(Prayer: Appeal filed under Section 173 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, against the Judgment and Decree dated 13.01.2004 made in M.C.O.P.No.1982 of 1997 by the learned Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal cum the learned I Additional District Judge (PCR), Trichy.)
This appeal is focussed as against the Judgment and Decree dated 13.01.2004 made in M.C.O.P.No.1982 of 1997 by the learned Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal cum the learned I Additional District Judge (PCR), Trichy.
2. The challenge in this Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is relating to the quantum of compensation
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awarded by the Tribunal, vide judgment dated 13.01.2004, to a tune of Rs.90,000/- (Rupees Ninety Thousand only) on the following sub-heads:(i) For Medical Expenses - Rs.20,000.00(ii)For Loss of Income - Rs.50,000.00(iii) For Mental Agony - Rs.20,000.00 -------------- Total - Rs.90,000.00 --------------3. Heard the learned Counsel for the appellant. Despite printing the name of the respondents, no one appeared. Hence, at the admission stage itself, the matter has been taken up for disposal.4. Perused the records.5. The challenge in this appeal is on the ground that even though the deceased was in a drunken mood and invited the accident, nonetheless the Tribunal held otherwise and made liable the appellant's driver for accident. The compensation awarded is on the higher side. The injured himself filed the petition for compensation and during the pendency of it, he died and thereby he lost his right to claim compensation and his legal representatives are having no right to claim compensation.6. The points for consideration in this appeal are:(i) Whether the deceased invited the accident by his drunken mood?(ii) Whether the death of the injured attracted the principle "actio personalis moritur cum persona [A personal action dies with the person]" and thereby the legal representatives of the deceased are not entitled to claim compensation?(iii) Whether the Tribunal awarded just compensation or not?Point No:(i)7. Perused the judgment and decree of the Tribunal and the records as well as the relevant typed set of papers.8. The learned Counsel for the appellant would develop his argument to the effect that the deceased was in a drunken mood and hence, he invited the accident. Whereas the Tribunal under point No.(i), elaborately dealt with the issue and it had categorically pointed out that no certificate from the Doctor was produced to show that he was in a drunken mood after consuming liqour. The Tribunal relying on the evidence of P.W.1 and also Ex.P.1, the F.I.R, arrived at the conclusion on appreciation of facts placed before it. I could see no reason to interfere with the finding of the Tribunal. The Court cannot assume or presume that the injured who subsequently died, in this case was in intoxicated mood at the time of accident in the absence of clinching medical evidence. Accordingly, no interference with the finding of the Tribunal is warranted.Point No:(ii)9. The Tribunal under point No.(ii) gave a finding to the effect that the injuries sustained by the petitioner in the accident, resulted in his death during the pendency of the petition. 10. In this case, the Tribunal clearly held that there is nexus between the injuries sustained by the injured and the death of the deceased. No contrary evidence has been adduced. Simply because there is time lag of eight months between the accident and the death, there is no presumption that his death was due to some other cause. The principle, "actio personalis moritur cum persona [A personal action dies with the person]" is therefore not applicable in the facts and circumstances of this case.11. The Tribunal in paragraph No.10, clearly highlighted that the deceased sustained injuries on his left thigh and other parts of his body and the nature of those injuries are such that they were all serious injuries and in such a case, it cannot be countenanced that there was no nexus between the injury sustained and the death ensued. Accordingly, this point also is decided as against the appellant. Point No:(iii)12. The Tribunal awarded only a sum of Rs.90,000/- under various sub heads as set out supra. Since the deceased was a rickshaw man of 35 years during the year 1997, the Tribunal assessed the loss of income in a sum of Rs.50,000/- which requires no interference. However, the Tribunal could have been chosen the notional income and applied the multiplier method instead of simply assessing the loss of income in a sum of Rs.50,000/- under other sub heads, the Tribunal assessed the compensation correctly.13. Considering the whole kit and caboodle of the facts and figures available and more so, the entire matter in an overall manner, no interference by this Court is warranted. Accordingly, this point is decided as against the appellant.14. The learned Counsel for the appellant in an extempore manner would correctly submit that the Tribunal awarded 9% interest which has to be reduced to 7.5% taking into consideration the prevailing rate of interest at the time of passing of the award.15. In the result, this appeal is dismissed; however, the rate of interest is reduced from 9% to 7.5% as per the prevailing rate of interest at the time of passing of the award. Consequently, connected Miscellaneous Petition is dismissed. No costs.