advocatemmmohan

My photo

ADVOCATEMMMOHAN -  Practicing both IN CIVIL, CRIMINAL AND FAMILY LAWS,Etc.,

WELCOME TO LEGAL WORLD

WELCOME TO MY LEGAL WORLD - FOR KNOWLEDGE IN LAW & FOR LEGAL OPINIONS - SHARE THIS

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Accident case - M.V. Act - Compensation - father & two minor children while going on motor cycle - car dashed resulting disability of 30% to father & daughter ,20% disability to the son - Lower courts reduced for contributory negligence - granted only less amount towards pain, failed to consider the nutrition and failed to fix the proper income etc., - Apex court held that we can reasonably assume is that the appellant-father would have taken sufficient caution while riding the motorcycle since he was travelling with his two minor children (appellant-minors). Further, upon examining the evidence produced on record, there is no proof showing negligence on the part of the appellant-father. Thus in our view, the contributory negligence apportioned by the High Court at 25% on the appellant-father and 75% on the driver of the offending tractor is erroneous. Thus, we are of the firm conclusion that the negligence is wholly on the part of the driver of the offending tractor since he was driving the heavier vehicle.;father owns 30 bighas of irrigated land in which he was doing agricultural work as per Exhibit-79 Kishtban Khtoni. Keeping in mind the same, the notional income ascertained by the courts below is too less. In our opinion, the appellant-father’s notional income must be at least Rs.5,000/- per month i.e. Rs.60,000/- per annum. Thus, his loss of future income due to 30% permanent disability suffered by him due to the injuries sustained in this accident, taking the appropriate multiplier of 15 (as per Sarla Verma & Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation & Anr.[6]), would be Rs.2,70,000/- (15 X [30% of 60,000/-]).; we award Rs.50,000/- towards pain and suffering of the appellant-father. We further award Rs.50,000/- towards loss of amenities undergone by the appellant-father as per the principles laid down in Sri Nagarajappa v. The Divisional Manager, The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.[7]. ; it is clear that medical attendants were taken for the appellants’ care for 3 months during their treatment and rest period. The Tribunal and the High Court have erred in not awarding compensation towards the same. Therefore, we award Rs.9,000/- each towards attendant’s charges (Rs.3,000/- per month for each attendant) and Rs. 5,000/- each towards transportation charges.;interest rate at only 6% p.a. and 7.5% p.a. respectively on the total compensation amount instead of 9% p.a. by applying the decision of this Court in Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy[8]. Accordingly, we award the interest @9% p.a. on the compensation determined in these appeals.;Accordingly, we allow these appeals= CIVIL APPEAL NO.8632 OF 2014 (Arising out of SLP(C) NO. 21666 OF 2013) KUMARI KIRAN THR. HER FATHER HARINARAYAN … APPELLANT Vs. SAJJAN SINGH & ORS. … RESPONDENTS = 2014 - Sept.Month - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41905

 Accident case - M.V. Act - Compensation - father two minor children while going on motor cycle - car dashed resulting disability of 30% to father & daughter ,20% disability to the son - Lower courts reduced for contributory negligence - granted only less amount towards pain, failed to consider the nutrition and failed to fix the proper income etc., -  Apex court held that we can reasonably assume is  that  the  appellant-father  would  have  taken sufficient caution while riding the motorcycle since he was travelling  with his two minor  children  (appellant-minors).  Further,  upon  examining  the evidence produced on record, there is no proof  showing  negligence  on  the
part of the appellant-father. Thus in our view, the contributory  negligence apportioned by the High Court at 25% on the appellant-father and 75% on  the driver of the offending tractor is  erroneous. Thus, we are of the firm conclusion that the negligence is  wholly  on the part of the driver of the offending tractor since  he  was  driving  the heavier vehicle.;father owns  30  bighas  of
irrigated land in which he was doing agricultural  work  as  per  Exhibit-79
Kishtban Khtoni. Keeping in mind the same, the notional  income  ascertained
by the courts below is too less.  In  our  opinion,  the  appellant-father’s
notional income must be at least Rs.5,000/- per month i.e.  Rs.60,000/-  per
annum. Thus, his loss of future  income  due  to  30%  permanent  disability
suffered by him due to the injuries sustained in this accident,  taking  the
appropriate multiplier of 15 (as per Sarla Verma & Ors. v.  Delhi  Transport
Corporation & Anr.[6]), would be Rs.2,70,000/- (15 X [30% of 60,000/-]).

Therefore,
the appellant-minor daughter and the appellant-father were  determined  with
30% permanent disability and the  appellant-minor-son  was  determined  with
20% permanent disability by the doctor who had treated them.=

Upon  thorough  examination  of
the facts and legal evidence on record in the present  case,  it  cannot  be
said  that  the  appellant-father  was  rash  and  negligent  just  on   the
assumption made by the Tribunal that the collision occurred  in  the  middle
of  the  road  since  the  two  vehicles  were  approaching  from   opposite
directions of the road. However, the only aspect of the case  on  hand  that
we can reasonably assume is  that  the  appellant-father  would  have  taken
sufficient caution while riding the motorcycle since he was travelling  with
his two minor  children  (appellant-minors).  Further,  upon  examining  the
evidence produced on record, there is no proof  showing  negligence  on  the
part of the appellant-father. Thus in our view, the contributory  negligence
apportioned by the High Court at 25% on the appellant-father and 75% on  the
driver of the offending tractor is  erroneous  keeping  in  view  the  legal
principles laid down by this Court on this  aspect  in  the  above  referred
case. Thus, we are of the firm conclusion that the negligence is  wholly  on
the part of the driver of the offending tractor since  he  was  driving  the
heavier vehicle. Therefore, we set aside the 25% contributory negligence  on
the part of the appellant-father as apportioned by the High Court.

the courts  below  have  erred  in  ascertaining  the  notional
income of appellant-father at Rs.1,500/-  per  month  i.e.  Rs.18,000/-  per
annum.  On  examining  the  facts,   evidence   produced   on   record   and
circumstances of the case on hand, the appellant-father owns  30  bighas  of
irrigated land in which he was doing agricultural  work  as  per  Exhibit-79
Kishtban Khtoni. Keeping in mind the same, the notional  income  ascertained
by the courts below is too less.  In  our  opinion,  the  appellant-father’s
notional income must be at least Rs.5,000/- per month i.e.  Rs.60,000/-  per
annum. Thus, his loss of future  income  due  to  30%  permanent  disability
suffered by him due to the injuries sustained in this accident,  taking  the
appropriate multiplier of 15 (as per Sarla Verma & Ors. v.  Delhi  Transport
Corporation & Anr.[6]), would be Rs.2,70,000/- (15 X [30% of 60,000/-]).
The courts below have erred in awarding an amount  of  Rs.  5000/-  only
towards pain and suffering caused to the appellant-father due to the  motor-
vehicle accident. The award towards non-pecuniary heads must be  ascertained
after careful reflection upon the facts and circumstances  of  the  case  on
hand  as  opined  by  this  Court  in  this  aspect  in  R.D.   Hattangadi’s
case(supra). Therefore, keeping in mind the loss suffered by the  appellant-
father due to 30% permanent disability and  circumstances  of  the  case  on
hand and principles laid down by this Court in  the  above  case,  we  award
Rs.50,000/- towards pain and suffering of the appellant-father.  We  further
award Rs.50,000/- towards loss of  amenities  undergone  by  the  appellant-
father as per the principles laid down in Sri Nagarajappa v. The  Divisional
Manager, The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.[7].
We  are  of  the  opinion,  that  the  appellants  without  doubt  need
sufficient nutrition in  order  to  ensure  their  good  health,  especially
considering the appellant-minors who are just over 10 and 15 years  of  age.
As the Tribunal and the High Court have erred in awarding  a  meagre  amount
of Rs.3,000/- to each  one  of  the  appellants  towards  special  food  and
nutrition, instead we award Rs.10,000/- each towards the same.

17. In our considered view of the facts  of  the  case,  it  is  clear  that
medical attendants were taken for the appellants’ care for 3  months  during
their treatment and rest period. The Tribunal and the High Court have  erred
in  not  awarding  compensation  towards  the  same.  Therefore,  we   award
Rs.9,000/- each towards attendant’s charges (Rs.3,000/- per month  for  each
attendant) and Rs. 5,000/- each towards transportation charges.

18. The compensation awarded to the appellants towards medical  expenses  by
the Tribunal and enhancement of the same by the High Court to the appellant-
father is maintained.

19. Further, we are of the view that the Tribunal and the  High  Court  have
erred in granting interest rate at only 6% p.a. and 7.5%  p.a.  respectively
on the total  compensation  amount  instead  of  9%  p.a.  by  applying  the
decision of this Court in Municipal Corporation of Delhi v.  Association  of
Victims of Uphaar Tragedy[8]. Accordingly, we award the  interest  @9%  p.a.
on the compensation determined in these appeals.

20. In the result, the appellants shall be entitled  to  compensation  under
the different heads as per the following table:
|    |Particulars       |Kumari Kiran     |Master Sachin    |Harinarayan      |
|1.  |Loss of future    |-                |-                |Rs.2,70,000/-    |
|    |income due to     |                 |                 |                 |
|    |disability        |                 |                 |                 |
|2.  |Pain and suffering|Rs.1,00,000/-    |Rs.1,00,000/-    |Rs.50,000/-      |
|3.  |Agony to parents  |Rs.25,000/-      |Rs.25,000/-      |-                |
|4.  |Medical Expenses  |Rs.69,844/-      |Rs.84,876/-      |Rs.1,86,154/-    |
|5.  |Attendant         |Rs.9,000/-       |Rs.9,000/-       |Rs.9,000/-       |
|6.  |Transportation    |                 |                 |                 |
|    |                  |Rs.5,000/-       |Rs.5,000/-       |Rs.5,000/-       |
|7.  |Special diet and  |Rs.10,000/-      |Rs.10,000/-      |Rs.10,000/-      |
|    |nutrition         |                 |                 |                 |
|8.  |Permanent         |Rs.3,00,000/-    |Rs.3,00,000/-    |Rs.50,000/-      |
|    |Disability/       |                 |                 |                 |
|    |loss of amenities |                 |                 |                 |
|9.  |Future medical    |Rs.25,000/-      |Rs.25,000/-      |-                |
|    |expenses          |                 |                 |                 |
|    |TOTAL             |Rs.5,43,844/-    |Rs.5,58,876/-    |Rs.5,80,154/-    |

Thus,  the  total  compensation  payable  to  all  the  appellants  by   the
respondent Insurance Company will be as per the total  amount  indicated  in
the preceding table with interest @ 9%  from  the  date  of  filing  of  the
application till the date of payment.

21. Accordingly, we allow these appeals with the following directions:

C.A.@SLP(c) no.21666 of 2013

 The  respondent  Insurance  Company   is  directed  to  deposit  a  sum  of
Rs.4,00,000/- with proportionate interest for a period of 3 years  with  the
liberty to the appellant-minor, Kumari Kiran to withdraw the same by  filing
an application for her education, development and welfare;

The remaining amount of Rs.1,43,844/- with proportionate interest  shall  be
paid to the appellant-minor through her father by way  of  either  a  demand
draft or deposited with the  Motor  Accidents  Claims  Tribunal  within  six
weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of this judgment.

C.A.@SLP(c) no. 21670 of 2013
The  respondent  Insurance  Company  is  directed  to  deposit  a   sum   of
Rs.4,00,000/- with proportionate interest for a period of 3 years  with  the
liberty to the appellant (who may have become a major)  Sachin  to  withdraw
the same by  filing  an  application  for  his  education,  development  and
welfare;

The remaining amount of Rs.1,58,876/- with proportionate interest  shall  be
paid to him by way of either a demand draft  or  deposited  with  the  Motor
Accidents Claims Tribunal within six weeks from the date of receipt  of  the
copy of this judgment.

C.A.@SLP(c) no. 21671 of 2013
The respondent Insurance Company is directed to either pay Rs.5,80,154/-  by
way of demand draft/drafts in favour of the appellant-father Harinarayan  or
deposit the same with  interest  as  awarded,  before  the  Motor  Accidents
Claims Tribunal after deducting the amount already  paid,  if  any,  to  the
appellant within six weeks from the date of receipt  of  the  copy  of  this
judgment.

  All the appeals are allowed in the terms as indicated in the  table  above
with interest. No costs.

2014 - Sept.Month - http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41905

|NON REPORTABLE                  |



                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                          CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.8632 OF 2014
                  (Arising out of SLP(C) NO. 21666 OF 2013)


      KUMARI KIRAN THR. HER FATHER
      HARINARAYAN                             … APPELLANT

                                     Vs.

      SAJJAN SINGH & ORS.                    … RESPONDENTS

                                    WITH

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.8633 OF 2014
                  (Arising out of SLP(C) NO. 21670 OF 2013)

                                     AND
                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.8634 OF 2014
                  (Arising out of SLP(C) NO. 21671 OF 2013)


                               J U D G M E N T


V. GOPALA GOWDA, J.

Leave granted in all the special leave petitions.

2. These appeals have been  filed  by  the  appellants  against  the  common
Judgment and order dated 06.11.2012 passed in Misc.  Application  Nos.  2575
of 2010, 2574 of 2010 and 2579 of 2010 by the High Court  of  Judicature  of
Madhya Pradesh, Principal Bench at Jabalpur, urging various  grounds.  Civil
Appeals arising out of SLP(c) Nos. 21666 of 2013  and  21670  of  2013  have
been filed by Kumari Kiran and Master  Sachin  respectively,  through  their
father Harinarayan as they are minors, while Civil  Appeal  arising  out  of
SLP(c) No. 21671 of 2013 has been filed by the appellant Harinarayan.

3. The necessary relevant facts are stated as under:

    On 04.06.2009, Kumari Kiran and her brother Master Sachin  (the  pillion
riders, hereinafter referred to as the appellant-minors)  were  going  on  a
motor cycle to  their  village  Shujalpur  from  Bhopal  with  their  father
Harinarayan, (rider of the motor  cycle,  hereinafter  referred  to  as  the
appellant-father). While on their  way,  a  tractor  bearing  No.  MP13K1981
driven by Sajjan Singh (respondent No.1), collided with the motor  cycle  on
which the appellants were riding. Due to the impact of  this  collision  the
appellants  fell  down  and  sustained  grievous  injuries.  After   medical
examination, it was concluded that all the three  appellants  had  fractured
their femur, tibia and fibula bones on their right leg and  had  to  undergo
an operation at National Hospital  Bhopal  where  a  rod  and  a  ring  were
implanted on each one of their right leg. Upon further medical  examination,
it was found that the right leg of all the three appellants had  become  one
inch shorter due to the injuries caused to them in the accident.  Therefore,
the appellant-minor daughter and the appellant-father were  determined  with
30% permanent disability and the  appellant-minor-son  was  determined  with
20% permanent disability by the doctor who had treated them.

4. A First Information Report was lodged in Mandi Shujalpur  Police  Station
against  the  driver  (respondent  No.1)  of  the  offending  tractor  under
Sections 279, 337, and 338 of the Indian Penal Code (in short ‘I.P.C.’).

5. The appellants filed a claim petitions before the Motor  Accident  Claims
Tribunal,  Bhopal.  The  Tribunal  after  considering  the  facts,  evidence
produced  on  record  and  the  circumstances  of  the   case,   apportioned
contributory negligence at 50% on the part of the appellant-father  who  was
riding the motorcycle on which the appellant-minors were the pillion  riders
and 50% on the driver of the offending tractor.

6.  The  Tribunal  vide  its  award   dated   19.03.2010   ascertained   the
compensation due to the appellants as per the  calculations  stated  in  the
table below:
|   |Particulars  |Kumari Kiran     |Master Sachin    |Harinarayan      |
|1. |Notional     |Rs.15,000/- p.a. |Rs.15,000/- p.a. |Rs.18,000/- p.a. |
|   |income       |                 |                 |                 |
|2. |Multiplier   |15               |15               |15               |
|3. |Income for   |Rs.2,25,000/-(Rs.|Rs.2,25,000/-    |Rs.2,70,000/-(Rs.|
|   |whole life   |15,000/- X 15)   |(Rs.15,000/- X   |18,000/- X 15)   |
|   |             |                 |15)              |                 |
|4. |Future loss  |Rs.67,500/-(30%  |Rs.45,000/-(20%  |Rs.81,000/-(30%  |
|   |of income due|of Rs.2,25,000/-)|of Rs.2,25,000/-)|of Rs.2,70,000/-)|
|   |to permanent |                 |                 |                 |
|   |disability   |                 |                 |                 |
|5. |Agony        |Rs.5,000/-       |Rs.5,000/-       |Rs.5,000/-       |
|6. |Diet         |Rs.3,000/-       |Rs.3,000/-       |Rs.3,000/-       |
|7. |Medical      |Rs.69,844/-      |Rs. 84,876/-     |Rs.1,51,154/-    |
|   |expenses     |                 |                 |                 |
|8. |Loss of      |-                |-                |Rs.4,500/-       |
|   |income       |                 |                 |                 |
|9. |Total        |Rs.1,45,344/-    |Rs.1,37,876/-    |Rs.2,44,654/-    |
|   |compensation |                 |                 |(Rounded off to  |
|   |under all    |                 |                 |Rs.2,44,500/-)   |
|   |heads        |                 |                 |                 |
|10 |50% deduction|Rs.72,672/-      |Rs.68,938/-      |Rs.1,22,250/-    |
|   |towards      |                 |                 |                 |
|   |contributory |                 |                 |                 |
|   |negligence   |                 |                 |                 |
|11 |TOTAL        |Rs.72,672/-      |Rs.68,938/-      |Rs.1,22,250/-    |



      The Tribunal awarded an interest at the rate of 6% p.a.  on the  total
compensation.

7.  Being aggrieved  by  the  common  award  passed  by  the  Tribunal,  the
appellants filed M.A. Nos. 2575 of 2010, 2574  of  2010  and  2579  of  2010
before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur. After  considering  the
facts, evidence on record and circumstances of  the  case,  the  High  Court
held that the appellant-minors who were the pillion riders  cannot  be  held
for contributory negligence as apportioned by the  Tribunal  even  if  their
appellant-father who was the motorcyclist was at fault. Therefore, the  High
Court set aside the deduction arising out  of  the  contributory  negligence
from the compensation determined towards the permanent  disability  for  the
appellant-minors. The High Court also reduced  the  contributory  negligence
on the part of appellant-father (motorcyclist) from  50%  to  25%.  Further,
the High Court enhanced the compensation of the appellant-minor daughter  by
Rs. 30,000/-, the appellant-minor-son  by  Rs.25,000/-  and  the  appellant-
father by Rs.65,000/- (Rs.30,000/- lump sum and Rs.35,000/- towards  medical
expenses) to be paid with an interest @ Rs.7.5% per annum vide its  impugned
judgment and order dated 06.11.2012. Aggrieved by the impugned Judgment  and
order, the appellants filed these appeals.

8. It was contended by Mr. Awadesh Kumar Singh, the learned counsel for  the
appellants that:
The compensation awarded to the  appellants  under  the  heads  of  loss  of
future income was inadequate by taking notional income as  only  Rs.15,000/-
per annum for  the  appellant-minors  and  Rs.18,000/-  per  annum  for  the
appellant-father;
No  compensation  has  been  awarded  towards  the  medical  attendants  who
attended the appellants to take care of  them  for  a  period  of  3  months
treatment after the accident;
Compensation  for  permanent  disability  should  have  been  awarded  after
considering the enormity of suffering, pain and agony loss of  enjoyment  of
life of the appellants by relying on the principle laid down by  this  Court
in Subulaxmi Vs. M.D., Tamil Nadu State Transport  Corporation  and  Anr.[1]
in which, this Court has held thus:-
“5. At the outset, it is requisite to be stated that the facts as have  been
adumbrated are not in dispute. Therefore,  first  we  shall  advert  to  the
issue whether the High Court was justified in  awarding  compensation  on  a
singular head relating to permanent disability and loss of  future  earning.
In K. Suresh v. New India Assurance Co. Limited and  Anr.  2012  (10)  SCALE
516, after referring to Ramesh Chandra v. Randhir Singh  (1990)  3  SCC  723
and B. Kothandapani  v.  Tamil  Nadu  State  Transport  Corporation  Limited
(2011) 6 SCC 420, this Court expressed the view  that  compensation  can  be
granted towards permanent disability as well as  loss  of  future  earnings,
for one head relates to the impairment of person's capacity  and  the  other
relates to the sphere of pain and suffering and loss of  enjoyment  of  life
by the person himself. The Bench  also  relied  upon  Laxman  v.  Divisional
Manager, Oriental Insurance Co. Limited and Anr. 2012 ACJ  191,  wherein  it
has been laid down thus:
The ratio of the above noted judgments is that if the victim of an  accident
suffers permanent or temporary disability, then  efforts  should  always  be
made to award adequate compensation not only for  the  physical  injury  and
treatment, but also for  the  pain,  suffering  and  trauma  caused  due  to
accident, loss of earnings and victim's inability to lead a normal life  and
enjoy amenities, which he would have enjoyed but for the  disability  caused
due to the accident.
Thus,  the  view  expressed  by  the  High  Court  on  this  score  is   not
sustainable.”

9. After considering the contentions of the learned  counsel  for  both  the
parties, we are of the view that the courts below have failed to follow  the
principles as laid down by this Court in the case of  Subulaxmi  (supra)  in
awarding compensation under a singular  head  towards  permanent  disability
and loss of future earning to the appellant-minors and appellant-father.

10.  It is stated that the appellant-minors were just 10 and  15  years  old
at the time of the accident. They have undergone immense physical  pain  and
suffering as well as mental shock and trauma  at  a  very  tender  age.  The
trauma undergone by the appellant-minors due to  the  motor  accident  could
have a severe and  long-lasting  effect.   The  appellant-minors  and  their
parents will have to make arrangements to support their  disability  in  the
future.  No amount of monetary benefit will  compensate  for  the  suffering
and pain that the appellant-minors have to endure to overcome  the  probable
shackles of their disability in the  future.  The  appellant-father  suffers
from 30% permanent disability due to the shortening of his right leg by  one
inch after injuries sustained by them in the motor  vehicle  accident.  Both
the children are suffering from  permanent  disability  due  to  this  motor
vehicle accident. The appellant-father has and continues  to  undergo  loss,
pain and suffering in many ways due to this accident.  Therefore,  when  the
question of  compensation  arises  in  the  case  of  permanent  disablement
suffered by the appellants  due  to  a  motor  accident,  we  refer  to  the
principles laid down by this Court in the case of R.D.  Hattangadi  vs  Pest
Control (India) Pvt. Ltd[2], wherein it was held as under:-
“9.Broadly speaking while fixing an amount  of  compensation  payable  to  a
victim of an accident,  the  damages  have  to  be  assessed  separately  as
pecuniary damages and special damages. Pecuniary  damages  are  those  which
the victim has actually incurred and which are capable of  being  calculated
in terms of  money;  whereas  non-pecuniary  damages  are  those  which  are
incapable of being  assessed  by  arithmetical  calculations.  In  order  to
appreciate two concepts pecuniary damages may include expenses  incurred  by
the claimant: (i) medical attendance; (ii) loss of earning of profit  up  to
the date of trial; (iii) other material loss. So far non- pecuniary  damages
are concerned, they may include (i) damages for mental and  physical  shock,
pain and suffering, already suffered or likely to  be  suffered  in  future;
(ii) damages to compensate for the loss  of  amenities  of  life  which  may
include a variety of matters i.e. on account of injury the claimant may  not
be able to walk, run or sit; (iii) damages for the loss  of  expectation  of
life, i.e., on  account  of  injury  the  normal  longevity  of  the  person
concerned  is   shortened;   (iv)   inconvenience,   hardship,   discomfort,
disappointment, frustration and mental stress in life.”

Therefore, quantification  of  damages  divided  under  different  heads  as
mentioned in the above case must be very carefully observed  by  the  courts
while awarding compensation to the victims of  motor-vehicle  accidents.  It
is extremely essential for the courts to consider the  two  main  components
of damages  i.e.  both  pecuniary  and  non-pecuniary  damages  as  per  the
guidelines laid down by this Court in the above case so that  the  just  and
reasonable compensation is awarded to the injured.

11. Further, with respect to just compensation to be awarded to the  victims
of motor-vehicle accidents, we refer to the decision of this  Court  in  the
case of Raj Kumar vs Ajay Kumar & Anr. [3], wherein it was held as under:-
“5. The provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (`Act'  for  short)  makes
it clear that the award must be just, which means that compensation  should,
to the extent possible, fully and adequately restore  the  claimant  to  the
position prior to the accident. The object of awarding damages  is  to  make
good the loss suffered as a result of wrong done as far as money can do  so,
in a fair, reasonable and equitable manner.  The  court  or  tribunal  shall
have to assess the damages objectively and exclude  from  consideration  any
speculation or fancy, though some conjecture with reference  to  the  nature
of disability and its consequences, is inevitable. A person is not  only  to
be compensated for the physical injury, but  also  for  the  loss  which  he
suffered as  a  result  of  such  injury.  This  means  that  he  is  to  be
compensated for his inability to lead a full life, his  inability  to  enjoy
those normal amenities which he would have enjoyed  but  for  the  injuries,
and his inability to earn as much as he used to earn or could have earned.”

Thus, the compensation should be reasonably sufficient  so  that  it  equips
the victim to return to their normal life to the  maximum  possible  extent.
The Tribunal and the High Court  have  failed  to  show  compassion  to  the
appellant-minors and appellant-father by not examining  the  above  relevant
aspect of the case on hand and not following the guidelines as laid down  by
this Court to determine  just  and  reasonable  compensation  in  the  cases
referred to supra.

With regard to the appellant-minors
12. With respect to compensation  towards  future  loss  of  income  due  to
permanent disability for appellant-minors, we refer to the  case  of  Master
Mallikarjun v. Divisional Manager, the National Insurance Company Limited  &
Anr.[4], wherein this Court held as under:-

“8. It is unfortunate that both the Tribunal and the  High  Court  have  not
properly appreciated the medical evidence available in the case. The age  of
the child and deformities on his body  resulting  in  disability,  have  not
been duly taken note of. As held by this  Court  in R.D.  Hattangadi v. Pest
Control (India) Pvt. Ltd. and Ors. [(1995) 1 SCC 551], while  assessing  the
non-pecuniary damages, the damages for mental and physical shock,  pain  and
suffering already suffered and that are likely to be  suffered,  any  future
damages for the loss of  amenities  in  life  like  difficulty  in  running,
participation in active sports, etc., damages on account  of  inconvenience,
hardship,  discomfort,  disappointment,  frustration,  etc.,  have   to   be
addressed especially in the case of a child victim. For a  child,  the  best
part of his life is yet to come. While considering the  claim  by  a  victim
child, it would be unfair and improper to follow the structured  formula  as
per the Second Schedule to the Motor Vehicles  Act  for  reasons  more  than
one. The main stress in the formula is on pecuniary  damages.  For  children
there is no income. The only indication in  the  Second  Schedule  for  non-
earning persons is to take the notional income as Rs. 15,000/- per  year.  A
child cannot be  equated  to  such  a  non-earning  person.  Therefore,  the
compensation is to be worked out under the non-pecuniary heads  in  addition
to the actual amounts  incurred  for  treatment  done  and/or  to  be  done,
transportation, assistance of attendant, etc. The main  elements  of  damage
in the case of child victims are the pain, shock,  frustration,  deprivation
of ordinary pleasures and  enjoyment  associated  with  healthy  and  mobile
limbs.  The  compensation  awarded  should  enable  the  child  to   acquire
something or to develop a lifestyle which will offset  to  some  extent  the
inconvenience or discomfort  arising  out  of  the  disability.  Appropriate
compensation for disability  should  take  care  of  all  the  non-pecuniary
damages. In other words, apart from this  head,  there  shall  only  be  the
claim for the actual expenditure for treatment,  attendant,  transportation,
etc.

                                               (Emphasis laid by this Court)


The Tribunal has  calculated  the  future  loss  of  income  by  taking  the
notional income of each the appellant-minor as  Rs.15,000/-  per  annum.  We
are of the  considered  view  that  a  child’s  notional  income  cannot  be
ascertained as per the figure given for a  non-earning  individuals  in  the
second schedule of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. As  the  Tribunal  and  the
High Court have not followed the principles laid down by this Court  in  the
above case by awarding loss of future income due  to  permanent  disability,
therefore, we set aside the same. Further, reiterating the  same  principles
as held in Master Mallikarjun’s case (supra), we  award  Rs.1,00,000/-  each
towards shock, pain and suffering (non-pecuniary head) in place of  loss  of
future  income  due  to  permanent   disability.      Further,   in   Master
Mallikarjun  case  (supra)  with  respect  to  compensation  for   permanent
disability this Court held thus:-

“12. Though,  it  is  difficult  to  have  an  accurate  assessment  of  the
compensation in the case of children suffering disability on  account  of  a
motor vehicle accident, having regard to the  relevant  factors,  precedents
and the approach of various High  Courts,  we  are  of  the  view  that  the
appropriate compensation on all  other  heads  in  addition  to  the  actual
expenditure for treatment, attendant, etc., should be, if the disability  is
above 10% and upto 30% to the whole body, Rs.3 lakhs; upto 60%, Rs.4  lakhs;
upto 90%, Rs.5 lakhs and above 90%, it should be Rs.6 lakhs.  For  permanent
disability upto 10%, it should be Rs.1 lakh, unless  there  are  exceptional
circumstances to take different yardstick...”


Hence, this Court in accordance with the principles laid down by this  Court
in the above case (supra),  and  after  examining  the  facts,  evidence  on
record and circumstances of the case on hand, we deem it fit and  proper  to
award Rs.3,00,000/- towards permanent  disability  of  the  appellant-minors
viz. Kumari Kiran and Master Sachin, since they have suffered  30%  and  20%
permanent disability respectively, due to the shortening of their right  leg
by one inch after the injuries sustained in  the  motor  accident.  Further,
upon considering the age of  appellant-minors,  they  have  a  long  journey
ahead of them in their lives, during which they  along  with  their  parents
will have to endure an immeasurable amount of agony  and  uncertain  medical
expenses due to this motor-vehicle accident. Thus, based on  the  principles
laid down in the above case, we award  Rs.25,000/-  each  towards  agony  to
parents and Rs.25,000/- each towards future medical expenses.

With regard to the appellant-father

13. With regard to the apportionment of contributory negligence  at  25%  on
the part of the appellant-father and 75% on  the  driver  of  the  offending
tractor as determined by the High Court, we refer to the  judgment  of  this
Court in Juju Kuruvila & Ors.  v.  Kunjujamma  Mohan  &  Ors.[5]  as  it  is
applicable to facts of the case on hand. In the  above  case,  Joy  Kuruvila
(the deceased) had a head-on collision  with  a  bus  approaching  from  the
opposite side. Joy Kuruvila sustained serious injuries and died on  the  way
to the hospital.  The Tribunal found that the accident occurred due  to  the
rash  and  negligent  driving  of  the  bus  driver.  It   apportioned   the
contributory negligence between the driver and the deceased in the ratio  of
75:25%. On the basis of the pleadings & evidence on  record,  in  the  above
said case, this Court has held thus on the negligence of the driver  of  the
bus:-


“20.5. The mere position of the vehicles  after  accident,  as  shown  in  a
scene mahazar, cannot give a substantial proof as to the rash and  negligent
driving on the part of one or the  other.  When  two  vehicles  coming  from
opposite  directions  collide,  the  position  of  the  vehicles   and   its
direction, etc. depends on a number of factors like the speed  of  vehicles,
intensity of collision, reason for collision, place  at  which  one  vehicle
hit the other, etc. From the scene of  the  accident,  one  may  suggest  or
presume the manner in which the accident was caused, but in the  absence  of
any direct or corroborative evidence, no  conclusion  can  be  drawn  as  to
whether there was negligence on the part of the driver. In absence  of  such
direct or  corroborative  evidence,  the  Court  cannot  give  any  specific
finding about negligence on the part of any individual.

20.6. The post mortem report, Ext. A-5 shows the condition of  the  deceased
at the time of death.  The  said  report  reflects  that  the  deceased  had
already taken meal  and  his  stomach  was  half-full  and  contained  rice,
vegetables and meat pieces in a fluid  with  strong  smell  of  spirit.  The
aforesaid evidence, Ext.A-5 clearly suggests that  the  deceased  had  taken
liquor but on the basis of the same, no definite finding can be  given  that
the deceased was driving the car rashly and negligently at the time  of  the
accident. The mere suspicion based on Ext. B-2 “scene mahazar” and Ext.  A-5
post-mortem report cannot take the place  of  evidence,  particularly,  when
the  direct  evidence  like  PW3  (independent  eyewitness),  Ext.  B-1  (FI
statement) are on record.”

The observations made by this Court in the case  of  Juju  Kuruvila  (supra)
surely apply to the fact situation on hand.  Upon  thorough  examination  of
the facts and legal evidence on record in the present  case,  it  cannot  be
said  that  the  appellant-father  was  rash  and  negligent  just  on   the
assumption made by the Tribunal that the collision occurred  in  the  middle
of  the  road  since  the  two  vehicles  were  approaching  from   opposite
directions of the road. However, the only aspect of the case  on  hand  that
we can reasonably assume is  that  the  appellant-father  would  have  taken
sufficient caution while riding the motorcycle since he was travelling  with
his two minor  children  (appellant-minors).  Further,  upon  examining  the
evidence produced on record, there is no proof  showing  negligence  on  the
part of the appellant-father. Thus in our view, the contributory  negligence
apportioned by the High Court at 25% on the appellant-father and 75% on  the
driver of the offending tractor is  erroneous  keeping  in  view  the  legal
principles laid down by this Court on this  aspect  in  the  above  referred
case. Thus, we are of the firm conclusion that the negligence is  wholly  on
the part of the driver of the offending tractor since  he  was  driving  the
heavier vehicle. Therefore, we set aside the 25% contributory negligence  on
the part of the appellant-father as apportioned by the High Court.


14. Further, the courts  below  have  erred  in  ascertaining  the  notional
income of appellant-father at Rs.1,500/-  per  month  i.e.  Rs.18,000/-  per
annum.  On  examining  the  facts,   evidence   produced   on   record   and
circumstances of the case on hand, the appellant-father owns  30  bighas  of
irrigated land in which he was doing agricultural  work  as  per  Exhibit-79
Kishtban Khtoni. Keeping in mind the same, the notional  income  ascertained
by the courts below is too less.  In  our  opinion,  the  appellant-father’s
notional income must be at least Rs.5,000/- per month i.e.  Rs.60,000/-  per
annum. Thus, his loss of future  income  due  to  30%  permanent  disability
suffered by him due to the injuries sustained in this accident,  taking  the
appropriate multiplier of 15 (as per Sarla Verma & Ors. v.  Delhi  Transport
Corporation & Anr.[6]), would be Rs.2,70,000/- (15 X [30% of 60,000/-]).


15. The courts below have erred in awarding an amount  of  Rs.  5000/-  only
towards pain and suffering caused to the appellant-father due to the  motor-
vehicle accident. The award towards non-pecuniary heads must be  ascertained
after careful reflection upon the facts and circumstances  of  the  case  on
hand  as  opined  by  this  Court  in  this  aspect  in  R.D.   Hattangadi’s
case(supra). Therefore, keeping in mind the loss suffered by the  appellant-
father due to 30% permanent disability and  circumstances  of  the  case  on
hand and principles laid down by this Court in  the  above  case,  we  award
Rs.50,000/- towards pain and suffering of the appellant-father.  We  further
award Rs.50,000/- towards loss of  amenities  undergone  by  the  appellant-
father as per the principles laid down in Sri Nagarajappa v. The  Divisional
Manager, The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.[7].

With regard to all the appellant-claimants

16.  We  are  of  the  opinion,  that  the  appellants  without  doubt  need
sufficient nutrition in  order  to  ensure  their  good  health,  especially
considering the appellant-minors who are just over 10 and 15 years  of  age.
As the Tribunal and the High Court have erred in awarding  a  meagre  amount
of Rs.3,000/- to each  one  of  the  appellants  towards  special  food  and
nutrition, instead we award Rs.10,000/- each towards the same.

17. In our considered view of the facts  of  the  case,  it  is  clear  that
medical attendants were taken for the appellants’ care for 3  months  during
their treatment and rest period. The Tribunal and the High Court have  erred
in  not  awarding  compensation  towards  the  same.  Therefore,  we   award
Rs.9,000/- each towards attendant’s charges (Rs.3,000/- per month  for  each
attendant) and Rs. 5,000/- each towards transportation charges.

18. The compensation awarded to the appellants towards medical  expenses  by
the Tribunal and enhancement of the same by the High Court to the appellant-
father is maintained.

19. Further, we are of the view that the Tribunal and the  High  Court  have
erred in granting interest rate at only 6% p.a. and 7.5%  p.a.  respectively
on the total  compensation  amount  instead  of  9%  p.a.  by  applying  the
decision of this Court in Municipal Corporation of Delhi v.  Association  of
Victims of Uphaar Tragedy[8]. Accordingly, we award the  interest  @9%  p.a.
on the compensation determined in these appeals.

20. In the result, the appellants shall be entitled  to  compensation  under
the different heads as per the following table:
|    |Particulars       |Kumari Kiran     |Master Sachin    |Harinarayan      |
|1.  |Loss of future    |-                |-                |Rs.2,70,000/-    |
|    |income due to     |                 |                 |                 |
|    |disability        |                 |                 |                 |
|2.  |Pain and suffering|Rs.1,00,000/-    |Rs.1,00,000/-    |Rs.50,000/-      |
|3.  |Agony to parents  |Rs.25,000/-      |Rs.25,000/-      |-                |
|4.  |Medical Expenses  |Rs.69,844/-      |Rs.84,876/-      |Rs.1,86,154/-    |
|5.  |Attendant         |Rs.9,000/-       |Rs.9,000/-       |Rs.9,000/-       |
|6.  |Transportation    |                 |                 |                 |
|    |                  |Rs.5,000/-       |Rs.5,000/-       |Rs.5,000/-       |
|7.  |Special diet and  |Rs.10,000/-      |Rs.10,000/-      |Rs.10,000/-      |
|    |nutrition         |                 |                 |                 |
|8.  |Permanent         |Rs.3,00,000/-    |Rs.3,00,000/-    |Rs.50,000/-      |
|    |Disability/       |                 |                 |                 |
|    |loss of amenities |                 |                 |                 |
|9.  |Future medical    |Rs.25,000/-      |Rs.25,000/-      |-                |
|    |expenses          |                 |                 |                 |
|    |TOTAL             |Rs.5,43,844/-    |Rs.5,58,876/-    |Rs.5,80,154/-    |

Thus,  the  total  compensation  payable  to  all  the  appellants  by   the
respondent Insurance Company will be as per the total  amount  indicated  in
the preceding table with interest @ 9%  from  the  date  of  filing  of  the
application till the date of payment.

21. Accordingly, we allow these appeals with the following directions:

C.A.@SLP(c) no.21666 of 2013

 The  respondent  Insurance  Company   is  directed  to  deposit  a  sum  of
Rs.4,00,000/- with proportionate interest for a period of 3 years  with  the
liberty to the appellant-minor, Kumari Kiran to withdraw the same by  filing
an application for her education, development and welfare;

The remaining amount of Rs.1,43,844/- with proportionate interest  shall  be
paid to the appellant-minor through her father by way  of  either  a  demand
draft or deposited with the  Motor  Accidents  Claims  Tribunal  within  six
weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of this judgment.

C.A.@SLP(c) no. 21670 of 2013
The  respondent  Insurance  Company  is  directed  to  deposit  a   sum   of
Rs.4,00,000/- with proportionate interest for a period of 3 years  with  the
liberty to the appellant (who may have become a major)  Sachin  to  withdraw
the same by  filing  an  application  for  his  education,  development  and
welfare;

The remaining amount of Rs.1,58,876/- with proportionate interest  shall  be
paid to him by way of either a demand draft  or  deposited  with  the  Motor
Accidents Claims Tribunal within six weeks from the date of receipt  of  the
copy of this judgment.

C.A.@SLP(c) no. 21671 of 2013
The respondent Insurance Company is directed to either pay Rs.5,80,154/-  by
way of demand draft/drafts in favour of the appellant-father Harinarayan  or
deposit the same with  interest  as  awarded,  before  the  Motor  Accidents
Claims Tribunal after deducting the amount already  paid,  if  any,  to  the
appellant within six weeks from the date of receipt  of  the  copy  of  this
judgment.

  All the appeals are allowed in the terms as indicated in the  table  above
with interest. No costs.



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



                                                     ………………………………………………………J.
                                             [ADARSH KUMAR GOEL]


  New Delhi,
  September 11, 2014
ITEM NO.1A-For Judgment      COURT NO.12          SECTION IVA

               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.8632 OF 2014
                  (Arising out of SLP(C) NO. 21666 OF 2013)

      KUMARI KIRAN THR. HER FATHER
      HARINARAYAN                             … APPELLANT
                                     Vs.
      SAJJAN SINGH & ORS.                    … RESPONDENTS
                                    WITH
                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.8633 OF 2014
                  (Arising out of SLP(C) NO. 21670 OF 2013)

                                     AND
                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.8634 OF 2014
                  (Arising out of SLP(C) NO. 21671 OF 2013)

Date : 11/09/2014 These appeals were called on for judgment today.


For Petitioner(s)       Mr. Awadhesh Kumar Singh, Adv.
                     Mr. R. D. Upadhyay,Adv.

For Respondent(s)
                     Mr. Chander Shekhar Ashri,Adv.


      Hon'ble Mr. Justice V.Gopala Gowda  pronounced  the  judgment  of  the
Bench comprising His Lordship and Hon'ble Mr. Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.
      Leave granted.
      The appeals are allowed in terms of the signed order.


    (VINOD KUMAR)                               (MALA KUMARI SHARMA)
      COURT MASTER                                 COURT MASTER
      (Signed Non-Reportable judgment is placed on the file)
-----------------------
[1]


      [2]                     (2012)10 SCC 177
[3]
      [4]                     (1995) 1  SCC 551
[5]
      [6]                     (2011)1 SCC 343
[7]
      [8]                     AIR 2014 SC 736
[9]
      [10]                    (2013)9 SCC 166
[11]
      [12]                    (2009)6 SCC 121
[13]
      [14]
[15]
      [16]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.