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M.V.Act – Accident claim -Insurance claim- Medical student aged 19 years – future prospects should be considered as if he is a doctor – age of parents should be considered for multiplications but not deceased – in the absence of evidence , no contributory negligence deduction should be allowed – funeral expenses Rs.25000/- and loss of affection Rs.one lakh should be given – Trial court and High court went wrong – Apex court set aside the same and allowed as above said = CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 8131-8132 OF 2014 (Arising out of SLP(C) NOS. 743-744 OF 2014) ASHVINBHAI JAYANTILAL MODI …APPELLANT Vs. RAMKARAN RAMCHANDRA SHARMA & ANR. ….RESPONDENTS = 2014-Sept.Month – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=41960

M.V.Act – Accident claim -Insurance claim- Medical student aged 19 years – future prospects should be considered as if he is a doctor – age of parents should be considered for multiplications but not deceased – in the absence of evidence , no contributory negligence deduction should be allowed – funeral expenses Rs.25000/- and loss of affection Rs.one lakh should be given – Trial court and High court went wrong – Apex court set aside the same and allowed as above said =

the High Court affirmed the  future  income  of

the deceased at Rs.18,000/- per month as  determined  by  the  Tribunal  and

deducted 50% towards personal expenses.

It further held  that  the  Tribunal

had erred in considering the age of the deceased at the time  of  his  death

rather than the age of the parents for determination  of  multiplier,  since

they are the claimants in the case on hand, as per the guidelines laid  down

in Sarla Verma & Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation &  Anr.[1].

Therefore,

by applying the appropriate multiplier of 13, the High Court determined  the

loss  of  dependency  at  Rs.14,04,000/-  as   against   Rs.23,04,000/-   as

considered by the Tribunal.

After examining the facts, evidence produced  on

record and circumstances of the case, the High Court was of  the  view  that

the contributory negligence on the part of  the  deceased  was  higher  than

20%, however, it affirmed the contributory negligence as determined  by  the

Tribunal.

Therefore, after 20%  deduction  towards  contributory  negligence

and addition towards other heads, the High Court, by its  impugned  Judgment

and order awarded a compensation under all heads of Rs.11,39,200/-  with  9%

interest per annum. Aggrieved by the same, the  appellant  has  filed  these

appeals.=

The  deceased  was  a

diligent and outstanding student of medicine  who  could  have  pursued  his

M.D. after his  graduation  and  reached  greater  heights.  Today,  medical

practice is one of the most sought after  and  rewarding  professions.  With

the tremendous increase in demand for medical professionals, their  salaries

are also on the rise.  

Therefore, we  have  no  doubt  in  ascertaining  the

future income of the deceased at Rs.25,000/- p.m.  i.e.  Rs.3,00,000/-  p.a.

Further, deducting 1/3rd of the annual income towards personal  expenses  as

per Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Deo Patodi and Ors[4], and  applying  the

appropriate multiplier of 13, keeping in mind the age of the parent  of  the

deceased, as per the guidelines laid down in Sarla Verma  case  (supra),  we

arrive at a total loss of dependency at Rs.26,00,000/-[(Rs.3,00,000/-  minus

1/3 X Rs.3,00,000/-)X 13]. =

We are of the considered view,  that  to

be able to create this kind of enormous effect on  the  two-wheeler  of  the

deceased, the offending truck must have been travelling  at  a  fairly  high

speed and that its driver did not have sufficient control over his  vehicle.

The driver of the offending  truck  should  have  been  aware  that  he  was

driving the heavy motor vehicle and taken sufficient caution. We do not  see

any direct evidence that shows negligence on the part of the  deceased  that

led to the accident. Therefore, as per the  principles  laid  down  by  this

Court in the case  referred  to  above  in  this  aspect,  the  contributory

negligence apportioned by the courts below on the part of  the  deceased  is

set aside.=

The Tribunal and the  High  Court  have  further  failed  in  awarding  only

Rs.5,000/- towards funeral expenses instead of Rs.25,000/- according to  the

principles laid down by this Court in  Rajesh  &  Ors.  v.  Rajbir  Singh  &

Ors.[7]. Hence, we award Rs.25,000/- towards the same.

In the result, the appellant shall be entitled  to  compensation  under  the

following heads:

|1.       |Loss of dependency         |Rs.26,00,000/-           |

|2.       |Loss of love and affection |Rs.1,00,000/-            |

|3.       |Funeral expenses           |Rs.25,000/-              |

|         |TOTAL                      |Rs.27,25,000/-           |

Thus, the total compensation payable to the  appellant  by  the  respondent-

Insurance Company will be Rs.27,25,000/- with interest at  the  rate  of  9%

p.a. from the date of filing of the application till the date of payment.

Accordingly,  we  allow  these  appeals  in  awarding  Rs.27,25,000/-  with

interest @9% p.a. The respondent-Insurance Company shall either pay  by  way

of demand draft in  favour  of  the  appellant  or  deposit  the  same  with

interest as  awarded  before  the  Motor  Accidents  Claims  Tribunal  after

deducting the amount already paid to  the  appellant,  if  any,  within  six

weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of this judgment

2014-Sept.Month – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=41960

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 8131-8132 OF 2014
(Arising out of SLP(C) NOS. 743-744 OF 2014)
ASHVINBHAI JAYANTILAL MODI …APPELLANT

Vs.

RAMKARAN RAMCHANDRA SHARMA & ANR. ….RESPONDENTS

J U D G M E N T

V. GOPALA GOWDA, J.

These appeals have been filed by the appellant against the impugned common
Judgment and order dated 18.6.2013 passed in First Appeal No. 1064 of 2005
with First Appeal No.1555 of 2005 by the High Court of Gujarat at
Ahmedabad, wherein the High Court dismissed First Appeal No.1064 of 2005
which was filed by the claimant and allowed First Appeal No.1555 of 2005
which was filed by the Insurance Company.
The necessary relevant facts are stated hereunder to appreciate the case
with a view to determine whether the appellant, Ashvinbhai Jayantilal Modi,
the father of Raj (deceased) is entitled for relief as prayed in this
appeal.
On 12.07.2002, Raj Ashvinbhai, the deceased was heading to Istanpur from
Uttamnagar on his two-wheeler. While on his way, near Bhadvatnagar bus
stand, a truck bearing registration no. GQA 7215 belonging to the
respondent, Ramkaran Ramchandra Sharma crashed into the two-wheeler on
which Raj was riding. Due to the force created by this accident, Raj’s two-
wheeler slid for about 25 feet while Raj fell down and sustained grievous
injuries. Thereupon he was taken to L.G. Hospital wherein he succumbed to
his injuries. On the same day, a panchnama was filed before the Vatva
Police Station, Ahmedabad.
The claimant-appellant filed a claim petition before the Motor Accidents
Claims Tribunal (in short ‘the Tribunal’) at Ahmedabad, claiming
Rs.28,73,000/- as compensation. The Tribunal ascertained the future income
of the deceased at Rs.18,000/- per month. 1/3rd of the monthly income was
deducted towards personal expenses. Therefore, Rs.12,000/- per month
(Rs.1,44,000/- p.a.) was calculated for the loss of dependency to the
parents of the deceased. Since the age of the deceased at the time of his
death was 19 years, on applying the appropriate multiplier of 16, the total
compensation towards loss of dependency was arrived at Rs.23,04,000/-. A
sum of Rs.15,000/- was awarded towards love and affection and Rs.5,000/-
towards funeral expenses and thus a total compensation of Rs.23,24,000/-
was arrived at by the Tribunal. The Tribunal apportioned contributory
negligence at 20% on the part of the deceased and 80% on the driver of the
offending truck and thus, after making 20% deduction towards contributory
negligence on the part of the deceased the Tribunal awarded an amount of
Rs.18,59,200/- with interest at the rate of 9% per annum to the appellant.
Being aggrieved by the judgment and award passed by the Tribunal, the
appellant preferred First Appeal No.1064 of 2005 before the High Court for
enhancement of compensation, whereas the 2nd respondent-Insurance Company
preferred First Appeal No.1555 of 2005 for the reduction of the
compensation awarded by the Tribunal.
After hearing the parties, the High Court affirmed the future income of
the deceased at Rs.18,000/- per month as determined by the Tribunal and
deducted 50% towards personal expenses. It further held that the Tribunal
had erred in considering the age of the deceased at the time of his death
rather than the age of the parents for determination of multiplier, since
they are the claimants in the case on hand, as per the guidelines laid down
in Sarla Verma & Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation & Anr.[1]. Therefore,
by applying the appropriate multiplier of 13, the High Court determined the
loss of dependency at Rs.14,04,000/- as against Rs.23,04,000/- as
considered by the Tribunal. After examining the facts, evidence produced on
record and circumstances of the case, the High Court was of the view that
the contributory negligence on the part of the deceased was higher than
20%, however, it affirmed the contributory negligence as determined by the
Tribunal. Therefore, after 20% deduction towards contributory negligence
and addition towards other heads, the High Court, by its impugned Judgment
and order awarded a compensation under all heads of Rs.11,39,200/- with 9%
interest per annum. Aggrieved by the same, the appellant has filed these
appeals.

It has been contended by the learned Senior Counsel for the appellant Mr.
Fakriddin that the offending truck hit the two-wheeler from behind. As a
result, the deceased fell down and his two-wheeler was dragged by the
offending truck up to a distance of about 25 feet. Thus, the finding of the
Tribunal as well as the High Court towards contributory negligence of the
deceased at 20% is uncalled for. Further it was contended that the High
Court has reduced the compensation from Rs.18,59,200/- to Rs.11,39,200/-
which is contrary to the principles laid down by this Court in Sanobanu
Nazirbhai Mirza & Ors.  Vs.  Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service[2].

On the other hand, the learned Counsel for the respondents contended that
the High Court has rightly reduced the compensation by deducting 50% for
personal expenses of the deceased since he was unmarried at the time of his
death and adopted a multiplier of 13 by considering the age of the parents
as per the guidelines laid down by this Court in the case of Sarla Verma
(supra).
We have heard the learned counsel for the parties. In our considered view,
the deceased was 19 years old and was pursuing his medical degree with good
marks at the time of the accident. With respect to the future income of
students pursuing professional courses we refer to Arvind Kumar Mishra v.
New India Assurance Co. Ltd. and Anr.[3], wherein this Court held as under:-

“14. On completion of Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from the
prestigious institute like B.I.T., it can be reasonably assumed that he
would have got a good job. The appellant has stated in his evidence that in
the campus interview he was selected by Tata as well as Reliance Industries
and was offered pay package of Rs. 3,50,000/- per annum. Even if that is
not accepted for want of any evidence in support thereof, there would not
have been any difficulty for him in getting some decent job in the private
sector. Had he decided to join government service and got selected, he
would have been put in the pay scale for Assistant Engineer and would have
at least earned Rs. 60,000/- per annum. Wherever he joined, he had a fair
chance of some promotion and remote chance of some high position. But
uncertainties of life cannot be ignored taking relevant factors into
consideration. In our opinion, it is fair and reasonable to assess his
future earnings at Rs. 60,000/- per annum taking the salary and allowances
payable to an Assistant Engineer in public employment as the basis….”
The Tribunal and the High Court have not taken into proper consideration
that the deceased was a student of medicine at the time of the accident
while determining his future income. The courts below have wrongly
ascertained the future income of the deceased at only Rs.18,000/- per
month, which in our view is too less for a medical graduate these days.
Therefore, the courts below have failed in following the principles laid
down by this Court in this aspect in the above case. The deceased was a
diligent and outstanding student of medicine who could have pursued his
M.D. after his graduation and reached greater heights. Today, medical
practice is one of the most sought after and rewarding professions. With
the tremendous increase in demand for medical professionals, their salaries
are also on the rise. Therefore, we have no doubt in ascertaining the
future income of the deceased at Rs.25,000/- p.m. i.e. Rs.3,00,000/- p.a.
Further, deducting 1/3rd of the annual income towards personal expenses as
per Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Deo Patodi and Ors[4], and applying the
appropriate multiplier of 13, keeping in mind the age of the parent of the
deceased, as per the guidelines laid down in Sarla Verma case (supra), we
arrive at a total loss of dependency at Rs.26,00,000/-[(Rs.3,00,000/- minus
1/3 X Rs.3,00,000/-)X 13].
Further, the Tribunal and the High Court have erred in not following the
principles laid down by this Court in M. Mansoor & Anr v. United India
Insurance Co. Ltd.[5] in awarding a meagre sum of just Rs.15,000/- under
the heads of loss of love and affection. Accordingly, we award Rs.1,00,000/-
to the appellant towards the same.
With regard to the apportionment made by the Tribunal and the High Court,
we are of the view, after considering the facts, evidence produced on
record and circumstances of the case on hand, that there was no negligence
on the part of the deceased. The courts below have failed to examine the
facts of the case on hand with respect to the opinion of this Court given
in Juju Kuruvila & Ors. v. Kunjujamma Mohan & Ors.[6]
From the evidence produced on record, the two-wheeler of the deceased
was dragged up to a stretch of about 20-25 feet on the road after the
collision with the offending truck. We are of the considered view, that to
be able to create this kind of enormous effect on the two-wheeler of the
deceased, the offending truck must have been travelling at a fairly high
speed and that its driver did not have sufficient control over his vehicle.
The driver of the offending truck should have been aware that he was
driving the heavy motor vehicle and taken sufficient caution. We do not see
any direct evidence that shows negligence on the part of the deceased that
led to the accident. Therefore, as per the principles laid down by this
Court in the case referred to above in this aspect, the contributory
negligence apportioned by the courts below on the part of the deceased is
set aside.
The Tribunal and the High Court have further failed in awarding only
Rs.5,000/- towards funeral expenses instead of Rs.25,000/- according to the
principles laid down by this Court in Rajesh & Ors. v. Rajbir Singh &
Ors.[7]. Hence, we award Rs.25,000/- towards the same.
In the result, the appellant shall be entitled to compensation under the
following heads:

|1. |Loss of dependency |Rs.26,00,000/- |
|2. |Loss of love and affection |Rs.1,00,000/- |
|3. |Funeral expenses |Rs.25,000/- |
| |TOTAL |Rs.27,25,000/- |

Thus, the total compensation payable to the appellant by the respondent-
Insurance Company will be Rs.27,25,000/- with interest at the rate of 9%
p.a. from the date of filing of the application till the date of payment.
Accordingly, we allow these appeals in awarding Rs.27,25,000/- with
interest @9% p.a. The respondent-Insurance Company shall either pay by way
of demand draft in favour of the appellant or deposit the same with
interest as awarded before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal after
deducting the amount already paid to the appellant, if any, within six
weeks from the date of receipt of the copy of this judgment. No Costs.
……………………………………………………………………J.
[V.GOPALA GOWDA]

……………………………………………………………………J.
[ADARSH KUMAR GOEL]
New Delhi,
September 25,2014
———————–
[1]
[2] (2009)6 SCC 121
[3]
[4] (2013) 9 SCR 882
[5]
[6] (2010) 10  SCC 254
[7]
[8] (2009)13 SCC 123
[9]
[10] 2013 (12) SCALE 324
[11]
[12] (2013)9 SCC 166
[13]
[14] (2013) 9 SCC 54

———————–
|NON REPORTABLE |

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