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Enhancement of compensation – insurance claim = we find no ground shown by the Tribunal or the High Court in providing pecuniary and non­ pecuniary damages at a lower rate.= From the High Court’s judgment and award passed by the Tribunal it is clear that the claimant placed evidence to suggest that the cost of prosthesis was Rs.75,000/­ . It was accepted at Bar that the cost of prosthesis was Rs.1,60,000/­. Inspite of the same the Tribunal did not chose to allow any amount towards prosthesis and the High Court allowed a petty amount of Rs.50,000/­ for the same. No separate amount has been allowed towards travelling to the Hospitals though the claimant was required to go to attend the Hospital every 10 days for treatment. We further find that a meager sum of Rs.25,000/­ has been allowed by the High Court towards pain and suffering. 18. Having regards to the fact that the Tribunal and the High Court have not allowed reasonable amount for different pecuniary and the non­pecuniary damages, we, therefore, with a view to do complete justice to the claimant re­ determined the amount of compensation on the following terms: Pecuniary damages (Special damages) (i) Expenses relating to treatment,hospitalisation, medicines,transportation, nourishing food, and miscellaneous expenditure. (medical expenses Rs.15,000 + Attendant Rs.15,000 + cost of prosthesis Rs.75,000) Rs.1,05,000 (ii) Loss of earnings (and other gains) which the injured would have made had he not been injured, comprising: 12Page 13 (a) Loss of earning during the period of treatment; (b) Loss of future earnings (on account of 70% permanent disability taking multiplier of 16) Rs.4,500 Rs.6,04,800 (iii) Future medical expenses. Rs.50,000 Non­pecuniary damages (General damages) (iv) Damages for pain, suffering and trauma as a consequence of the injuries. Rs.1,00,000 (v) Loss of amenities Rs.2,00,000 (vi) Loss of expectation of life (shortening of normal longevity) Rs.1,00,000 Total Rs.11,64,300 The respondent Insurance Company is directed to pay the claimant­appellant a sum of Rs.11,64,300/­ minus the amount already paid pursuant to the order passed by the Tribunal within three months from the date of judgment with interest @ 12%. The order passed by the High Court and Tribunal stands modified to the extent above. The appeal filed by the claimant is allowed with the above observation and direction. No separate order as to costs.

published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=40489

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REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.   4814         OF 2013
(arising out of SLP(C)No.6282 of 2011)
NEERUPAM  MOHAN MATHUR …. APPELLANT
VERSUS
NEW INDIA ASSURANCE CO.                       ….RESPONDENT
J U D G M E N T
SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA, J.
Leave granted.
2. The present appeal is filed by the claimant­appellant
against  the  judgment   of  Punjab   and   Haryana   High  Court   at
Chandigarh   in   FAO   No.693   of  1989,   whereby   the   High   Court
granted a meager enhancement in the amount of compensation
awarded   to   him   by   the   Motor   Accident   Claims   Tribunal
(hereinafter referred to as ‘the Tribunal’).
3. The facts involved in the present case are as follows:
The   claimant   was   employed   as   a   ‘Product   Design
Engineer’ in M/s. Utility Engineers (India) Ltd. Dharuhera,
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District Mohindergarh, Haryana.   The employer had arranged
for     a   Chartered   Bus   belonging   to   M/s.   National   Tours   &
Travels,   F­4,   East   of   Kailash,   New   Delhi,   2nd  respondent
before   the   Tribunal   for   carrying   the   employees   to   the
factory   at   Dharuhera     and   back;   one   Pritam   Singh,   1st
respondent before the Tribunal was the driver of the said
bus.   On   2nd  September,   1987,   the   claimant   along   with   his
colleagues   was   coming   back   from   Dharuhera   in   the   said
Chartered Bus bearing Registration No.DBP­805. At about 6
p.m.  when the said Bus reached near the turning of village
Shikohpur on Gurgaon­Jaipur Highway, it came across a truck
coming from opposite direction which was crossing  a camel
cart in front of it.  Pritam Singh, who was driving the bus
at   a   very   high   speed,   carelessly,   rashly   and   negligently
attempted to cross the above said truck without keeping the
Bus   to   the   extreme   left   hand   side.   This   resulted   in   a
collision   of   right   hand   side   of   the   bus   with   the   truck,
which resulted in severance of right hand of the claimant
who was sitting in the right side of the bus.   The said
accident   and   the   mishappenings   thereto   were   witnessed   by
the occupants of the bus.  One Anil Kumar,    PW­3, who was
also travelling in the said Chartered Bus at the time of
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the said accident, took the claimant to the Civil Hospital,
Gurgaon  from   where   he   was   given  medical  first­aid   and   he
was   referred   to   Safdarjang   Hospital,   New   Delhi.     The
claimant was later on transferred to ‘Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia
Hospital’, New Delhi and thereafter he was also treated in
different Hospitals at various stages.  The matter was also
reported to the Police by Anil Kumar, PW­3.
4. The cliamant filed a petition under Section 110­A of
the   Motor   Vehicles   Act,   1988   claiming   Rs.12   lacs   as   the
compensation   for   the   loss   of   the   right   hand   which   was
amputated near the shoulder, on various counts.
5. The   respondents   contested   the   claim   of   the   claimant.
The Tribunal after perusing oral and documentary evidence
held that the accident took place due to rash and negligent
driving   by   Driver,   Pritam   Singh   of   Bus   No.DBP­805.     The
Issue   No.1   was   thus   decided   in   favour   of   the   claimant.
While   assessing   the   compensation   under   Issue   No.2,   the
Tribunal   awarded   a   compensation   of   Rs.3,20,000/­   with
interest at the rate of 12%  per annum.
6. In the appeal preferred by the claimant the High Court
taken   a   loss   of   earning   capacity   to   70%   in   view   of
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permanent   disability   of   right   hand.   Based   on   salary   of
Rs.3,000/­ per month as claimed by the claimant adding 50%
on the same for future prospects of increase and applying
multiplier   of   16,   compensation   amount   was   raised   to
Rs.4,500/­ with interest at 6% from the date of petition.
The   High   Court   made   the   following   observation   while
granting compensation against different heads:
“4. In my view, the issue relating to death or injury
would   have   no   serious   difference   in   the   choice   of
multiplicand   or   the   multiplier.   If   at   all,   case   of
injury that completely disables a person for life is
more   poignant   than   a   case   of   death   and   that   is   why
Courts   do   not   always   provide   for   deductions   for
personal expenses in case claims for injuries. Indeed,
the deduction itself will be meaningless for unlike a
case of death, we need to make provision for his own
living   as   well   as   the   living   of   persons,   who   are
dependent   on   injured   person.   The   loss   in   case   of
injury   where   there   is   an   amputation   and   there   is   a
high   percentage   of   loss of   earning   capacity,   in   my
view, the principle laid down in Sarla Verma providing
for a prospect of future increase in salary cannot be
ruled out. I would, therefore, take the multiplicand
to be Rs.4,500/­ which is the salary of Rs.3,000/­ per
month   plus   50%   of   the   same   for   future   prospects   of
increase.   For   a   person,   who   was   aged   32   years,   the
appropriate multiplier ought to have been 16 and not
15 and I would, therefore, take the annual income to
be   Rs.54,000/­   and   adopting   a   multiplier   of   16,   I
would   take   the   income   to   be   Rs.8,64,000/­.   Having
regard   to   the   fact   that   I   have   taken   the   loss   of
earning capacity to be 70%, the amount that would bear
to   70%   of   Rs.8,64,000/­   is   the   amount   that   shall
become payable for loss of earning capacity. The loss
of   income   will   be   Rs.6,04,800/­.   I   shall   retain   the
medical   expenses   of   Rs.10,000/­,   Rs.15,000/­   for
attendant’s   charges   and   Rs.25,000/­   as   provided   for
pain   and   suffering   by   the   Tribunal.  If   the   same  are
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retained, the amounts will add to Rs.6,54,800/­. The
learned counsel would contend that although there was
evidence placed before the Tribunal that the cost of
prosthesis was Rs.75,000/­, no amount had been granted
towards the same. The learned counsel would also state
across the bar that the present cost is Rs.1,60,000/­.
There is no definite evidence on the same and I would
take   the   cost   to   be   Rs.50,000/­   which   although   the
Tribunal   did   not   provide   for.   I   would   provide   as
necessary   equipment   that   he   may   require   for   fending
himself.   The   learned   counsel   states   that   if   the
prosthesis were to be fixed, the disability would even
be less. In my view, it will make a minimal difference
for   a   prosthesis   is   more   for   cosmetic   value   than   a
major functional adjunct. Sense of touch, ability to
pinch,   ability   to   push,  ability  to   pick  up,  are  all
factors which go into the making of disability, all of
which do not get improved by a prosthesis. All told,
the   amount   that   shall   become   payable   in   the   manner
worked   out   by   me   would   add   to   Rs.7,04,800/­.   The
Tribunal   has   already   awarded   Rs.3,20,000/­   and   the
amount   in   excess   of  what   is  awarded  by   the   Tribunal
shall be paid by the insurer with interest at 6% from
the   date   of   the   petition   till   the   date   of
realization.”
7. The   claimant   has   challenged   the   order   passed   by   the
High Court on three counts namely:
(i) The permanent disability has been wrongly assessed
at 70% which should have been 100% in the case of the
claimant.
(ii)   The   lower   amount   has   been   paid   towards   cost   of
prosthesis and
(iii)   Lesser   amounts   have   been   allowed   towards
pecuniary and non­pecuniary damages.
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8. Per   contra   according   to   the   learned   counsel   for   the
Insurer,   the   High   Court   allowed   higher   amount   than   the
amount of compensation to which claimant was entitled.
9. In the case of claimant, the High Court for determining
the   earning   capacity   adopted   the   percentage   of   loss   of
earning capacity as per the Workmen’s Compensation Act and
has taken a loss of earning capacity to 70% for amputation
of arm above elbow.
10. Admittedly, claimant is a graduate in Science from Agra
University and Post Graduate Diploma holder in Mechanical
Engineering   with   specialization   in   Refrigeration   and   Air­
conditioning.   He was a young man of 32 years at the time
of accident.  Before the Tribunal, the claimant appeared as
PW­4 and stated that he had worked with many companies like
Blue Star, etc. and has extensive experience. Ultimately he
joined M/s. Utility Engineers (India) Ltd. on 1st September,
1986 as Product and Development Engineer and  was promoted
from Middle Management Group to Senior Management Group on
the   basic   pay   of   Rs.1400/­   to   Rs.1500/­   plus   other
incidental benefits like special increment of Rs.100.   At
the time of accident, he was drawing basic pay of Rs.1900/­
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plus   other   incidental   benefits   total   amounting   to   about
Rs.3,000/­   per   month.     His   job   was   designing   of   air­
conditioning project.
11. According to claimant the normal expectancy of life is
70 years and he was expected to earn up to the said age as
a   specialist   in   designing,   refrigeration   and   air
conditioning.   After loss of the right arm due to accident
he   has   become   100%   disabled   as   his   earning   capacity   has
gone   down   to   zero   in   doing   the   specialized   work   like
designing,   refrigeration   and   air   conditioning.     The
accident   has   completely   jeopardized   his   mastery   on   the
subject   and   his   chances   of   future   promotion   and
professional engagements have been virtually vanished.
12. The   question   regarding   “Assessment   of   future   loss   of
earnings   due   to   permanent   disability”   was   considered   by
this Court in Raj Kumar vs. Ajay Kumar and Another,  (2011)
1 SCC 343, wherein this Court held as follows:
“8.  Disability refers to any restriction or lack of
ability   to   perform   an   activity   in   the   manner
considered   normal   for   a   human   being.   Permanent
disability refers to the residuary incapacity or loss
of use of some part of the body, found existing at
the end of the period of treatment and recuperation,
after   achieving   the   maximum   bodily   improvement   or
recovery which is likely to remain for the remainder
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life of the injured. Temporary disability refers to
the   incapacity   or   loss   of   use   of   some   part   of   the
body  on  account  of  the   injury,  which  will  cease  to
exist   at   the   end   of   the   period   of   treatment   and
recuperation.   Permanent   disability   can   be   either
partial or total. Partial permanent disability refers
to a person’s inability to perform all the duties and
bodily   functions   that   he   could   perform   before   the
accident, though he is able to perform some of them
and is still able to engage in some gainful activity.
Total   permanent   disability   refers   to   a   person’s
inability   to   perform   any   avocation   or   employment
related activities as a result of the accident. The
permanent   disabilities   that   may   arise   from   motor
accident   injuries,   are   of   a   much   wider   range   when
compared   to   the   physical   disabilities   which   are
enumerated   in   the   Persons   with   Disabilities   (Equal
Opportunities,   Protection   of   Rights   and   Full
Participation) Act, 1995 (“the Disabilities Act”, for
short). But if any of the disabilities enumerated in
Section 2(i) of the Disabilities Act are the result
of injuries sustained in a motor accident, they can
be permanent disabilities for the purpose of claiming
compensation.
9.  The   percentage   of   permanent   disability   is
expressed by the doctors with reference to the whole
body,   or   more   often   than   not,   with   reference   to   a
particular limb. When a disability certificate states
that the injured has suffered permanent disability to
an extent of 45% of the left lower limb, it is not
the same as 45% permanent disability with reference
to the whole body. The extent of disability of a limb
(or   part   of   the   body)   expressed   in   terms   of   a
percentage   of   the   total   functions   of   that   limb,
obviously   cannot   be   assumed   to   be   the   extent   of
disability   of   the   whole   body.   If   there   is   60%
permanent   disability   of   the   right   hand   and   80%
permanent   disability   of   left   leg,   it   does   not   mean
that   the   extent   of   permanent   disability   with
reference to the whole body is 140% (that is 80% plus
60%).   If   different   parts   of   the   body   have   suffered
different percentages of disabilities, the sum total
thereof   expressed   in   terms   of   the   permanent
disability   with   reference   to   the   whole   body   cannot
obviously exceed 100%.
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10. Where the claimant suffers a permanent disability
as   a   result   of   injuries,   the   assessment   of
compensation   under   the   head   of   loss   of   future
earnings would depend upon the effect and impact of
such   permanent   disability   on   his   earning   capacity.
The   Tribunal   should   not   mechanically   apply   the
percentage of permanent disability as the percentage
of economic loss or loss of earning capacity. In most
of the cases, the percentage of economic loss, that
is,   the   percentage   of   loss   of   earning   capacity,
arising from a permanent disability will be different
from   the   percentage   of   permanent   disability.   Some
Tribunals   wrongly   assume   that   in   all   cases,   a
particular   extent   (percentage)   of   permanent
disability   would   result   in   a   corresponding   loss   of
earning   capacity,   and   consequently,   if   the   evidence
produced show 45% as the permanent disability, will
hold   that   there   is   45%   loss   of   future   earning
capacity. In most of the cases, equating the extent
(percentage)   of   loss   of   earning   capacity   to   the
extent   (percentage)   of   permanent   disability   will
result   in   award   of   either   too   low   or   too   high   a
compensation.
11.  What requires to be assessed by the Tribunal is
the effect of the permanent disability on the earning
capacity of the injured; and after assessing the loss
of earning capacity in terms of a percentage of the
income, it has to be quantified in terms of money, to
arrive   at   the   future   loss   of   earnings   (by   applying
the standard multiplier method used to determine loss
of   dependency).   We   may   however   note   that   in   some
cases,   on   appreciation   of   evidence   and   assessment,
the Tribunal may find that the percentage of loss of
earning   capacity   as   a   result   of   the   permanent
disability,   is   approximately   the   same   as   the
percentage of permanent disability in which case, of
course, the Tribunal will adopt the said percentage
for determination of compensation. (See for example,
the decisions of this Court in Arvind Kumar Mishra v.
New   India   Assurance   Co.   Ltd.  and  Yadava   Kumar  v.
National Insurance Co. Ltd.)”
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13. In   the   present   case,   the   percentage   of   permanent
disability   has   not   been   expressed   by   the   Doctors   with
reference   to   the   full   body   or   with   reference   to   a
particular limb.   However, it is not in dispute that the
claimant suffered such a permanent disability as a result
of   injuries   that   he   is   not   in   a   position   in   doing   the
specialized   job   of   designing,   refrigeration   and   air
conditioning.     For   the   said   reason,   claimant’s   services
were terminated by his employer but that does not mean that
the claimant is not capable to do any other job including
the desk job.  Having qualification of B.SC degree and Post
Diploma   in   Mechanical   Engineering   he   can   perform   any   job
where   application   of   mind   is   required   than   any   physical
work.
14. In view of the forgoing discussion we find no grounds
made out to interfere with the finding of the High Court
which determined the percentage of loss of earning capacity
to 70% adopting the percentage of loss of earning capacity
as per the Workmen’s Compensation Act.   The total loss of
income   thus   rightly   calculated   by   the   High   Court   at
Rs.6,04,800/­.
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15. However   from   the   award   passed   by   the   Tribunal   and
judgment   rendered   by   the   High   Court,   we   find   no   ground
shown   by   the   Tribunal   or   the   High   Court   in   providing
pecuniary   and   non­pecuniary   damages   at   a   lower   rate.
Against some of the heads even no amount has been allowed.
16. The Tribunal in its award has noticed that the claimant
had to go to Hospital every 10 days for treatment. He was
admitted in different Hospitals and was under treatment as
indoor patient for about one and a half months.  Claimant’s
hand was amputated and skin was grafted.   Inspite of the
same,   no   amount  has  been   allowed   towards   loss   of   earning
during   the   period   of   treatment   nor   any   amount   allowed
towards future medical expenses.
17. From the High Court’s judgment and award passed by the
Tribunal it is clear that the claimant placed evidence to
suggest  that   the   cost   of   prosthesis  was  Rs.75,000/­  .   It
was   accepted   at   Bar   that   the   cost   of   prosthesis   was
Rs.1,60,000/­.   Inspite  of   the   same  the  Tribunal   did   not
chose to allow any amount towards prosthesis and the High
Court allowed a petty amount of Rs.50,000/­ for the same.
11Page 12
No separate amount has been allowed towards travelling to
the   Hospitals   though   the   claimant   was   required   to   go   to
attend   the   Hospital   every   10   days   for   treatment.     We
further   find   that   a   meager   sum   of   Rs.25,000/­   has   been
allowed by the High Court towards pain and suffering.
18. Having regards to the fact that the Tribunal and the
High Court have not allowed reasonable amount for different
pecuniary   and   the   non­pecuniary   damages,   we,   therefore,
with   a   view   to   do   complete   justice   to   the   claimant   re­
determined   the   amount   of   compensation   on   the   following
terms:
Pecuniary damages (Special damages)
(i) Expenses   relating   to
treatment,hospitalisation,
medicines,transportation,
nourishing   food,   and
miscellaneous expenditure.
(medical   expenses
Rs.15,000   +   Attendant
Rs.15,000   +   cost   of
prosthesis Rs.75,000)
Rs.1,05,000
(ii) Loss   of   earnings   (and
other   gains)   which   the
injured   would   have   made
had   he   not   been   injured,
comprising:
12Page 13
(a) Loss of earning during
the period of treatment;
(b)   Loss   of   future
earnings   (on   account   of
70%   permanent   disability
taking multiplier of 16)
Rs.4,500
Rs.6,04,800
(iii) Future   medical   expenses. Rs.50,000
Non­pecuniary damages (General damages)
(iv) Damages   for   pain,
suffering   and   trauma
as a consequence of the
injuries.
Rs.1,00,000
(v) Loss of amenities Rs.2,00,000
(vi) Loss of expectation of
life   (shortening   of
normal longevity)
Rs.1,00,000
Total            Rs.11,64,300
13Page 14
19. The respondent Insurance Company is directed to pay the
claimant­appellant a sum of Rs.11,64,300/­ minus the amount
already paid pursuant to the order passed by the Tribunal
within three months from the date of judgment with interest
@   12%.   The   order   passed   by   the   High   Court   and   Tribunal
stands   modified  to   the   extent   above.   The   appeal  filed   by
the   claimant   is   allowed   with   the   above   observation   and
direction. No separate order as to costs.
………..……………….…………………………..J.
(G.S. SINGHVI)
……….……………………………………………….J.
(SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA)
NEW DELHI,
July 1,  2013.
14

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