport expenses, extra nourishment, loss of future career and
           loss of marriage prospects. Therefore, this is not  a  fit  case
           for this Court to enhance the compensation  as  prayed  in  this
           case by the claimant-appellant.


        9. Further, the learned counsel for the respondent  No.  2  submits
           that  the  claimant-appellant  can  continue  her   studies   by
           attending to the college and get either the public employment or
           alternative private employment on completion of her studies.  In
           such circumstances,  seeking  for  enhancement  of  compensation
           either under the head of loss of earning or future prospects  as
           claimed by the claimant-appellant, is not  justifiable  in  law.
           Therefore, the learned  counsel  for  the  respondent  No.2  has
           prayed for dismissal of the Civil Appeal.


       10. With reference to the above rival factual and legal contentions,
           this Court is required to examine:-


               1)   Whether  the   claimant-appellant   is   entitled    to
                  enhancement of compensation  under  the  following  heads
                  namely, loss of earning,  pain  and  suffering,  loss  of
                  amenities, loss of enjoyment of  marriage  prospects  and
                  the cost of crutches?


               2)  What award?


       11. The first question is required to be answered in favour  of  the
           claimant-appellant for the following reasons :-
           Having regard to the nature of following injuries  sustained  by
      the appellant in the accident which is an undisputed fact :-
                 “Right lower limb: Hypertrophic scar extending from  distal
                 thigh to  distal  2/3rd  of  right  leg  circumferentially.
                 Decreased sensation over the M/3rd of Right leg.


                 Left leg: Hypertrophic scar over middle 3rd to  distal  3rd
                 of left leg and with patchy areas decreased sensation  over
                 the scar.


                 Muscle wasting of both the legs present.


                 Right Ankle: Equinous  deformity  of  Right  ankle  of  1st
                 present. Fixed Flexim deformity of II Joints of toes  about
                 10th present.”


       12. The Doctor-PW 2, has stated in his evidence that  the  appellant
           has sustained fracture in both bones in both the legs, the  knee
           folding is restricted between 25 degree to  85  degree  and  the
           legs could not be stretched fully and the knee  bones  are  mal-
           united and the  appellant  cannot  walk  without  crutches.  The
           doctor also stated that the appellant is suffering  from  severe
           pain while walking and further the thickness of the  appellant’s
           both legs were reduced.


       13. The aforesaid evidence of the  Doctor-PW2  is  accepted  by  the
           Tribunal and concurred by the High Court, the High Court came to
           the right conclusion that the appellant has sustained  permanent
           disablement, the same is in conformity with the  principle  laid
           down by this Court in the case of Raj Kumar v.  Ajay  Kumar  and
           Anr.[4]  at para 12, which reads thus :
               “12. Therefore, the Tribunal has  to  first  decide  whether
               there is any permanent disability and, if so, the extent  of
               such permanent disability.  This  means  that  the  Tribunal
               should consider and decide with reference to the evidence:


                        i)  whether  the   disablement   is   permanent   or
                           temporary;


                       ii) if the disablement is permanent,  whether  it  is
                           permanent total disablement or permanent  partial
                           disablement;


                      iii) if the disablement percentage is  expressed  with
                           reference to any specific limb, then  the  effect
                           of  such  disablement  of   the   limb   on   the
                           functioning of the  entire  body,  that  is,  the
                           permanent disability suffered by the person.


               If  the  Tribunal  concludes  that  there  is  no  permanent
               disability then there is no question of  proceeding  further
               and determining the loss of future earning capacity. But  if
               the Tribunal concludes that there  is  permanent  disability
               then it will proceed to  ascertain  its  extent.  After  the
               Tribunal  ascertains  the   actual   extent   of   permanent
               disability of the claimant based on the medical evidence, it
               has to  determine  whether  such  permanent  disability  has
               affected or will affect his earning capacity.”


      14.   The High Court on the basis of medical evidence on  record  with
      reference to the fractures sustained by  the  appellant  to  both  the
      legs, rightly arrived at the conclusion that she has suffered  70%  of
      permanent disablement and therefore she was awarded  the  compensation
      under the head of loss of earning in the impugned judgment taking into
      account monthly notional income of  [pic]6,000/- in the absence of any
      document on record as she was a student. This assumption of the courts
      below is on the lower side in view of the observations  made  by  this
      Court in R.D. Hattangadi (supra). The said principle is reiterated  in
      Govind Yadav (supra). The relevant  para  from   R.D.  Hattangadi   is
      extracted below :
           “14. In  Halsbury's  Laws  of  England,  4th  Edition,  Vol.  12
           regarding non-pecuniary loss at page 446 it has been said:
           Non-pecuniary loss; the pattern. Damages awarded  for  pain  and
           suffering and loss of  amenity  constitute  a  conventional  sum
           which is taken to be the sum which society deems fair,  fairness
           being interpreted  by  the  courts  in  the  light  of  previous
           decisions. Thus there has been evolved  a  set  of  conventional
           principles providing a  provisional  guide  to  the  comparative
           severity of different injuries,  and  indicating  a  bracket  of
           damages into which a particular injury will currently fall.  The
           particular circumstances of the plaintiff, including his age and
           any unusual deprivation he  may  suffer,  is  reflected  in  the
           actual amount of the award.


           The  fall  in  the  value  of  money  leads  to   a   continuing
           reassessment of these awards and to  periodic  reassessments  of
           damages  at  certain  key  points  in  the  pattern  where   the
           disability is readily identifiable  and  not  subject  to  large
           variations in individual cases.”
                            (Emphasis laid by the Court)
      15.   In view of the aforesaid judgments of this Court  and  the  fact
      that the appellant is a brilliant student as  she  has  secured  first
      rank in the 10th Standard, she would have had a better future in terms
      of  educational career to acquire  basic  or  master  degrees  in  the
      professional courses and she could have got a suitable  either  public
      or private employment but on  account  of  permanent  disablement  she
      suffered due to injuries  sustained  by  her  in  the  accident,  that
      opportunity is  lost  to  her  and   therefore,  she  is  entitled  to
      compensation as per law laid down by this Court in the cases  of   Raj
      Kumar, R.D. Hattangadi  and Govind Yadav (supra).


      16.   Further, having regard to the undisputed  fact  that  there  has
      been inflation of money in the country since  the  occurrence  of  the
      accident, the same has to be taken into account by  the  Tribunal  and
      Appellate Court while awarding compensation to the  claimant-appellant
      as per the principle laid down by this court in  the  case  of  Govind
      Yadav which has reiterated the position  of  Reshma  Kumari  v.  Madan
      Mohan[5] case, the relevant paragraph of which reads as under:
           “46. In the Indian context several other factors should be taken
           into consideration including education of the dependants and the
           nature of job. In the wake of changed  societal  conditions  and
           global scenario, future prospects may  have  to  be  taken  into
           consideration not only  having  regard  to  the  status  of  the
           employee, his educational qualification;  his  past  performance
           but also other relevant factors, namely, the higher salaries and
           perks which are being offered by  the  private  companies  these
           days. In fact while determining the multiplicand this  Court  in
           Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Jashuben held that even  dearness
           allowance and perks with regard thereto from  which  the  family
           would  have  derived  monthly  benefit,  must  be   taken   into
           consideration.”




      17.   The fact that the appellant was a brilliant student at the  time
      of the accident should also be taken into consideration while awarding
      compensation  to  her.  Therefore,  taking   [pic]6,000/-  as  monthly
      notional  income  by  the  Tribunal  for  the  purpose   of   awarding
      compensation under this head is too  meager  an  amount.  The  learned
      counsel appearing for the respondent No.2 contended that the appellant
      can still finish her education  and  find  employment  and  therefore,
      there is no necessity to enhance the amount of compensation under  the
      head of ‘loss of income’ and ‘future prospects’. It  is  pertinent  to
      reiterate  here  that  the  claimant/  appellant  has  undergone   and
      undergoing substantial pain and suffering due to  the  accident  which
      has rendered both her legs dysfunctional. This has reduced  the  scope
      of  her  future  prospects  including  her   marriage   substantially.
      Moreover, a tortfeasor is not entitled to dictate  the  terms  of  the
      claimants-appellants career as has been held  by  the  Karnataka  High
      Court in the case of K.  Narsimha  Murthy  v.  The  Manager,  Oriental
      Insurance Company Ltd and Anr. ILR 2004 KARNATAKA 2471,  the  relevant
      paragraph of which reads as under:
           “41. …. Further, it needs to be emphasized that it  is  not  the
           right of the tortfeasor or a  person  who  has  taken  over  the
           liability of the tortfeasor in terms of and  under  the  Act  to
           dictate that the injured  person  should  do  some  other  work,
           manual or otherwise, it does not matter, may be  with  pain  and
           discomfort, in order to minimize  his  or  its  liability.  Such
           insistence is untenable in law and if such is the case, it would
           violate basic human rights of the injured person. In this  case,
           the appellant is reduced to such a state that he is unable to do
           any work, manual or otherwise,  without  subjecting  himself  to
           pain and suffering, agony and discomfort. In an accident,  if  a
           man is disabled for  a  work  which  he  was  doing  before  the
           accident, that he has no talents, skill, experience or  training
           for anything else and he is unable to find any work,  manual  or
           clerical, such a man for all practical  purposes  has  lost  all
           earning capacity he possessed before and he is  required  to  be
           compensated on  the  basis  of  total  loss.  In  reaching  this
           conclusion we may derive support from the judgments  in  Daniels
           v. Sir Robert Mc Alpine and Sons Limited and Blair v. FJC Lilley
           (Marine) Limited. Secondly,  the  physical  incapacity  to  earn
           income  sustained  by  the  appellant  is  not  temporary,   but
           permanent and complete as per Exhibit P. 43. Thirdly, it  cannot
           be  said  that  since  the  appellant  has  sustained  only  54%
           permanent physical disability in respect of the  whole  body  as
           per P.W. 3,  the  Court  should  take  into  account  functional
           disability also at 54% only while assessing the loss of  earning
           capacity. Such hypothesis does not stand to reason nor can it be
           accepted as  valid  in  terms  of  law.  An  injured  person  is
           compensated for the loss which he incurs as a result of physical
           injury and not for  physical  injury  itself.  In  other  words,
           compensation is given only for what is lost due to  accident  in
           terms of an equivalent in money insofar as the nature  of  money
           admits for the loss sustained. In an accident, if a person loses
           a limb or eye or sustains an injury, the Court  while  computing
           damages for the loss of organs  or  physical  injury,  does  not
           value a limb or eye in isolation, but only  values  totality  of
           the harm which the loss has entailed the loss  of  amenities  of
           life and infliction of pain and suffering: the loss of the  good
           things of life, joys of life and the positive infliction of pain
           and distress.”



      18.   Further, it has been held in the case of Reshma  Kumari  (supra)
      that certain relevant factors should be taken into consideration while
      awarding compensation under the head of future prospect of income. The
      relevant paragraph read as under:
           “27. The question as to the methodology required to  be  applied
           for determination of compensation as regards prospective loss of
           future earnings, however, as far as possible should be based  on
           certain principles. A person may have a bright future  prospect;
           he might have become eligible to  promotion  immediately;  there
           might have been chances of an immediate pay revision, whereas in
           another the nature of employment was such that he might not have
           continued in service; his chance of promotion, having regard  to
           the nature of employment  may  be  distant  or  remote.  It  is,
           therefore, difficult for any court to lay down rigid tests which
           should be applied in all situations. There are divergent  views.
           In some cases it has been suggested that some sort of hypotheses
           or guess work may be inevitable. That may be so.”




      19.   Therefore, in the light of  the  principles  laid  down  in  the
      aforesaid case, it would be just  and  proper  for  this  Court,   and
      keeping in mind her past results we take [pic]10,000/- as her  monthly
      notional income for computation of just  and  reasonable  compensation
      under the head of loss of income. Further, the High Court  has  failed
      to take into consideration the future prospects of income based on the
      principles laid down by this Court in  catena  of  cases  referred  to
      supra.  Therefore,  the  appellant  is  justified   in   seeking   for
      re-enhancement under this head as well and we hold that the  claimant-
      appellant is entitled to 50% increase  under  this  head  as  per  the
      principle laid down by this Court in the case of Santosh Devi (supra).
      The relevant paragraph reads as under:
             “13. In Sarla Verma's case (supra),  another  two  Judge  Bench
             considered  various  factors  relevant  for   determining   the
             compensation  payable  in  cases  involving  motor   accidents,
             noticed apparent divergence in  the  views  expressed  by  this
             Court  in  different  cases,  referred  to  large   number   of
             precedents including the  judgments  in  U.P.  SRTC  v.  Trilok
             Chandra  (1996) 4 SCC 362, Nance v. British  Columbia  Electric
             Railway Company Ltd. 1951 AC  601,  Davies  v.  Powell  Duffryn
             Associated Collieries Ltd. 1942 AC 601 and made an  attempt  to
             limit the exercise of discretion by the Tribunals and the  High
             Courts in the matter of award of compensation  by  laying  down
             straightjacket formula under different headings, some of  which
             are enumerated below:
           (i) Addition to income for future prospects
            In Susamma Thomas this Court increased  the  income  by  nearly
             100%, in Sarla Dixit the income was increased only by  50%  and
             in Abati Bezbaruah the income was increased by a  mere  7%.  In
             view of the imponderables and uncertainties, we are  in  favour
             of adopting as a rule of thumb, an addition of  50%  of  actual
             salary to the actual salary  income  of  the  deceased  towards
             future prospects, where the deceased had a  permanent  job  and
             was below 40 years. (Where the annual income is in the  taxable
             range, the words "actual salary"  should  be  read  as  "actual
             salary less tax"). The addition should be only 30% if  the  age
             of the deceased  was  40  to  50  years.  There  should  be  no
             addition, where the age of the deceased is more than 50 years.
             Though the evidence may  indicate  a  different  percentage  of
             increase, it is necessary to standardise the addition to  avoid
             different yardsticks being  applied  or  different  methods  of
             calculation being adopted. Where the deceased was self-employed
             or  was  on  a  fixed  salary  (without  provision  for  annual
             increments, etc.), the courts will usually take only the actual
             income at the time of death. A departure  therefrom  should  be
             made only in  rare  and  exceptional  cases  involving  special
             circumstances.


      Therefore, taking both the aspects into account, the total  amount  of
      compensation  under  this  head  is   calculated   as   Rs.22,68,000/-
      [([pic]10,000/-x 70/100 + 10,000 x 70/100 x 50/100) x 12 x 18]


      20. The compensation under the head pain & suffering and mental  agony
      was awarded by the High Court after recording concurrent finding  with
      the award passed by the Tribunal. However, the courts below  have  not
      recorded the nature of the  permanent  disablement  sustained  by  the
      appellant, while awarding [pic]1,00,000/- under this head which is too
      meager an amount and is contrary to the judgment  of  R.D.  Hattangadi
      and Govind Yadav cases (supra).  The  relevant  paragraphs  of  Govind
      Yadav case read as under:
           “25.  The  compensation  awarded  by  the  Tribunal  for   pain,
           suffering and trauma caused due to the  amputation  of  leg  was
           meager. It is not in dispute that the appellant had remained  in
           the hospital for a period  of  over  three  months.  It  is  not
           possible for the tribunals and the  courts  to  make  a  precise
           assessment of the pain and trauma suffered  by  a  person  whose
           limb is amputated as a result of accident. Even if the victim of
           accident gets artificial limb, he  will  suffer  from  different
           kinds of  handicaps  and  social  stigma  throughout  his  life.
           Therefore, in all such  cases,  the  tribunals  and  the  courts
           should make a broad guess for the purpose of fixing  the  amount
           of compensation.


           26. Admittedly, at the time of accident,  the  appellant  was  a
           young man of 24 years. For the remaining life,  he  will  suffer
           the trauma of not being able to do his normal  work.  Therefore,
           we feel that ends of justice will be met by awarding him  a  sum
           of Rs 1,50,000 in lieu of pain, suffering and trauma caused  due
           to the amputation of leg.”


      Therefore, under this head the amount awarded should  be  enhanced  to
      [pic]2,00,000/- as the Doctor-PW2 has opined  that   at  the  time  of
      walking with support  of  crutches,  the  claimant-appellant  will  be
      suffering pain permanently. Therefore, under this head it  has  to  be
      enhanced from [pic]1,00,000/- to       [pic]2,00,000/-.


      21. The loss of amenity and attendant charges awarded  by  the  courts
      below at [pic]1,00,000/- is also too meager an amount as the appellant
      has permanently lost her amenity of both the legs. For the purpose  of
      walking, squatting, running and also studying throughout her life  and
      particularly, at the advanced age, she will be requiring the attendant
      for giving assistance to attend the nature’s call and also at the time
      of sitting or moving around. Therefore, the compensation at this  head
      is required to be  enhanced from  [pic]1,00,000/-  to  [pic]2,00,000/-
      based upon the principle laid down by this court in Govind Yadav  case
      (supra), the relevant paragraph of which reads as under:


          “27. The compensation awarded by the  Tribunal  for  the  loss  of
          amenities was also meagre. It can only be a matter of  imagination
          as to how the appellant will have to live for the rest of his life
          with one artificial leg. The appellant can be expected to live for
          at least 50 years. During this period he will not be able to  live
          like a normal human being and will not be able to enjoy life.  The
          prospects of his marriage have considerably reduced. Therefore, it
          would be just and reasonable to award him a sum of Rs 1,50,000 for
          the loss of amenities and enjoyment of life.”




      22.  The amount of compensation awarded under the  head  of  ‘Loss  of
      enjoyment of  life  and  marriage  prospects’  at  [pic]2,00,000/-  is
      totally inadequate  since  her  marriage  prospect  has  substantially
      reduced and on account of permanent disablement she will  be  deprived
      of enjoyment of life. Therefore,  it  would  be  just  and  proper  to
      enhance the compensation from [pic]2,00,000/- to  [pic]3,00,000/-.  In
      so far as, purchase of crutches periodically, it  would  be  just  and
      proper to award a sum of [pic]50,000/-.


      23.   Further, the accident had  taken  place  on  11.4.2005  and  the
      claimant- appellant, since then has been fighting for justice,  first,
      in the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, then the High Court and  finally
      before us. Therefore, we consider that she is rightfully  entitled  to
      the cost of litigation as per the principle laid down by this Court in
      the case of Balram Prasad v. Kunal Saha & Ors.[6] Therefore, we  award
      a sum of [pic]25000/- under the head of ‘cost of litigation’.


      24.   Thus, the claimant-appellant in this appeal  is  entitled  to  a
      total amount of [pic]30,93,000/- as compensation with an interest @ 9%
      per annum based on the principle laid down by this Court in  Municipal
      Corporation of Delhi, Delhi v. Uphaar Tragedy  Victims  Association  &
      Ors.[7] from the date of filing of the application till  the  date  of
      payment.


      25. The Insurance Company is directed to deposit 50%  of  the  awarded
          amount with proportionate interest within four weeks from the date
          of receipt of a copy of this order, after deducting the amount  if
          already paid, in any of the Nationalized Bank of the choice of the
          appellant, for a period of 3 years. During the said period, if she
          wants to withdraw a portion or entire  deposited  amount  for  her
          personal or any  other  expenses,  including  development  of  her
          asset, then she is 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.


      The rest of 50% amount awarded with proportionate interest  shall  be
      paid to the appellant/claimant by way of a demand  draft  within  four
      weeks from the date of receipt of  the  copy  of  this  judgment.  The
      Insurance Company is further  directed  to  submit  compliance  report
      before this court within five weeks thereafter.


      26.   The appeal is allowed accordingly. No costs.






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


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

      New Delhi,
      April 25, 2014






























      -----------------------
      [1]    (2012) 6 SCC 421
[2]    (1995) 1 SCC 551
[3]    (2011) 10 SCC 683
[4]    (2011) 1 SCC 343
[5]    (2009) 13 SCC 422
[6]     (2014) 1 SCC 384
      [7]    (2011) 14 SCC 481

                           -----------------------
                                     31


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