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Laxman Lal Latta v/s Kamlesh Parmar & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- LAXMAN PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U31300RJ1974PTC001554

Company & Directors' Information:- C. LAL LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909HR2012PLC046499

    Civil Misc. Appeal No. 1135 of 2016

    Decided On, 05 September 2019

    At, High Court of Rajasthan

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE GOVERDHAN BARDHAR

    For the Appellant: G.S. Rathor, Advocate. For the Respondents: T.R.S. Sodha, Advocate.



Judgment Text


The appellant/claimant, LaxmanLalLatta, has filed the present misc. appeal under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 against the judgment and award dated 9.2.2016 passed by the learned Judge, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Dungarpur in M.A.C. Case No. 290/2013, whereby the learned Judge has awarded compensation to the appellant/claimant to the tune of Rs. 81,430, and prayed for enhancement of the compensation.

2. Brief facts of the case are that the appellant/claimant filed a claim petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Dungapur claiming compensation for the injuries suffered by him in an accident, which was occurred on 30.4.2013. The claimant averred in the claim petition that the vehicle in question bearing registration No. RJ-12 GA 1049 was driven by respondent No. 1 rashly and negligently and caused accident. In the said accident, he sustained several injuries, which resulted into 15% permanent disability. It was the case of the appellant-claimant that at the time of accident, he was of 45 years age and was earning Rs. 27,570 per month being employed as Constable in Police Department, therefore, adequate compensation towards loss of future income may be awarded to him.

3. The respondent Nos. 1 and 2 who are driver and owner of the offending vehicle respectively, did not file reply to the claim petition. The respondent No. 3-Insurance Company filed the reply denying the claim raised by the appellant-claimant.

4. The claimant produced one witness in support of his claim and exhibited several documents. The Insurance Company also examined one witness and exhibited eight documents.

5. The learned Tribunal after hearing the parties awarded a sum of Rs. 81,430 as compensation in favour of the claimant- appellant. Hence, this misc. appeal for enhancement.

6. The main contention of the Counsel for the appellant is that the claimant is a Police Constable and in such a nature of job where physical movements and fitness are of paramount importance and the appellant suffered 15% permanent disability, which is evident from the certificate Exhibit-23 issued by competent Medical Officer. The said disability will have adverse implication on his career with regard to promotion and increments, resulting into loss of future income. But the learned Tribunal has not considered this aspect of the matter in correct perspective and committed an error in not passing any award under the head of loss of future income. Therefore, it is prayed that the award passed by the Tribunal may be modified and amount of compensation may be enhanced.

7. Per contra, learned Counsel for the respondent has supported the impugned judgment and award passed by the learned Tribunal and it is argued that the learned Tribunal after considering the entire material on record has awarded compensation in favour of the claimant, which does not call for any interference.

8. I have heard learned Counsel for the parties and carefully gone through the record.

The Supreme Court in Rajkumar v. Ajay Kumar and Another, reported in IV (2010) ACC 815 (SC)=IX (2010) SLT 432=(2011) 1 SCC 343, has laid down the general principles relating to compensation in injury cases. In the said decision, the Supreme Court has highlighted the importance of medical evidence in injury cases and also about the manner in which permanent disability viz-a-viz loss of future earning are to be determined. The heads under which the compensation is to be awarded in personal injury cases have also been indicated therein. The relevant excerpts are stated herein:

“5. The provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (“the 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 the 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. (See C.K. SubramoniaIyer v. T. KunhikuttanNair : AIR 1970 SC 376; R.D. Hattangadi v. Pest Control (India) Ltd., 1995 (1) SCC 551 and Baker v. Willoughby, 1970 AC 467).

6. The heads under which compensation is awarded in personal injury cases are the to lowing: Pecuniary damages (Special damages)

(i) Expenses relating to treatment, hospitalisation, medicines, transportation, nourishing food, and miscellaneous expenditure.

(ii) Loss of earnings (and other gains) which the injured would have made had he not been injured, comprising:

(a) Loss of earning during the period of treatment;

(b) Loss of future earnings on account of permanent disability.

(iii) Future medical expenses.

Non-pecuniary damages (General damages)

(iv) Damages for pain, suffering and trauma as a consequence of the injuries.

(v) Loss of amenities (and/or loss of prospects of marriage).

(vi) Loss of expectation of life (shortening of normal longevity).

In routine personal injury cases, compensation will be awarded only under heads (i), (i)(a) and (iv). It is only in serious cases of injury, where there is specific medical evidence corroborating the evidence of the claimant, that compensation will be granted under any of the heads (ii)(b), (iii), (v) and (vi) relating to loss of future earnings on account of permanent disability, future medical expenses, loss of amenities (and/or loss of prospects of marriage) and loss of expectation of life.

7. Assessment of pecuniary damages under Item (i) and under Item (ii)(a) do not pose much difficulty as they involve reimbursement of actuals and are easily ascertainable from the evidence. Award under the head of future medical expenses-Item (iii)—depends upon specific medical evidence regarding need for further treatment and cost thereof.

Assessment of non-pecuniary damages—Items (iv), (v) and (vi) - involves determination of lump sum amounts with reference to circumstances such as age, nature of injury/deprivation/disability suffered by the claimant and the effect thereof on the future life of the claimant. Decision of this Court and High Courts contain necessary guidelines for award under these heads, if necessary. What usually poses some difficulty is the assessment of the loss of future earnings on account of permanent disability—Item (i)(a). We are concerned with that assessment in this case.

Assessment of future loss of earnings due to permanent disability

8. Disability refers to any restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity in the manner considered normal for a human-being. Permanent disability refers to the residuary incapacity or loss of use of some part of the body, found existing at the end of the period of treatment and recuperation, after achieving the maximum bodily improvement or recovery which is likely to remain for the remainder life of the injured. Temporary disability refers to the incapacity or loss of use of some part of the body on account of the injury, which will cease to exist at the end of the period of treatment and recuperation. Permanent disability can be either partial or total. Partial permanent disability refers to a person’s inability to perform all the duties and bodily functions that he could perform before the accident, though he is able to perform some of them and is still able to engage in some gainful activity. Total permanent disability refers to a person’s inability to perform any avocation or employment related activities as a result of the accident. The permanent disabilities that may arise from motor accidents injuries, are of a much wider range when compared to the physical disabilities which are enumerated in the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (‘Disabilities Act’ for short). But if any of the disabilities enumerated in Section 2(i) of the Disabilities Act are the result of injuries sustained in a motor accident, they can be permanent disabilities for the purpose of claiming compensation.

9. xxx xxx xxx

10. Where the claimant suffers a permanent disability as a result of injuries, the assessment of compensation under the head of loss of future earnings would depend upon the effect and impact of such permanent disability on his earning capacity. The Tribunal should not mechanically apply the percentage of permanent disability as the percentage of economic loss or loss of earning capacity. In most of the cases, the percentage of economic loss, that is, the percentage of loss of earning capacity, arising from a permanent disability will be different from the percentage of permanent disability. Some Tribunals wrongly assume that in all cases, a particular extent (percentage) of permanent disability would result in a corresponding loss of earning capacity, and consequently, if the evidence produces show 45% as the permanent disability, will hold that there is 45% loss of future earning capacity. In most of the cases, equating the extent (percentage) of loss of earning capacity to the extent (percentage) of permanent disability will result in award of either too low or too high a compensation.”

It is further highlighted by Hon’ble Apex Court that permanent disability is to be expressed by the doctors. Where the claimant has a permanent disability as a result of injuries, assessment of compensation under the head of loss of future earnings would have been upon the fact and impact of such perma

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nent disability on his earning capacity. The Claims Tribunal should not mechanically apply and equate extent of permanent disability with loss of earning capacity. 9. In the present case, the appellant-claimant who is a Government employee admitted in his cross-examination that disability certificate was got prepared by two doctors after his medical examination but no x-ray was conducted. He also admitted that he did not submit the disability certificate before the department and that he would get regular increments and his salary will not be reduced. Thus, it was not the respondent/claimant’s case before the Tribunal that the disability has caused him loss of service or decrease in rank or salary. Admittedly, his service and salary have not been affected. There is nothing in the evidence led by the appellant that disability suffered by him affected his promotion and other avenues in future. In my considered view, the learned Tribunal has not committed any illegality in passing the impugned judgment and award. Accordingly, the misc. appeal being bereft of merit is hereby dismissed. Appeal dismissed.
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