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Friday, February 20, 2015

The insurer company has contended that claimant was getting Rs.23,000/- per month at the time of accident. It appears that he was getting non-practitioner allowance also in addition to the salary. It would be appropriate to take his salary at Rs.25,000/- per month. Considering the fact that 60% permanent disability has been incurred and considering over all injuries caused, there is a loss of working capacity to the said extent. Monthly loss of earning capacity comes to Rs.15,000/-. Multiplier of 16 is applicable at the age of 36 years. Expenditure must have been incurred in 8 days when claimant was treated in Shanti Hospital when surgery of right leg was performed and two plates were inserted which we quantify at Rs.20,000/-. There was loss of earning during course of treatment which has been determined by the Claims Tribunal and medical expenditure in SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack comes to Rs.66,566/-. Compensation for pain and suffering, expenditure on attendant and on special diet has also to be awarded. The compensation after deducting medical reimbursement already received, is awarded in the following manner : Description Amount (Rs.) For loss of earning capacity due to permanent disability (Rs.15,000 x 12 x 16) 28,80,000/- Loss of salary during treatment in the year 2001-2002 2,14,848/- Expenditure incurred in SCB Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack 66,566/- Expenditure incurred in Shanti Hospital 20,000/- Physical pain and sufferings 2,00,000/- Expenditure incurred on attendant for 9 months during treatment 90,000/- Special diet 28,500/- .................... Grand Total: 34,99,914/- rounded off 35,00,000/- ......................

                                                                  Reportable

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2078 OF 2015
                (ARISING OUT OF SLP (CIVIL) NO.20977 OF 2014)

New India Assurance Co. Ltd.            ... APPELLANT

                                   VERSUS

Dr. Sukanta Kumar Behera & Ors.         ...RESPONDENTS



                               J U D G M E N T

Arun Mishra, J.



1.    Leave granted.

2.    The appeal has been preferred by the insurer against the  order  dated
9.5.2014, passed by the High Court of Orissa at Cuttack in  M.A.C.A.  No.576
of 2008 awarding compensation  of  Rs.55,00,000/-  to  the  respondent,  Dr.
Sukanta Kumar Behera for the injuries sustained  and   permanent  disability
incurred by him in the accident dated  9.9.2001.  The  Claims  Tribunal  had
awarded compensation of Rs.4,01,414/-.

3.    The appellant was working as Senior Medical Officer  in  Bhilai  Steel
Plant.  He met with an accident and ultimately due to  permanent  disability
incurred by him, his services were terminated on 29.8.2007. He incurred  60%
permanent disability owing to various injuries sustained  in  the  accident.
The question to be considered is whether the  High  Court  is  justified  in
awarding  compensation  of  Rs.55,00,000/-  without   any   discussion   and
computation. The approach of the High Court cannot be said to  be  justified
in  such  cases  of  injury.  It  is  necessary  to  make   computation   of
compensation to be awarded on account of pecuniary and non-pecuniary heads.

4.    The claimant suffered fracture  in  the  right  forearm,  right  femur
neck, fracture  of  right  radius  midshaft  and  fracture  of  right  ulnar
midshaft in the right hand and grievous fracture of tebia in the  left  leg.
His cervical spinal cord  was  also  injured.   He  also  suffered  grievous
abdomen injury for which he had to be operated.  Besides, he  also  suffered
injury in the chest.

5.    He was admitted in various hospitals as indoor patient.  Firstly  from
9.9.2001 to 24.9.2001, he was treated  in SCB Medical College and  Hospital,
Cuttack where his left leg was operated, operation of abdomen,  traction  of
right leg was done and a slab was put  in  right  hand.   Secondly,  he  was
treated in Shanti Hospital, Cuttack, from 24.9.2001 to  30.9.2001  where  he
was operated upon for implanting two steel plates in  right  leg.   Thirdly,
he was  admitted  in  Kalinga  Hospital,  Bhubaneswar,  for  treatment  from
1.10.2001 to 15.10.2001 for abdominal surgery in which considerable part  of
his stomach and large intestine was removed to save his  life.   Thereafter,
he  was  admitted  in  C.M.C.  Hospital,  Vellore  as  indoor  patient  from
16.10.2001 to 25.5.2002 for 7-1/2 months and again in the month of  February
2004 he was admitted there for a period  of  8  days.   At  Vellore  in  CMC
Hospital, several surgeries were performed, besides bone  grafting  in  left
leg and removal of implanted right femur due to  infection  and  discharging
sinus.  The amount spent by him at Vellore CMC  Hospital  towards  treatment
and medical expenditure was reimbursed to the extent of Rs.10,72,013/-.

6.    As per  Dr.  R.K.  Pandey,  the  claimant  Dr.  Sukanta  Kumar  Behera
sustained injuries resulting into  60%  permanent  disability.   In  future,
treatment of left ankle, foot drop and right  hip  replacement  surgery  may
also be required.  It is also apparent that due to removal of large part  of
intestine the  claimant  will  have  to  remain  on  special  diet  and  his
digestion capacity has been declined to a  great  extent  due  to  abdominal
surgery for rest of his  life.   It  is  also  apparent  that  he  had  also
suffered grievous injuries resulting into 60% permanent  disability  besides
one inch shortening of right limb.

7.     The  insurer  company  has  contended  that  claimant   was   getting
Rs.23,000/- per month at the time  of  accident.  It  appears  that  he  was
getting non-practitioner allowance also  in  addition  to  the  salary.   It
would  be  appropriate  to  take  his  salary  at  Rs.25,000/-  per   month.
Considering the fact that 60% permanent disability  has  been  incurred  and
considering over all injuries caused, there is a loss of  working   capacity
to the said extent. Monthly loss of earning capacity comes  to  Rs.15,000/-.
Multiplier of 16 is applicable at the age of  36  years.   Expenditure  must
have been incurred in 8 days when claimant was treated  in  Shanti  Hospital
when surgery of right leg was performed and two plates were  inserted  which
we quantify at Rs.20,000/-.  There was loss  of  earning  during  course  of
treatment which has been determined  by  the  Claims  Tribunal  and  medical
expenditure  in  SCB  Medical  College  and  Hospital,  Cuttack   comes   to
Rs.66,566/-.  Compensation for pain and suffering, expenditure on  attendant
and on special  diet  has  also  to  be  awarded.   The  compensation  after
deducting  medical  reimbursement  already  received,  is  awarded  in   the
following manner :

Description                             Amount (Rs.)

For loss of earning capacity due
to permanent disability
(Rs.15,000 x 12 x 16)                        28,80,000/-

Loss of salary during treatment
in the year 2001-2002                    2,14,848/-

Expenditure incurred in SCB
Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack              66,566/-

Expenditure incurred in Shanti
Hospital                                         20,000/-

Physical pain and sufferings             2,00,000/-

Expenditure incurred on attendant
for 9 months during treatment                    90,000/-

Special diet                                           28,500/-
                                                   ....................
Grand Total:                                 34,99,914/-
rounded off
  35,00,000/-
                                                   ......................

            Accordingly,  the  appeal  is  allowed  in  part.   Compensation
amount of Rs.35,00,000/- (Rupees Thirty Five lacs only) is  awarded  to  the
claimant along with interest at the rate of 6% per annum  with  effect  from
the date of filing of claim petition.  The said  amount  be  paid  within  a
period of two months from today.  No costs.



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


                                  ........................................J.
                                                       (ARUN MISHRA)
New Delhi,
February 20, 2015.


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