IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1636 OF 2016
BHOGIREDDI VARALAKSHMI AND OTHERS ... PETITIONERS (S)
MANI MUTHUPANDI AND OTHERS ... RESPONDENT (S)
O R D E R
Aggrieved by the inadequacy of compensation awarded by the Motor Accident
Claims Tribunal (for short ‘the Tribunal’) and the High Court, the
petitioners have filed this Special Leave Petition. Taking note of the fact
that the deceased was aged 52 years, the Tribunal in the award dated
22.10.2008, declined to grant any addition for future prospects in the
salary and adopted the multiplier as “6.31”. An amount of Rs.15,000/- was
granted towards loss of consortium to the wife and Rs.2,500/- towards
funeral expenses. The compensation amount was to carry interest at the rate
of 7.5 per cent per annum.
The claimants/petitioners, not satisfied with the compensation, approached
the High Court.
As per the impugned Judgment dated 24.03.2015, the appeal was disposed of.
The learned Judge took note of the decision of this Court in Sarla Verma
(Smt.) and others v. Delhi Transport Corporation and another in adopting
the multiplier and observed that going by the said decision, the multiplier
to be applied is “11”. However, taking note of the fact that the deceased
would have retired at the age of 60 years, fixed the multiplier as “8”. In
the matter of consortium, it was observed that “... deceased died not in
the prime of his youth but at his middle age”, and hence the widow was
granted consortium of Rs.25,000/-. No addition was made towards future
It is shocking and disturbing that the learned Judge declined to follow the
principles laid down by this Court in unmistakeable terms in Sarla Verma
(supra) as far as multiplier is concerned. We do not want to say anything
more. Therefore, in this case, the multiplier is taken as “11”.
As far as consortium is concerned, this Court in Rajesh and others v.
Rajbir Singh and others has held that consortium is the right of the
spouse to the company, care, help, comfort, guidance, society, solace,
affection and sexual relations with his or her mate. It was also held in
the above case that the children are also entitled for award of
compensation for loss of love, care and guidance. This emotional element
has nothing to do with the expected life span. Having observed that it was
time to revisit compensation granted under the conventional heads, it was
held that the widow was entitled to loss of consortium to the tune of
Rs.1,00,000/-. Towards loss of love, care and guidance for minor children,
an amount of Rs.1,00,000/- was also awarded.
It was also held in Rajesh (supra) that in case, the deceased is above the
age of 50 years, the enhancement of 15 per cent was to be given towards
loss of future prospects.
Close to Rajesh (supra), there was another decision of this Court, again of
the strength of three Judges, in Reshma Kumari and others v. Madan Mohan
and another, rendered on 02.04.2013.
While Rajesh (supra) went a step ahead of Sarla Verma (supra) in awarding
15 per cent enhancement towards loss of future prospects, the decision in
Reshma Kumari (supra) reaffirmed the principles laid down in Sarla Verma
(supra) which declined any addition towards future prospects after the age
of 50 years.
It may be noted that there was no reference of Reshma Kumari (supra) in
Rajesh (supra), apparently, since the said judgment had not been reported
by the time Rajesh (supra) was rendered.
On 02.07.2014, a two-Judge Bench of this Court in National Insurance
Company Limited v. Pushpa and others, taking note of the conflicting
positions as far as addition of future prospects after the age of 50 years,
in Reshma Kumari (supra) and Rajesh (supra), has made a Reference of this
aspect to a larger Bench. We are informed that the Reference is still
Under the above circumstances, we are inclined to pass an interim Order on
compensation as far as the undisputed areas are concerned and then post
this petition after the Reference is answered by the larger Bench.
Therefore, by way of an interim measure, it is ordered that the petitioners
shall be entitled to enhancement of compensation by fixing the multiplier
as “11”. The widow shall be entitled for loss of consortium to the tune of
Rs.1,00,000/- and the children together are entitled to compensation of
Rs.1,00,000/- towards loss of love, care, guidance and protection. The
compensation shall carry interest at the rate of 9 per cent from the date
of filing of the claim petition. The Insurance Company shall re-work the
compensation as above and deposit the amount with the Tribunal within three
weeks. On such deposit, it will be open to the claimants to withdraw the
As far as enhancement under the head “future prospects”, post this petition
after the Reference is answered by the larger Bench.
March 3, 2017.
 (2009) 6 SCC 121
 (2013) 9 SCC 54
 (2013) 9 SCC 65
 S.L.P. (Civil) No. 16735 of 2014