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Motor Vehicles Act, 1988: s.166 – Compensation – Future loss of earning – Claimant aged 50 years working as mason – In motor accident, suffered multiple fractures resulting in shortening of right leg by 3.5 cms – Tribunal assessed disability at 20% and awarded compensation of Rs.1.55 lacs – High Court enhanced compensation by Rs.34000 – On appeal, held: Appellant had suffered an irreversible damage to his right leg posing difficulties for him in carrying out his avocation as a mason – High Court while making observation that the Tribunal’s compensation under the heads “loss of amenities and enjoyment of life and loss of earnings during laid up period” was on the lower side, did not make its own assessment under these heads – These areas needed proper introspection and a more sensitive approach as the appellant represented weaker section of the community – Matter remitted to High Court for consideration afresh. The appellant aged 50 years was working as a mason. On the fateful day, while he was crossing the road, a motorcycle hit him resulting in bone fractures, head and other injuries all over the body. He was hospitalized for about 2 weeks and was under medical treatment for about 6 months after discharge from hospital. MACT awarded him a compensation of Rs.1.55 lacs. Dissatisfied with the quantum of compensation, appellant filed appeal before High Court. High Court enhanced the compensation only by Rs.34,000/-. Hence the appeal. =Allowing the appeal and remitting the matter to High Court, the Court HELD: 1.1. The High Court did no consider the appellant’s case properly. It accepted the Tribunal’s assessment of the body disability at 20% and observed that the Tribunal has paid compensation under the heads “loss of amenities and enjoyment of life and loss of earnings during laid up period” on the lower side. However, it awarded an additional compensation only for future medical expenditures and did not deal with the aspect of future loss of earnings at all, which was not a correct approach. The incapacity or disability to earn livelihood should be viewed not only in praesenti but in futuro on reasonable expectancies and taking into account deprival of earnings of a conceivable period. [Paras 9, 10] [662-c-f] Ramesh Chandra v. Randhir Singh and others (1990) 3 SCC 723, relied on. 1.2. As per the evidence of PW-2, the doctor who supervised the appellant’s injuries and administered treatment in the Hospital, it was proved that the appellant sustained compound fractures in the tibia and fibula bone of the right leg. He also suffered bruises and cuts on his face and some parts of the body. He was operated. Even after his discharge, he was advised follow up treatments and physiotherapy and also exercise for better movement of his leg. In his affidavit before the Tribunal, PW2 stated that the appellant’s right leg was shortened as a result of which he had to walk with a limp. The appellant was advised to use footwear with a raised sole and to continue with the exercises. The Tribunal noted that the shortening of the leg was by 3.5 cms. The Tribunal however, in accepting the disability of the appellant at 48%, refused to accept the assessment of the doctor that the future loss of earning would also be at 48%. It opined that construction work involves many people and the doctor was not right in concluding that due to the disability on the right leg, the appellant would not be able to do construction work. The future loss of earning was assessed at a much lesser 20%. Since there was no specific evidence regarding his income, the multiplier method was used for assessing the compensation. [Paras 11-14] [662-F-H; 663-A-C; 663-E-G] 1.3. Although the Tribunal concluded by holding that the assessment of future loss of earnings should be made only at 20%, the High Court, while making the observation that the Tribunal’s compensation under the heads “loss of amenities and enjoyment of life and loss of earnings during laid up period” was on the lower side, should have given reasons and made its own assessment under these heads, since High Court, as the first appellate authority, is an authority both on facts and law. The High Court’s orders starkly lacked in any details on assessment of compensation under these heads. These areas needed proper introspection and a more sensitive approach as the appellant being a mason and a workman represented the weaker section of the community. The appellant had suffered an irreversible damage to his right leg which would pose difficulties for him in carrying out his avocation as a mason. [Para 15] [663-G-H; 664-A-C] M/s. Concord of India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Smt. Nirmala Devi & others (1979) 4 SCC 365; Divisional Controller, KSRTC v. Mahadeva Shetty & another (2003) 7 SCC 197, relied on. 2. Long expectation of life is connected with earning capacity. If earning capacity is reduced, that impacts life expectancy as well. No amount of compensation can restore the physical frame of the appellant. Whenever any amount is determined as the compensation payable for any injury suffered during an accident, the object is to compensate such injury so far as money can compensate because it is not possible to equate the money with the human sufferings or personal deprivations. Money cannot renew a broken and shattered physical frame. In its very nature whenever a tribunal or a court is required to fix the amount of compensation in cases of accident, it involves some guesswork, some hypothetical consideration, some amount of sympathy linked with the nature of the disability caused. [Paras 17-19] [664-H; 665-B-C; 665-D-E] Case Law Reference: (1990) 3 SCC 723 relied on Para 10 (1979) 4 SCC 365 relied on Para 15 (2003) 7 SCC 197 relied on Para 16 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 4027 of 2010. From the Judgment & Order dated 20.7.2009 of the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore in MFA No. 259 of 2008. V.N. Raghupathy for the Appellant. A.K. De, Rajesh Kumar, Udit Kumar, Debasis Misra for the Respondents.

REPORTABLE
motor vehicle accident

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 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL NO.4027 OF 2010
 (Arising out of SLP (Civil) No.4649 of 2010)

Sri B.T. Krishnappa ..Appellant(s)

 Versus

The Divisional Manager, United ..Respondent(s)
Insurance Company Ltd. and another

 J U D G M E N T

GANGULY, J.

1.Leave granted

2.This Appeal impugns the order of the High Court of

 Karnataka in Miscellaneous First Appeal No. 259 of

 2008 dated 20.07.2009, whereby the High Court

 enhanced the compensation granted by the tribunal

 1
 to the appellant only to the extent of Rs.34,000/-

 without disclosing adequate reasons.

3.This Court finds that the High Court did not

 properly consider the case for enhancement. Thus

 after condonation of delay, this Court passed an

 order dated 05.02.2010 as follows:

 "....Heard learned counsel for the
 petitioner and perused the records.

 We are prima facie of the view that the
 impugned judgment of the High Court
 deserves to be set aside and the matter
 remitted to it for fresh disposal of the
 Miscellaneous First Appeal filed by the
 petitioner because the High Court has
 failed to consider the issues relevant for
 deciding the cases involving claim for
 compensation.

 Issue Notice to the Respondents........"

4.Pursuant thereto show cause notices were issued to

 the respondents on 17.2.2010 and service was

 complete.

5.The material facts are that appellant was working

 as a mason and was aged 50 years at the time of

 accident. On the fateful day of 08.01.2006, at

 about 4.30 pm, the appellant was crossing the road

 2
 near Deepa Nursing Home, K.R. Puram, when a

 motorcycle, with the registered number plate KA-05-

 EW-1108 hit him. The motorcycle was being driven by

 the second respondent (to be known as `R2'

 hereinafter) at the time of the accident. As a

 result of the accident, the appellant sustained

 bone fractures as well as head and other injuries

 all over the body. He was taken to the Deepa

 Nursing Home, Bangalore where he received first

 aid. He was then shifted to Bowring and Lady Curzon

 Hospital, Bangalore (to be known as `Hospital'

 hereinafter) the same day where he was admitted and

 received treatment as an inpatient till 21.01.2006.

 He continued with the follow up treatments for

 about six months after his discharge.

6.The first Respondent Insurance Company, (to be

 known as `R1' hereinafter) was also impleaded as a

 party as the motorcycle was insured with it.

7.By the award of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal

 (to be known as `Tribunal' hereinafter), the

 3
 appellant was awarded a compensation of

 Rs.1,55,000/- with interest @ 7.5%. R1 was made

 liable to pay the compensation to the appellant.

8.On appeal, the High Court however enhanced the

 compensation by only Rs.34,000/- awarding a total

 of Rs.1,89,000/- with interest @ 6% per annum.

9.On a reading of the High Court order, it is clear

 that High Court did no consider the appellant's

 case properly. It accepted the Tribunal's

 assessment of the body disability at 20% and

 observed that the Tribunal has paid compensation

 under the heads "loss of amenities and enjoyment of

 life and loss of earnings during laid up period" on

 the lower side. However, it awarded an additional

 compensation only for future medical expenditures

 and did not deal with the aspect of future loss of

 earnings at all, which we feel was not a correct

 approach.

 4
10.This Court finds that "incapacity or disability to

 earn livelihood would have to be viewed not only in

 praesenti but in futuro on reasonable expectancies

 and taking into account deprival of earnings of a

 conceivable period." This was laid down by this

 Court in Ramesh Chandra vs. Randhir Singh and

 others, (1990) 3 SCC 723. In page 726, para 7,

 those above quoted observations were made.

11.The Tribunal examined the doctor who supervised

 the appellant's injuries and administered treatment

 in the Hospital, Dr. S. Rajanna, as PW2.

12.As per the evidence of PW2, it was proved that the

 appellant sustained compound fractures in the tibia

 and fibula bone of the right leg. He also suffered

 bruises and cuts on his face and some parts of the

 body. He had to be operated upon and the operation

 was done on 09.01.2006. Even after his discharge,

 he was advised follow up treatments and

 physiotherapy and also exercise for better movement

 of his leg.

 5
13.In his affidavit dated 23.05.2007 before the

 Tribunal, the PW2 states that he examined the

 appellant for assessment of the percentage of

 disability on 17.04,2007. He recorded that the

 appellant's right leg was shortened as a result of

 which he had to walk with a limp. Thus the

 appellant was advised to use footwear with a raised

 sole and continue with the exercises. The Tribunal

 later noted that the shortening of the leg was by

 3.5 cms. The High Court should have considered

 that appellant, being a mason, these injuries would

 cause considerable problem in moving his knee and

 ankle. PW2, in the disability certificate clearly

 stated:

 "Due to the above mentioned disabilities,
 he cannot walk like a normal person,
 cannot sit crossed leg, cannot squat,
 cannot lift any weight, cannot climb the
 stairs without support.

 ...I am of the opinion that the...disability
 is 48% of the (right) lower limb and 48%
 disability to the whole body. In view of
 this disability, the petitioner cannot do
 mason work and cannot do any other manual
 work also"

 6
14.The Tribunal however, in accepting the disability

 of the appellant at 48%, refused to accept the

 assessment of the doctor that the future loss of

 earning will also be at 48%. It opined that

 construction work involves many people and the

 doctor is not right in concluding that due to the

 disability on the right leg, the appellant would

 not be able to do construction work. Therefore, the

 future loss of earning was assessed at a much

 lesser 20%. Since there was no specific evidence

 regarding his income, the multiplier method was

 used for assessing the compensation.

15.Although the Tribunal concluded by holding that the

 assessment of future loss of earnings should be

 made only at 20%, we feel that the High Court,

 while making the observation that the Tribunal's

 compensation under the heads "loss of amenities and

 enjoyment of life and loss of earnings during laid

 up period" was on the lower side, should have given

 reasons and made its own assessment under these

 heads, since High Court, as the first appellate

 7
 authority, is an authority both on facts and law.

 The High Court's orders starkly lack in any details

 on assessment of compensation under these heads.

 These areas need proper introspection and a more

 sensitive approach as the appellant being a mason

 and a workman represents the weaker section of the

 community. The appellant had suffered an

 irreversible damage to his right leg which will

 pose difficulties for him in carrying out his

 avocation as a mason. This Court in M/s. Concord of

 India Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Smt. Nirmala Devi &

 others, (1979) 4 SCC 365, has observed that:

 "...Thejurisprudence of compensation for
 motor accidents must develop in the
 direction of no-fault liability and the
 determination of the quantum must be
 liberal, not niggardly since the law
 values life and limb in a free country in
 generous scales..." [at page 366, para 2 ]

16. In the case of Divisional Controller, KSRTC vs.

 Mahadeva Shetty & another, (2003) 7 SCC 197, where

 the claimant was also a mason, this Court held

 that:

 ".......It
 has to be borne in mind that
 compensation for loss of limbs or life can

 8
 hardly be weighed in golden scales. Bodily
 injury is nothing but a deprivation which
 entitles the claimant to damages. The
 quantum of damages fixed should be in
 accordance with the injury. An injury may
 bring about many consequences like loss of
 earning capacity, loss of mental pleasure
 and many such consequential losses. A
 person becomes entitled to damages for
 mental and physical loss, his or her life
 may have been shortened or that he or she
 cannot enjoy life, which has been
 curtailed because of physical
 handicap. The normal expectation of life
 is impaired...." [at page 204, Para 15.]

17.Long expectation of life is connected with earning

 capacity. If earning capacity is reduced, which is

 the case in the present situation, that impacts

 life expectancy as well.

18.Therefore, while fixing compensation in cases of

 injury affecting earning capacity the Court must

 remember:

 "....Noamount of compensation can restore
 the physical frame of the appellant. That
 is why it has been said by courts that
 whenever any amount is determined as the
 compensation payable for any injury
 suffered during an accident, the object is
 to compensate such injury "so far as money
 can compensate" because it is impossible
 to equate the money with the human
 sufferings or personal deprivations. Money
 cannot renew a broken and shattered
 physical frame." [See R.D. Hattangadi vs.
 Pest Control (India) (P) Ltd. & others,
 (1995) 1 SCC 551, at page 556, para 10]

 9
19.Further, the Court in the same case also held

 that:

 "In its very nature whenever a tribunal or
 a court is required to fix the amount of
 compensation in cases of accident, it
 involves some guesswork, some hypothetical
 consideration, some amount of sympathy
 linked with the nature of the disability
 caused. But all the aforesaid elements
 have to be viewed with objective
 standards. [at page 557, para 12]

20.Thus, we feel that the appeal needs to be remanded

 to the High Court so that it can consider the

 matter afresh. The High Court, we expect, will

 consider the case of enhancement of compensation to

 the appellant in its proper perspective and keeping

 in mind the factual aspects of the case and in the

 light of the views expressed by this Court in

 several judgments, discussed above.

21.The High Court is requested to deal with the

 matter with utmost expedition since it concerns

 compensating an injured workman. The appeal is

 allowed. No costs.

 1
 .....................J.
 (G.S. SINGHVI)

 .....................J.
 (ASOK KUMAR GANGULY)

New Delhi
April 30, 2010 1

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