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In an accident which occurred on 4.10.2000, the bones of the right leg of the appellant were fractured and, as a result of that, there was shortening of the right leg by 1.5 cms.= “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. The heads under which compensation is awarded in personal injury cases are the following: 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), (ii)(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. 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. Decisions of this Court and the 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 (ii)(a). We are concerned with that assessment in this case.” In the result, the appeal is allowed, the impugned judgment is set aside and it is declared that the appellant is entitled to total compensation of Rs.5,00,000/-. Respondent No.1 is directed to pay the balance amount of compensation to the appellant within a period of three months by getting a demand draft prepared in his name. If the needful is not done, then the appellant shall be entitled to interest at the rate of 9% on the enhanced amount with effect from the date of filing the claim petition.


IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL No. 145 OF 2013
(arising out of SLP (C) No.14517/2011)

RAMAKRISHNAIAH …….APPELLANT

VERSUS

REGIONAL MANAGER, ORIENTAL INSURANCE CO.LTD
AND ANOTHER ……RESPONDENTS

O R D E R

This appeal is directed against judgment dated 30.9.2010
passed by the Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court in MFA No.4219 of
2006 whereby the compensation awarded to the appellant by Motor Accident
Claims Tribunal, Bangalore (for short, ‘the Tribunal’) was enhanced by a
sum of Rs.20,000/-.
In an accident which occurred on 4.10.2000, the bones of
the right leg of the appellant were fractured and, as a result of that,
there was shortening of the right leg by 1.5 cms.
The appellant filed a petition under Section 166 of the
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short, ‘the Act’) for award of compensation
to the tune of Rs.5,00,000/- by asserting that the accident was caused due
to rash and negligent driving of motorcycle by respondent No.2; that at the
time of accident, he was doing real estate business and was earning
Rs.10,000/- per month and that due to the disability suffered by him, his
business had been adversely affected.
In the written statement filed on behalf of respondent
No.1, it was pleaded that the accident had not been caused by the
motorcycle and that it was not liable to pay compensation.
In support of his claim, the appellant examined himself
as PW-1 and Dr. Ramesh Krishna as PW-2 and produced ten documents, which
were marked as Exhibits P-1 to P-10. Respondent No.1 examined its Assistant
Divisional Manager and produced eight documents, which were marked as
Exhibits R-1 to R-8.
After analyzing the evidence of the parties, the Tribunal
held that the accident was caused due to rash and negligent driving of the
motorcycle. The Tribunal accepted the appellant’s plea that he had
suffered permanent disability inasmuch as there was shortening of right leg
by 1.5 cms. and the fractured bones of the right leg were not properly
joined but did not accept his assertion regarding the income and determined
the amount of compensation by taking his notional income as Rs.2500/- per
month.

The Tribunal applied the multiplier of 14 and concluded that the
appellant is entitled to total compensation of Rs.1,14,000/- with interest
at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of the claim petition.
The High Court disposed of the appeal filed by the
appellant and enhanced the compensation by a small amount of Rs.20,000/-,
observing that counsel for the parties had agreed to such enhancement.
We have heard learned counsel for the parties.

In our
view, the impugned judgment is legally unsustainable and is liable to be
set aside because while deciding the appeal filed by the appellant under
Section 173(1) of the Act, the Division Bench of the High Court did not
keep in mind the principles laid down by this Court for determination of
compensation in such matters and casually enhanced the compensation by a
sum of Rs.20,000/- on the basis of alleged consent given by the counsel for
the parties.
The question as to

what should be the mode of
determination of compensation payable to a victim of a road accident has
been considered in large number of cases, but we do not consider it
necessary to burden this order by adverting to all the decisions and feel
that ends of justice would be served by making a note of the propositions
laid down in Raj Kumar v. Ajay Kumar (2011) 1 SCC 343,

in which the two
Judge Bench of this Court held as under:

“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.

The heads under which compensation is awarded in personal injury
cases are the following:
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), (ii)(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.

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. Decisions
of this Court and the 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 (ii)(a). We are
concerned with that assessment in this case.”

Since, the High Court decided the appeal without even
adverting to principles laid down for determination of compensation in such
matters, we may have remitted the matter for fresh disposal of the appeal,
but, keeping in view the fact that the accident had occurred almost 12
years ago and the appellant has already suffered the agony of not getting
just compensation, we do not consider it proper to adopt that course and
feel that ends of justice will be met by enhancing the compensation to lump
sum amount of Rs.5,00,000/- under different heads identified in the
judgments of this Court.
In the result, the appeal is allowed, the impugned judgment is set
aside and

it is declared that the appellant is entitled to total
compensation of Rs.5,00,000/-.

Respondent No.1 is directed to pay the
balance amount of compensation to the appellant within a period of three
months by getting a demand draft prepared in his name.

If the needful is
not done, then the appellant shall be entitled to interest at the rate of
9% on the enhanced amount with effect from the date of filing the claim
petition.

………………………J.
(G.S.SINGHVI)

……………………….J.
(GYAN SUDHA MISRA)
NEW DELHI;
JANUARY 7, 2013.

ITEM NO.46 COURT NO.4 SECTION IVA

S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No(s).14517/2011

(From the judgement and order dated 30/09/2010 in MFA No.4219/2006 of The
HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BANGALORE)

RAMAKRISHNAIAH Petitioner(s)

VERSUS

REGIONAL MANAGER, ORIENTAL INS.CO.LTD & ANR. Respondent(s)

(With appln(s) for exemption from filing O.T. and office report ))

Date: 07/01/2013 This Petition was called on for hearing today.

CORAM :
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE G.S. SINGHVI
HON’BLE MRS. JUSTICE GYAN SUDHA MISRA

For Petitioner(s) Mr. V.N. Raghupathy,Adv.

For Respondent(s) Mr. M.K. Dua,Adv.

UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R

Leave granted.

The appeal is allowed in terms of the signed order. The
total compensation is enhanced to rupees five lakh.

|(Parveen Kr.Chawla) | |(Phoolan Wati Arora) |
|Court Master | |Court Master |
| | | |

[signed order is placed on the file]

———————–
6

 

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