At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.M. SUBRAMANIAM
For the Appellant: A. Dhiraviyanathan, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, K.V. Shanmuganathan, Advocate, R2 & R3, No appearance.
(The Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is preferred under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, against the award and decree dated 14.11.2017 made in MCOP.No.1700 of 2013 on the file of Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Special Subordinate Judge, Coimbatore.)1. The present Civil Miscellaneous Appeal on hand is preferred against the judgment and decree dated 14.11.2017 made in MCOP.No.1700 of 2013 on the file of Motor Accident Claim Tribunal, Special Subordinate Judge, Coimbatore.2. The accident occurred on 06.01.2013 at about 9.30 p.m. at Coimbatore to Mettupalayam Highways. Perianaickenpalayam Police Station registered a case in Crime No.7 of 2013. Due to the accident, Mr.M.K.Gopalakrishnan, who was aged about 66 years, sustained grievous head injuries and while taking to hospital for treatment, he died. The Claim Petition was filed by the son and the daughter of the deceased.3. The Tribunal adjudicated the issues with reference to the documents as well as the evidences produced by the respective parties. With reference to the negligence, the Tribunal considered the narration of facts in the F.I.R. as well as the connected documents and arrived a conclusion that the accident occurred due to the rash and negligent driving of the 3rd respondent. Accordingly, the liability was fixed on the appellant/Insurance company to pay compensation.4. The learned counsel for the appellant contended that the quantum of compensation is excessive. The factum regarding the accident is not disputed and the negligence committed by the 3rd respondent is also not repudiated. However, it is contended that the monthly income of Rs.15,000/- fixed by the Tribunal is on the higher side and the deceased was an agriculturist and therefore, the monthly income must be lesser than that of the income fixed by the Tribunal. The learned counsel for the appellant is of an opinion that it may not be possible for an agriculturist to earn a sum of Rs.15,000/- per month. The Tribunal has not considered the fact that the claimants had not produced any document to establish the monthly income of the deceased.5. The learned counsel for the respondents/claimants disputed the said contentions by stating that the deceased was an active agriculturists and was doing Milk Vending Business. He was earning a sum of Rs.30,000/- per month. Documents were produced, more specifically, Bank Statement and the Sugarcane supplied to Bannariamman Sugars were also marked as document. Therefore, there is no error in fixing the monthly income by the Tribunal and the appeal is to be dismissed.6. Considering the facts as well as the grounds raised, this Court is of the considered opinion that the factum regarding the accident was established. Negligence was fixed on the 3rd respondent. Thus, the appellant/Insurance company is liable to pay compensation. Regarding the quantum of compensation, Ex.P10 to Ex.P14 are relevance.7. The claimants had marked chitta and adangal of the agricultural property owned and in the name of the deceased Mr.Gopalakrishnan.He harvested sugarcane crop and supplied the same to the Bannariamman Sugars and divide income from the sugarcane crops. The statement of accounts in this regard issued by Bannariamman Sugars were marked. Therefore, it is established before the Tribunal that the deceased was earning income from agriculture. Ex.P10 to Ex.P14 reveal that he supplied sugarcane crops to the Bannariamman sugars and earning income. He engaged Coolie workers for the supply of sugarcane crops to the Bannariamman sugars.8. Considering these factors, the Tribunal fixed monthly income of the deceased as Rs.15,000/- and accordingly calculated compensation to be paid. The total compensation awarded to the respondents/claimants is a sum of Rs.6,80,000/- (Rupees Six Lakh and Eighty Thousand only) and this Court is of the considered opinion that there is no perversity or infirmity as such in fixing the Notional Monthly income of the deceased person. The deceased was doing agricultural activities, more specifically, regularly supplied sugarcane to the Bannariamman sugars by engaging agricultural Coolies.9. This being the factum established, the Tribunal has rightly fixed the monthly income as Rs.15,000/-, which can never be construed as excess. Thus, the Judgment and Decree dated 14.11.2017 passed in M.C.O.P.No.1700 of 2013 stands confirmed. Accordingly, the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal in C.M.A.No.1392 of 2019 is dismissed. The app
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ellant / Insurance company is directed to deposit the entire award amount with accrued interest, within a period of twelve weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment, if not already deposited and on such deposit, the respondents/claimants are permitted to withdraw the entire award amount with accrued interest by filing an appropriate application before the Tribunal and the payments are to be made through RTGS. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petition is closed.