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M.V.Act – Accident Claim – Lost right hand – 70% damage – Engineer graduate – working in overseas company – Salary certificate not produced though claimed Rs.50000 per month and claimed Rs.75 lakhs towards compensation – Trial court fixed his salary as Rs.3000/- High court enhanced and fixed as Rs.5000/- as Engineer graduate – Apex court enhanced and fixed as Rs.8000/- per month as he is working in overseas company – and awarded Rs. 7,90,000/- more = M.K. GOPINATHAN … APPELLANT VERSUS J. KRISHNA & ORS. … RESPONDENTS=2014 (April.Part ) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41423

M.V.Act – Accident Claim – Lost right hand – 70% damage – Engineer graduate – working in overseas company – Salary certificate not produced though claimed Rs.50000 per month and claimed Rs.75 lakhs towards compensation – Trial court fixed his salary as Rs.3000/- High court enhanced and fixed as Rs.5000/- as Engineer graduate – Apex court enhanced and fixed as Rs.8000/- per month as he is working in overseas company –  and awarded Rs. 7,90,000/- more       =

 

  he was employed in Malaysia as  a

Tool & Die Engineer. He had come to his native town in Kerala to attend  his

sister’s wedding. On 15.5.1996, when the appellant was traveling in a  jeep,

a bus coming from the opposite direction rammed into the jeep  resulting  in

five deaths and the appellant  suffered  severe  injuries,  namely  a  crush

injury on his upper right arm which had to be –amputated. The appellant was treated as an in-patient in  the  hospital  for 42 days and during which time four surgeries were conducted on him.=

 

claiming Rs.75,00,000/-  as  compensation.   Before

the Tribunal, the appellant examined himself as P.W.14.   The  Tribunal  did

not believe  the  version  of  the  appellant  that  he  had  been  employed

permanently as  a  Tool  and  Die  Engineer  in  Malaysia  and  was  drawing

Rs.50,000/- per month.  However, the Tribunal noticed that the appellant  is

permanently disabled to an extent of 70% due to the  injuries  sustained  by

him in the  accident.   In  the  absence  of  any  authentic,  reliable  and

acceptable proof produced by the appellant to show his monthly  income,  the

Tribunal considering the fact that the appellant is  a  qualified  Engineer,

and having regard to the Schedule to the Workmen’s Compensation  Act,  fixed

his monthly income notionally at Rs.3,000/- and considering his age  at  the

time of accident, which is 34, applied the  multiplier  17.   The  Tribunal,

passed award on 28.02.2004, awarding compensation  to  the  appellant  to  a

tune of Rs.5,15,700/- in all, with interest thereon  at  9%  p.a.  from  the

date of claim petition and at 6% p.a. from 31.12.2001.=

 High Court fixed  the  monthly  income  of  the  appellant  at

Rs.5,000/- p.m., instead of Rs.3,000/- fixed by the Tribunal,  and  enhanced

the compensation from Rs.5,15,700/-, as awarded  by  the  Tribunal,  to  Rs.

8,43,500/-,  which  is  inclusive  of  Rs.4,200/-  awarded   towards   extra

nourishment.   The  High  Court,  enhanced  the  interest  payable  on   the

compensation to the appellant from 31.12.2001, from 6% p.a. to 7.5% p.a.=

conclusion 

   The appellant, before the Tribunal to prove his monthly  income  as

Rs.50,000/- and in support of his claim for compensation,  except  examining

himself as P.W.4, did not examine any person.   According  to  him,  he  was

working as a Tool and Die Engineer in a  company  in  Malaysia  and  getting

Rs.50,000/- as monthly  salary.  

He  did  not  even  produce  any  authentic

certificate to prove his income and qualification. 

He has  produced  only  a

xerox copy of a certificate issued  by  the  Institute  of  Engineers  India

showing that he has passed Sections A & B of the  Institution’s  examination

in Mechanical Engineering branch. 

Though the appellant failed to  prove  his

income  with  documentary  evidence,  the  fact  that  he  was  holding   an

engineering certificate and was working in Malaysia is not  in  dispute.  In

the circumstances, taking into consideration  the  undisputed  fact  of  his

qualification, and particularly his working in  overseas  Company,  we  feel

just and reasonable to consider his monthly income as Rs. 8,000/-.

 

 

11.       Accordingly,  taking  the  monthly  salary  of  the  appellant  as

Rs.8,000/-, the compensation payable to him has to be computed.  Apart  from

that, we enhance the amounts payable to the appellant under different  other

heads in the manner following:

 

|1|Loss of earnings                       |Rs. 30,000/- more         |

|.|(Rs.8,000/- x 6) minus Rs.18,000/-     |                          |

|2|Loss of amenities                      |Rs. 20,000/- more         |

|.|(Rs.30,000/- minus Rs.10,000/-)        |                          |

|3|Compensation for reduction             |Rs. 7,14,000/- more       |

|.|In earning capacity                    |                          |

| |(Rs. 8,000/- x 12 x 17 x 70/100)       |                          |

| |Minus Rs. 4,28,400/-                   |                          |

| |i.e. (Rs. 11,42,400  – Rs.4,28,400/-)  |                          |

|4|Extra nourishment                      |Rs. 20,000/-              |

|.|                                       |                          |

|5|Bills for payment to doctors           |Rs.   6,000/-             |

|.|                                       |                          |

| |Total                                  |Rs. 7,90,000/- more       |

 

 

12.       Accordingly, we set aside the impugned order and allow the  appeal

to the extent indicated above with interest @  6%  p.a.  from  the  date  of

petition till the date of deposit. There shall be no order as to costs.     

 2014 (April.Part ) http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41423

 

P SATHASIVAM, RANJAN GOGOI, N.V. RAMANA

NON-REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 619 OF 2010

 

M.K. GOPINATHAN … APPELLANT

VERSUS

J. KRISHNA & ORS. … RESPONDENTS

 

JUDGMENT

N.V. RAMANA, J.

 

This appeal is directed against the judgment dated 5th March, 2009
passed by the High Court of Kerala in Motor Accident Claims Appeal
No. 1441 of 2004.

2. The case of the appellant is that he was employed in Malaysia as a
Tool & Die Engineer. He had come to his native town in Kerala to attend his
sister’s wedding. On 15.5.1996, when the appellant was traveling in a jeep,
a bus coming from the opposite direction rammed into the jeep resulting in
five deaths and the appellant suffered severe injuries, namely a crush
injury on his upper right arm which had to be –

amputated. The appellant was treated as an in-patient in the hospital for
42 days and during which time four surgeries were conducted on him.

3. The appellant filed O.P. (MV) No. 304 of 1997 before the Motor
Accident Claims Tribunal claiming Rs.75,00,000/- as compensation. Before
the Tribunal, the appellant examined himself as P.W.14. The Tribunal did
not believe the version of the appellant that he had been employed
permanently as a Tool and Die Engineer in Malaysia and was drawing
Rs.50,000/- per month. However, the Tribunal noticed that the appellant is
permanently disabled to an extent of 70% due to the injuries sustained by
him in the accident. In the absence of any authentic, reliable and
acceptable proof produced by the appellant to show his monthly income, the
Tribunal considering the fact that the appellant is a qualified Engineer,
and having regard to the Schedule to the Workmen’s Compensation Act, fixed
his monthly income notionally at Rs.3,000/- and considering his age at the
time of accident, which is 34, applied the multiplier 17. The Tribunal,
passed award on 28.02.2004, awarding compensation to the appellant to a
tune of Rs.5,15,700/- in all, with interest thereon at 9% p.a. from the
date of claim petition and at 6% p.a. from 31.12.2001.

4. The appellant, being aggrieved by the aforesaid award of the
Tribunal, filed M.A.C.A. No. 1441 of 2004 before the High Court of –

Kerala. The Division Bench of the High Court, reassessed the entire case
and opined that the Tribunal ought to have reasonably assessed the monthly
salary which the appellant was getting at the time of accident. However,
taking into consideration, the totality of the facts and circumstances of
the case, the High Court fixed the monthly income of the appellant at
Rs.5,000/- p.m., instead of Rs.3,000/- fixed by the Tribunal, and enhanced
the compensation from Rs.5,15,700/-, as awarded by the Tribunal, to Rs.
8,43,500/-, which is inclusive of Rs.4,200/- awarded towards extra
nourishment. The High Court, enhanced the interest payable on the
compensation to the appellant from 31.12.2001, from 6% p.a. to 7.5% p.a.

5. Being dissatisfied with the order of the High Court, the appellant
filed this appeal before this Court by way of Special Leave Petition.

6. Learned counsel for the appellant contended that both the Tribunal
and the High Court have erred in assessing the quantum of compensation
payable to the appellant. The compensation awarded is not in consonance
with the income and status of the appellant. On the date of accident, the
appellant was a Tool and Die Engineer on permanent rolls of a company in
Malaysia and was getting salary of Rs.50,000/- p.m., apart from other
benefits. Being a well qualified and permanently employed person, the
appellant apart from maintaining –

himself in Malaysia, was supporting his family at Kerala by sending
substantial amount to them. He submitted that the High Court also failed
to take into account the actual monthly income and status of the appellant,
and has grossly erred in meagrely enhancing the monthly salary from
Rs.3,000/- fixed by the Tribunal to Rs.5,000/- for the purpose of computing
the compensation. At the time of accident, the appellant was only 34 years
old and in view of the 70% permanent disability suffered during to the
injuries sustained by him in the accident, he had lost all the growth
avenues. He, therefore, submitted that the appellant, having regard to his
qualification, profession and the salary drawn by him, was entitled to be
awarded more compensation.

7. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondents, submitted
that the grounds raised in this appeal claiming enhancement of compensation
are absolutely devoid of merit. The Division Bench of the High Court has
adequately enhanced the amount of compensation by Rs. 3,27,800/-, which is
just and reasonable. Hence, it is submitted that the case of the appellant
is without any substance and does not require interference from this Court.

8. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the
material on record.

9. The only issue that arises for consideration is whether the
compensation payable to the appellant has to be computed based on the
assertion made by him that at the time of accident, he was working as Tool
and Die Engineer in a company in Malaysia and drawing Rs. 50,000/-
p.m.?

10. The appellant, before the Tribunal to prove his monthly income as
Rs.50,000/- and in support of his claim for compensation, except examining
himself as P.W.4, did not examine any person. According to him, he was
working as a Tool and Die Engineer in a company in Malaysia and getting
Rs.50,000/- as monthly salary. He did not even produce any authentic
certificate to prove his income and qualification. He has produced only a
xerox copy of a certificate issued by the Institute of Engineers India
showing that he has passed Sections A & B of the Institution’s examination
in Mechanical Engineering branch. Though the appellant failed to prove his
income with documentary evidence, the fact that he was holding an
engineering certificate and was working in Malaysia is not in dispute. In
the circumstances, taking into consideration the undisputed fact of his
qualification, and particularly his working in overseas Company, we feel
just and reasonable to consider his monthly income as Rs. 8,000/-.

11. Accordingly, taking the monthly salary of the appellant as
Rs.8,000/-, the compensation payable to him has to be computed. Apart from
that, we enhance the amounts payable to the appellant under different other
heads in the manner following:

|1|Loss of earnings |Rs. 30,000/- more |
|.|(Rs.8,000/- x 6) minus Rs.18,000/- | |
|2|Loss of amenities |Rs. 20,000/- more |
|.|(Rs.30,000/- minus Rs.10,000/-) | |
|3|Compensation for reduction |Rs. 7,14,000/- more |
|.|In earning capacity | |
| |(Rs. 8,000/- x 12 x 17 x 70/100) | |
| |Minus Rs. 4,28,400/- | |
| |i.e. (Rs. 11,42,400 – Rs.4,28,400/-) | |
|4|Extra nourishment |Rs. 20,000/- |
|.| | |
|5|Bills for payment to doctors |Rs. 6,000/- |
|.| | |
| |Total |Rs. 7,90,000/- more |
12. Accordingly, we set aside the impugned order and allow the appeal
to the extent indicated above with interest @ 6% p.a. from the date of
petition till the date of deposit. There shall be no order as to costs.
…………………………………………CJI.
(P. SATHASIVAM)
……………………………………………J.
(RANJAN GOGOI)
……………………………………………J.
(N.V. RAMANA)
NEW DELHI,
APRIL 17, 2014

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