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Accident claim – M.V.Act – Death – [([pic]7330+30/100 x [pic]7330) x 12 x 13] = [pic]14,86,524/-.]-([pic]14,86,524/- – 1/3 x [pic]14,86,524/-) = [pic]9,91,016/- compensation of [pic]1,00,000/- each towards loss of consortium and towards loss of love – [pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of expectation of the life of the deceased. We also award a sum of [pic]50,000/- for funeral expenses and cost of litigation. Therefore, a total sum of [pic]14,51,016/- rounded to 14,51,000/- with 9% interest = KALPANARAJ & ORS. ………APPELLANTS VS. TAMIL NADU STATE TRANSPORT CORPN. ……RESPONDENT = 2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41448

  Accident claim – M.V.Act – Death – [([pic]7330+30/100 x  [pic]7330) x 12 x 13] = [pic]14,86,524/-.]-([pic]14,86,524/- – 1/3 x  [pic]14,86,524/-) = [pic]9,91,016/- compensation  of

[pic]1,00,000/- each towards loss of consortium and  towards  loss  of  love – [pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of expectation of the life of the deceased.  We also award a sum of        [pic]50,000/- for funeral expenses  and  cost  of litigation. Therefore, a total sum of   [pic]14,51,016/-  rounded to 14,51,000/- with 9% interest  =

 

As per the Income Tax return of the financial year 1994-1995 produced  on

record, the deceased was earning  [pic]88,660/- per  annum  or   [pic]7330/-

per month. 

Further, the deceased being 46  years  of  age  at  the  time  of

death, he is entitled to 30% increase in the future prospects of  income  as

per the legal principle laid down by this Court in Santosh Devi v.  National

Insurance Company Ltd. and Ors.[2]

 

10.   Also, since the deceased was 46 years  of  age  at  the  time  of  the

accident, a multiplier of 13 seems appropriate for determining  the  quantum

of compensation as per the principle laid down by this Court in the case  of

Sarla Verma and Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation and Anr.[3]

 

11. Therefore, the total amount of compensation  the  appellants-  claimants

are entitled to under the head of loss of income is:

 

[([pic]7330+30/100 x  [pic]7330) x 12 x 13] = [pic]14,86,524/-.]

 

12.   Further,  since  the  deceased  has  left  behind  his  wife  and  two

children, the amount to be deducted under the head of personal  expenses  is

1/3rd of the total income in the light of the principle laid down  in  Sarla

Verma case (supra) which  was  reiterated  in  Santosh  Devi  case  (supra).

Therefore, the amount to be awarded as compensation to the  appellant  is  =

([pic]14,86,524/- – 1/3 x  [pic]14,86,524/-) = [pic]9,91,016/-.

 

13.   The  appellant-claimants  sought  an  amount  of         [pic]10,000/-

towards damage  to  the  motorcycle.  Since,  the  claim  has  neither  been

rebutted  with  evidence  by  the  respondent,  we  grant  compensation   of

[pic]10,000/- towards the damage caused to the bike.

 

14.   Further, the High Court awarded a  sum  of               [pic]30,000/-

towards loss of consortium and  [pic]20,000/- each towards loss of love  and

affection by the minor children. This amount awarded by the  High  Court  is

on the lower side in the light of the principle  laid  down  in  Rajesh  and

Ors. v. Rajbir Singh and Ors.[4] wherein the Court  awarded  [pic]1,00,000/-

towards loss of consortium  and [pic]1,00,000/- towards  loss  of  care  and

guidance to the minor children. Accordingly,  we  award  a  compensation  of

[pic]1,00,000/- each towards loss of consortium and  towards  loss  of  love

and affection.

 

15.   Apart from this, we award  [pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of estate  and

[pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of expectation of the life of the deceased.  We

also award a sum of        [pic]50,000/- for funeral expenses  and  cost  of

litigation. Therefore, a total sum of   [pic]14,51,016/-  which  is  rounded

off at [pic]14,51,000/- is awarded to the appellants-claimants.

 

16.   Further, the High Court has awarded  the  compensation  with  interest

@9% per annum. We concur with this holding of the High Court  in  the  light

of the decision of this Court in Municipal Corporation of  Delhi,  Delhi  v.

Uphaar Tragedy Victims  Association  &  Ors.[5]  Accordingly,  we  award  an

interest @ 9% per annum on the compensation to be awarded to the appellants-

 claimants. The  compensation  awarded  shall  be  apportioned  between  the

appellants equally with proportionate  interest.  We  direct  the  Insurance

Company to deposit 50% of the awarded amount with proportionate interest  in

any of the Nationalized Bank of the choice of the appellants  for  a  period

of 3 years. The rest of  50%  amount  awarded  with  proportionate  interest

shall be paid to the appellants by way of a demand draft  within  six  weeks

from the date of receipt of a copy of this order after deducting the  amount

if already paid.  During the  said  period,  if  they  want  to  withdraw  a

portion  or  entire  deposited  amount  for  their  personal  or  any  other

expenses, including development of their asset, then they are at liberty  to

file application before the Tribunal  for release of the  deposited  amount,

which may be considered by it and pass appropriate order in this regard.  We

set aside the impugned judgment and order of the High Court and  modify  the

judgment in the aforesaid terms by allowing this appeal. In  the  facts  and

circumstances of the case, no order as to costs.

2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41448

GYAN SUDHA MISRA, V. GOPALA GOWDA

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3461 of 2003

 

 
KALPANARAJ & ORS. ………APPELLANTS

VS.

TAMIL NADU STATE TRANSPORT CORPN. ……RESPONDENT

 
J U D G M E N T

 
V.GOPALA GOWDA, J.
This appeal is filed by the appellants questioning the correctness of
the judgment and final Order dated 30.01.2002 passed by the High Court of
Judicature at Madras in Civil Misc. Appeal No. 1487 of 1999, urging various
facts and legal contentions in justification of their claim.

2. Necessary relevant facts are stated hereunder to appreciate the case
of the appellants and also to find out whether the appellants are entitled
for the relief as prayed in this appeal.

3. The deceased, while going on his motorcycle from Vellore to
Kannamangalam, collided with the bus of the respondent-Corporation as a
result of which he sustained fatal injuries and died on the spot. The legal
representatives of the deceased viz, his wife and two minor children filed
M.C.O.P. No. 539 of 1994 contending that the accident occurred solely
because of the rash and negligent driving of the bus of the respondent-
Corporation. If the driver of the bus had driven the bus with carefulness,
there might have been no possibility of dragging the deceased along with
the motorcycle for a distant of 120 feet. The appellants- claimants claimed
an amount of [pic]20 lakhs compensation for the death caused by the
respondent.

The Tribunal, after considering the material evidence on record of P.W.1
and P.W. 2 and R.W.1 and the ten exhibits filed on behalf of the appellant-
claimants, found that the accident has occurred only due to rash and
negligent driving of the driver of the bus of the respondent-Corporation.
Therefore, the learned judge, holding the monthly income at [pic]15,000/-
and adopting the multiplier of 18, determined a sum of [pic]32,40,000/- as
compensation. However, he restricted the sum of compensation to
[pic]20,90,000/-, since that was the amount claimed by the appellants-
claimants. The Tribunal further awarded interest @12% per annum on the said
amount.

4. Aggrieved by the Award of the Tribunal, the respondent-Corporation
filed an appeal challenging the Order of the Tribunal. The High Court,
however, only restricted itself to ascertain as to whether the compensation
awarded by the Tribunal was excessive. And if so, then what is the amount
to which the appellants- claimants are entitled to.

5. The High Court opined that the Tribunal erred in relying upon the
statement of evidence of the wife of the deceased to determine the monthly
income of the deceased at [pic]15,000/- instead of relying upon the income
shown in the Income Tax return. Further, the High Court opined that the
Tribunal erred in not deducting 1/3rd for personal expenses of the
deceased. Further, according to the High Court, the Tribunal erred in
determining the multiplier of 18 instead of 13 considering the age of the
deceased which was 46 at the time of the accident.

6. Accordingly, the High Court held that the unsubstantiated oral
evidence alone of P.W.1 cannot be taken into consideration in the light of
Exhs. A.8, A.9 and A.10. The monthly income of the deceased is therefore
taken as [pic]3,115/- per month for computation of the multiplicand on the
basis of net average income of the deceased calculated as per the income
tax return produced as evidence on record. Therefore, the compensation
determined under the head of loss of income under the head of ‘loss of
income’ of the deceased was determined by the High Court at
[pic]4,86,000/-. Further, the High Court has reduced compensation under the
head of funeral expenses from [pic]25,000/- to [pic]10,000/-. The
Tribunal awarded a consolidated amount for loss of love and affection by
the children, loss of income and loss of consortium by the wife at
[pic]19,55,000/-. The High Court reduced the compensation under the head of
‘loss of love and affection’ by the minor children at [pic]20,000/- each.
Also, the amount awarded towards loss of consortium to the wife was reduced
by the High Court to [pic]30,000/-. Therefore, in total, the High Court
awarded a total amount of [pic]5,76,000/- as compensation to the appellants-
claimants. The interest rate was also reduced to 9% per annum by the High
Court from 12% awarded by the Tribunal.

7. It is pertinent to note that the only available documentary evidence
on record of the monthly income of the deceased is the income tax return
filed by him with the Income Tax Department. The High Court was correct
therefore, to determine the monthly income on the basis of the income tax
return. However, the High Court erred in ascertaining the net income of the
deceased as the amount to be taken into consideration for calculating
compensation, in the light of the principle laid down by this Court in the
case of National Insurance Company Ltd. v. Indira Srivastava and Ors.[1]
The relevant paragraphs of the case read as under:

“14. The question came for consideration before a learned Single
Judge of the Madras High Court in  National Insurance Co. Ltd. v.
Padmavathy and Ors. wherein it was held:
‘7…..Income tax, Professional tax which are deducted from the
salaried person goes to the coffers of the government under
specific head and there is no return. Whereas, the General
Provident Fund, Special Provident Fund, L.I.C., Contribution
are amounts paid specific heads and the contribution is always
repayable to an employee at the time of voluntary retirement,
death or for any other reason. Such contribution made by the
salaried person are deferred payments and they are savings. The
Supreme Court as well as various High Courts have held that the
compensation payable under the Motor Vehicles Act is statutory
and that the deferred payments made to the employee are
contractual. Courts have held that there cannot be any
deductions in the statutory compensation, if the Legal
Representatives are entitled to lump sum payment under the
contractual liability. If the contributions made by the
employee which are otherwise savings from the salary are
deducted from the gross income and only the net income is taken
for computing the dependency compensation, then the Legal
Representatives of the victim would lose considerable portion
of the income. In view of the settled proposition of law, I am
of the view, the Tribunal can make only statutory deductions
such as Income tax and professional tax and any other
contribution, which is not repayable by the employer, from the
salary of the deceased person while determining the monthly
income for computing the dependency compensation. Any
contribution made by the employee during his life time, form
part of the salary and they should be included in the monthly
income, while computing the dependency compensation.’

15. Similar view was expressed by a learned Single Judge of Andhra
Pradesh High Court in S. Narayanamma and Ors. v. Secretary to
Government of India, Ministry of Telecommunications and Ors.
holding:
13….In this background, now we will examine the present
deductions made by the tribunal from the salary of the deceased
in fixing the monthly contribution of the deceased to his
family. The tribunal has not even taken proper care while
deducting the amounts from the salary of the deceased, at least
the very nature of deductions from the salary of the deceased.
My view is that the deductions made by the tribunal from the
salary such as recovery of housing loan, vehicle loan, festival
advance and other deductions, if any, to the benefit of the
estate of the deceased cannot be deducted while computing the
net monthly earnings of the deceased. These advances or loans
are part of his salary. So far as House Rent Allowance is
concerned, it is beneficial to the entire family of the
deceased during his tenure, but for his untimely death the
claimants are deprived of such benefit which they would have
enjoyed if the deceased is alive. On the other hand,
allowances, like Travelling Allowance, allowance for
newspapers/periodicals, telephone, servant, club-fee, car
maintenance etc., by virtue of his vocation need not be
included in the salary while computing the net earnings of the
deceased. The finding of the tribunal that the deceased was
getting Rs.1,401/- as net income every month is unsustainable
as the deductions made towards vehicle loan and other
deductions were also taken into consideration while fixing the
monthly income of the deceased. The above finding of the
tribunal is contrary to the principle of ‘just compensation’
enunciated by the Supreme Court in the judgment in Helen’s case
(1 supra). The Supreme Court in Concord of India Insurance Co.
v. Nirmaladevi and Ors. 1980 ACJ 55 (SC) held that
determination of quantum must be liberal and not niggardly
since law values life and limb in a free country ‘in generous
scales’.”

(Emphasis laid down by this Court)
8. In the light of the principle of law laid down by this Court in the
Indira Srivastava case mentioned supra, we are of the opinion that the High
Court erred in making deductions under various heads to arrive at the net
income instead of ascertaining the gross income of the deceased out of the
annual income earned from his occupation mentioned in the income tax return
submitted for the relevant financial year 1994-1995.

9. As per the Income Tax return of the financial year 1994-1995 produced on
record, the deceased was earning [pic]88,660/- per annum or [pic]7330/-
per month. Further, the deceased being 46 years of age at the time of
death, he is entitled to 30% increase in the future prospects of income as
per the legal principle laid down by this Court in Santosh Devi v. National
Insurance Company Ltd. and Ors.[2]

10. Also, since the deceased was 46 years of age at the time of the
accident, a multiplier of 13 seems appropriate for determining the quantum
of compensation as per the principle laid down by this Court in the case of
Sarla Verma and Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation and Anr.[3]

11. Therefore, the total amount of compensation the appellants- claimants
are entitled to under the head of loss of income is:

[([pic]7330+30/100 x [pic]7330) x 12 x 13] = [pic]14,86,524/-.]

12. Further, since the deceased has left behind his wife and two
children, the amount to be deducted under the head of personal expenses is
1/3rd of the total income in the light of the principle laid down in Sarla
Verma case (supra) which was reiterated in Santosh Devi case (supra).
Therefore, the amount to be awarded as compensation to the appellant is =
([pic]14,86,524/- – 1/3 x [pic]14,86,524/-) = [pic]9,91,016/-.

13. The appellant-claimants sought an amount of [pic]10,000/-
towards damage to the motorcycle. Since, the claim has neither been
rebutted with evidence by the respondent, we grant compensation of
[pic]10,000/- towards the damage caused to the bike.

14. Further, the High Court awarded a sum of [pic]30,000/-
towards loss of consortium and [pic]20,000/- each towards loss of love and
affection by the minor children. This amount awarded by the High Court is
on the lower side in the light of the principle laid down in Rajesh and
Ors. v. Rajbir Singh and Ors.[4] wherein the Court awarded [pic]1,00,000/-
towards loss of consortium and [pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of care and
guidance to the minor children. Accordingly, we award a compensation of
[pic]1,00,000/- each towards loss of consortium and towards loss of love
and affection.

15. Apart from this, we award [pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of estate and
[pic]1,00,000/- towards loss of expectation of the life of the deceased. We
also award a sum of [pic]50,000/- for funeral expenses and cost of
litigation. Therefore, a total sum of [pic]14,51,016/- which is rounded
off at [pic]14,51,000/- is awarded to the appellants-claimants.

16. Further, the High Court has awarded the compensation with interest
@9% per annum. We concur with this holding of the High Court in the light
of the decision of this Court in Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi v.
Uphaar Tragedy Victims Association & Ors.[5] Accordingly, we award an
interest @ 9% per annum on the compensation to be awarded to the appellants-
claimants. The compensation awarded shall be apportioned between the
appellants equally with proportionate interest. We direct the Insurance
Company to deposit 50% of the awarded amount with proportionate interest in
any of the Nationalized Bank of the choice of the appellants for a period
of 3 years. The rest of 50% amount awarded with proportionate interest
shall be paid to the appellants by way of a demand draft within six weeks
from the date of receipt of a copy of this order after deducting the amount
if already paid. During the said period, if they want to withdraw a
portion or entire deposited amount for their personal or any other
expenses, including development of their asset, then they are at liberty to
file application before the Tribunal for release of the deposited amount,
which may be considered by it and pass appropriate order in this regard. We
set aside the impugned judgment and order of the High Court and modify the
judgment in the aforesaid terms by allowing this appeal. In the facts and
circumstances of the case, no order as to costs.

 

………………………………………………………………………J.
[GYAN SUDHA MISRA]

 
………………………………………………………………………J.
[V. GOPALA GOWDA]

New Delhi,
April 22, 2014
———————–
[1] (2008) 2 SCC 763

[2] (2012) 6 SCC 421

[3] (2009) 6 SCC 121

[4] (2013) 9 SCC 54

[5] (2011) 14 SCC 481

 

 

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