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U.P.State Road ... vs Trilok Chandra & Ors on 7 May, 1996
Poonam Verma & Ors vs Delhi Development Authority on 13 December, 2007
New India Assurance Co. Ltd vs Charlie And Anr on 29 March, 2005
General Manager, Kerala S.R.T.C vs Susamma Thomas on 6 January, 1993

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Punjab-Haryana High Court
Smt. Rajesh And Others vs Rajbir Singh And Others on 29 January, 2010

FAO No. 2816 of 2009 [1]

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA

AT CHANDIGARH

FAO No. 2816 OF 2009 (o&m)

Date of decision: 29.1.2010

Smt. Rajesh and others

.. Appellants

v.

Rajbir Singh and others

.. Respondents

CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE RAJESH BINDAL

Present: Ms. Amrita Nagpal, Advocate for the appellants.

Mr. Ashok Kaushik, Advocate for respondents No. 1 and 2.

Mr. Ashwani Talwar, Advocate for respondent No. 3. ...

Rajesh Bindal J.

The family of Bijender Singh, who died in a motor vehicular accident is in appeal before this court against the award of Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Faridabad (for short, `the Tribunal'), dissatisfied with the amount of compensation awarded.

Briefly, the facts are that on 5.10.2007, Bijender Singh was going to village Mandkola in a three wheeler along with few other passengers and when the three wheeler reached in the area of village Kairaka, Tehsil Palwal on Palwal-Nuh Road, a car bearing No. HR-30/E-3298, being driven by respondent No. 1 in a rash and negligent manner, came from the opposite side and hit against the three wheeler. As a result of impact, the three wheeler turned turtle and Bijender Singh sustained injuries. Ultimately, he died. The Tribunal awarded compensation of Rs. 8,96,500/- to the appellants and respondent No. 4. Learned counsel for the appellants very fairly argued that the issue involved in the present appeal is quite short. The learned Tribunal has not applied proper cut on account of dependency, considering the number of persons dependents on the deceased. The deceased was survived by his widow, three minor children and widowed mother. The submission is that the deceased in the present case was working as Clerk in the Education Department in Haryana. His age was taken by the Tribunal as 30 years. Considering the number of dependents on the FAO No. 2816 of 2009 [2]

deceased to be five, the learned Tribunal though ought to have applied a cut of 1/4th, but the same has been applied at 1/3rd, which deserves to be corrected. For the purpose, reliance was placed upon Sarla Verma (Smt.) and others v. Delhi Transport Corporation and another, (2009) 6 SCC 121. However, she fairly stated that the multiplier applied by the learned Tribunal, considering the age of the deceased, is correct. She further submitted that the learned Tribunal has not awarded proper amount on account of loss of consortium and funeral expenses. While not disputing the proposition propounded by Hon'ble the Supreme Court in Sarla Verma's case (supra), learned counsel for the Insurance Company stated that considering the age of the deceased and also the number of dependents, correct deduction has been made on account of dependency, which does not call for any interference. He further submitted that fair amount has been awarded on account of funeral expenses and the same does not call for any further enhancement.

Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the paper book. Hon'ble the Supreme Court in Sarla Verma's case (supra) laid down certain guide-lines for the purpose of determination of compensation in the form of determination of dependency and application of multiplier. The relevant paragraphs are extracted below:

"30. Though in some cases the deduction to be made towards personal and living expenses is calculated on the basis of units indicated in U.P. SRTC v. Trilok Chandra, (1996) 4 SCC 362, the general practice is to apply standardised deductions. Having considered several subsequent decisions of this Court, we are of the view that where the deceased was married, the deductin towards personal and living expenses of the deceased, should be one-third (1/3rd) where the number of dependent family members is 2 to 3, one- fourth (1/4th) where the number of dependent family members is 4 to 6, and one-fifth (1/5th) where the number of dependent family members exceeds six.

xx xx xx

42. We therefore hold that the multiplier to be used should be as mentioned in column (4) of the table above (prepared by applying Kerala SRTC v. Susamma Thomas, (1994) 2 SCC 176; U.P.SRTC v. Trilok Chandra, (1996) 4 SCC 362 and New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Charlie, (2005) 10 SCC 720), which starts with an operative multiplier of 18 (for the age groups of 15 to 20 and 21 to 25 years), FAO No. 2816 of 2009 [3]

reduced by one unit for every five years, that is M-17 for 26 to 30 years, M-16 for 31 to 35 years, M-15 for 36 to 40 years, M-14 for 41 to 45 years and M-13 for 46 to 50 years, then reduced by two units for every five years, that is, M-11 for 51 to 55 years, M-9 for 56 to 60 years, M-7 for 61 to 65 years and M-5 for 66 to 70 years." A perusal of the aforesaid paragraphs shows that in case the number of dependents are `4' to `6', a cut of 1/4th is required to be applied. In the present case, it is not in dispute that the deceased was survived by his widow, three minor children and aged widowed mother. Considering the aforesaid facts, in my opinion, the learned Tribunal has committed an error in determining the dependency of the deceased by applying a cut of 1/3rd, which should have been at 1/4th. The salary of the deceased was proved on record at Rs. 6,926/- per month. If a cut of 1/4th is applied thereon, the dependency would come out to Rs. 5,195/- per month. The annual dependency would come out to Rs. 62,340/-. If multiplier of 16 is applied thereon, the amount of compensation payable to the appellants and respondent No. 5 would come out to Rs. 9,97,460/-, to which adding Rs. 10,000/- already granted by the Tribunal on account of funeral expenses and Rs. 10,000/- on account of loss of consortium, the total amount of compensation comes out to Rs. 10,17,460/-, which is rounded off to Rs. 10,17,000/-.

The award of the learned Tribunal is modified to the extent mentioned above. The additional amount of compensation determined by this Court shall carry same interest from the date of filing of the claim petition till realisation of the amount. The apportionment of the enhanced amount of compensation shall also be in the same proportion as was determined by the Tribunal. Compensation payable on account of loss of consortium shall be payable to the widow of the deceased.

Accordingly, the appeal filed by the appellants is allowed in the manner indicated above.

(Rajesh Bindal)

Judge

29.1.2010

mk