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Sushila Devi v/s Naval Kishore

    First Appeal From Order No. 169 of 2013

    Decided On, 03 March 2014

    At, High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE DEVI PRASAD SINGH & ASHOK PAL SINGH

    For the Appellant: R.P. Tripathi, Advocate. For the Respondent: Zafar Aziz, Advocate.



Judgment Text

Ashok Pal Singh, J.

1.The instant appeal u/s 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (in short referred as an Act), has been preferred by the claimants for enhancement of compensation amount awarded by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal/District Judge, Ambedkar Nagar by its judgment and award dated 12-12-2012 passed in M.A.C.P. No. 01 of 2012. As borne out from the record and hearing of the learned counsels for the parties, it appears that there is no dispute about the deceased Anil Kumar alias Raju Bhai having died in a motor accident. There also appears no dispute that the deceased was a Driver who wa

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s driving the truck involved at the time of its accident. Admittedly, the claimants-appellants are the family members/legal heirs of the deceased.

2. Although, the claim petition was preferred before the Tribunal u/s 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, but, the Tribunal finding it to be a case of no fault liability, awarded compensation under the impugned award u/s 163A of the Act.

3. Since, no positive evidence was adduced before the Tribunal regarding the income of the deceased, the Tribunal calculated the compensation amount holding the notional income of the deceased to be Rs. 1500/- per month, made deductions of 1/3rd amount towards personal expenses of the deceased and calculated the dependency as Rs. 12,000/- per annum. In view of the age of the deceased being 36 years, a multiplier of 16 was used by it and the total compensation payable to the claimants-appellants was assessed as Rs. 1,92,000/-.

4. It has been argued by learned counsel for the appellants that notional income of the deceased who admittedly was a Driver, has been erroneously held by the Tribunal as Rs. 1500/- per month. Since, he was a skilled person, his notional income should have been taken on the basis of the minimum salary of Rs. 6,000/- per month which is normally received by a driver. His further submission is that in this salary, 30% increase was also liable to have been made on account of future prospect. In this way, notional income of the deceased ought to have been taken by the Tribunal as Rs. 8,000/- per month and the compensation should have been calculated accordingly. In support of his argument, learned counsel for the appellants has relied upon Minu Rout and Another Vs. Satya Pradyumna Mohapatra and Others, .

5. In the case of Minu Rout and Another Vs. Satya Pradyumna Mohapatra and Others, , Hon'ble Apex Court has held that the notional salary of the deceased a car driver ought to be taken as Rs. 6,000/- per month due to skilled nature of his job. An amount of 30% is also to be added to this monthly salary as future prospects. It thus held that the notional income of a driver is to be held as Rs. 6000 + 1800 = Rs. 7,800 per month.

6. In the present case also, the deceased being a truck driver and his job being that of skilled person, his notional income as Rs. 1500/- per month cannot be held to be fair and justified. Thus, applying the same ratio as held in the case of Minu Rout (2013 AIR SCW 5375) (supra), it is necessary that the compensation is calculated in the present case also on the notional income of the deceased as Rs. 7,800/- per month i.e. Rs. 93,600/- per annum. Considering the number of claimants/legal heirs of the deceased, it shall be appropriate to deduct 1/3rd amount towards personal and living expenses of the deceased, thus bringing the multiplicand to Rs. 93,600 - 31200 = Rs. 62,400.

7. A perusal of the impugned judgment and award passed by the Tribunal reveals that while calculating the compensation, the Tribunal has used the multiplier of 16 on account of age of the deceased being 36 years. It appears that while fixing the multiplier to be 16, the Tribunal has taken into consideration the Table provided in IInd Schedule of the Act. However in the case of Smt. Sarla Verma and Others Vs. Delhi Transport Corporation and Another, , Hon'ble Apex Court has held this table to be erroneous and directed that calculation of compensation shall be made in accordance to the multiplier provided in Column TV of the Table as provided in that case. According to Column IV of the Table as given in the case of Smt. Sarla Verma and Others Vs. Delhi Transport Corporation and Another, , where the age of the victim is between 36-40 years, multiplier of 15 only has to be used. Use of 16 as multiplier by the Tribunal in the present case is clearly in contradiction to the Table provided by the Apex Court in Smt. Sarla Verma and Others Vs. Delhi Transport Corporation and Another, .

8. In view of above, applying the multiplier of 15, the compensation derived is assessed as Rs. 62,400 x 15 i.e. Rs. 9,36,000.

9. In the case of Rajesh and Others Vs. Rajbir Singh and Others, , it has been held by three Judges' Bench of Hon'ble Apex Court that considering the increase in price index, a minimum amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- towards the loss of consortium to the spouse of the deceased and Rs. 25,000/- towards funeral expenses shall also be payable, where required.

10. In view of the aforesaid decision of Rajesh v. Rajveer Singh (supra), an amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- towards loss of consortium and Rs. 25,000/- as funeral expenses are also provided to the claimants.

11. In view of above discussion, the claimants are thus, found entitled to receive a total sum of Rs. 10,61,000/- as compensation. Keeping in view the provisions contained in section 171 of the Act, simple interest @ Rs. 6% per annum shall also be paid by the opposite party No. 2, Insurance Company on the aforesaid amount from the date of filing of claim petition. Allowing the appeal to the above extent, the judgment and award dated 12-12-2012 is accordingly modified. No order as to costs. The opposite party No. 2, Insurance Company, is directed to deposit the entire amount of compensation which remains to be deposited by it in terms of the present judgment before the Tribunal within a period of three months which shall be released in favour of the claimants for being paid or deposited by them as per the directions given by the Tribunal in the impugned award.
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