Jagdish Vs. Mohan & Ors.

FACTS

The appellant was injured in a motor accident. The Tribunal awarded compensation of Rs. 12,81,228/-for the injuries suffered by him. The High Court enhanced the award of compensation by an amount of Rs.2,19,000/-. Interest of 7.5 per cent per annum has been awarded from the date of the filing of the claim. The appellant seeks an enhancement of compensation.

The appellant was 24 years of age when the accident took place on 24 November 2011. The accident occurred at 4pm when the appellant and another person were riding on a motor cycle. The appellant who was riding the motor cycle at a moderate speed indicated to a dumper which was ahead of him to allow him to pass. When the appellant was passing the vehicle, it swerved on the driver’s side and hit the motor cycle of the appellant. The appellant was injured in the course of the accident.

The nature of the injuries is evident from the following extract from the judgment of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal No. 2, Kota.

“As for the claimant due to the injuries received by the claimant he has suffered 90% permanent disability… The claimant came to give evidence in the matter… looking at both the hands of the claimant it was noted that… the hands are not able to perform any function. It has also been submitted on behalf of the claimant that the claimant himself is unable to eat food or go to toilet for which he requires the assistance of someone else as both his hands are unable to perform any function as it has been stated in Exhibit 168. In such situation if a person of labour class suffers from an injury due to which 90% of both his hands are unable to perform any function then in such situation the claimant would have same difficulty which would be the permanent disability of his body. Therefore relying on Exhibit 168 I hold that there has been loss of 90% of earning ability of the claimant”.

The Tribunal found that there was negligence on the part of the driver of the dumper and that the appellant was liable to be compensated for the injuries sustained by him.

 ISSUES

In computing the amount of compensation, the Tribunal noted that the appellant was a carpenter and had claimed that he was in receipt of an income of Rs. 6,000/-per month. In the absence of documentary evidence, the Tribunal took the monthly income of the appellant at Rs. 4,050/-. The appellant having been found to suffer from 90 per cent disability, the loss of the future monthly income was computed at Rs. 3645/-.

The Tribunal applied a multiplier of 18 and held that the appellant was entitled to compensation for loss of future income of Rs. 7,87,320/-(Rs. 3645 X 12 X 18). The Tribunal awarded an amount of Rs. 1.80 lakhs on account of mental and physical hardship and agony, Rs. 90,000/-for loss of comfort, Rs. 25,000/-for expenses and Rs. 95,908/-on account of medical expenses. An amount of Rs. 1 lakh was awarded for attendant charges. The Tribunal awarded a total amount of Rs. 12,81,228/-as compensation on which interest was allowed at the rate of 7.5 per cent per annum from the date of the filing of the claim petition.

No amount was awarded towards expenses for future treatment.

In appeal, the High Court awarded an additional amount of Rs. 2,19,000/-. The High Court directed that if the enhanced amount is not deposited within 8 weeks, it would carry interest at 9 per cent per annum.

The appellant has sought an enhancement of compensation under the following heads:

The Tribunal ought to have, but did not award any amount towards loss of future prospects. The appellant submits that in view of the recent judgment of the Constitution Bench in National Insurance Company Limited v Pranay Sethi1, he would be entitled to be compensated for loss of future prospects even though he is self-employed;

 JUDGEMENT

The appeal is accordingly allowed. There shall be no order as to costs.

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