4 August 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Mandala Yadagari Goud and Ors.

MANU/SC/0507/2019

09.04.2019

Motor Vehicles

It is the age of deceased which has to be taken into account and not age of dependents while determining compensation

The only legal issue canvassed in present matters, which were in the nature of cross appeals, is that, in the case of a motor accident where there is death of a person, who is a bachelor, whether the age of the deceased or the age of the dependents would be taken into account for calculating the multiplier. The Appellant is the insurance company, whose counsel submits that, it is the age of the dependents which has to be taken into account and thus the High Court has fallen into an error by taking the multiplier on the basis of the age of the deceased.

The concept of insurance for a motor vehicle is to cover risk in case of an accident. The insurance policy covers personal risk of injury or death, including for third parties. The premium charged in this behalf is uniform.

The judicial pronouncements of this Court have endeavoured to devise a standard formula, in respect of the calculation of the amount of compensation qua various components. The amount of compensation determined is to be paid to the claimants who are dependents in case of a death of a person based on what the deceased would have contributed to their support. The amount thus received by the dependents in turn becomes a part of the estate as they may live longer or may be younger than the age limits taken into account for calculation of a multiplier to be applied in such a situation.

The focus for determination of such claim is the deceased and what would be his contribution towards the dependents would he to be alive, for the benefits of the dependents. It is trite to say, and in fact conceded by the learned Counsel for the insurance company, that in case the deceased is a married person, it is the age of the deceased which is to be taken into account. In case the deceased is a bachelor, a different principle for calculation of the multiplier should not be applied by shifting the focus to the age of the claimants. Once the law is settled, it should not be repeatedly changed as that itself causes confusion and litigation.

A reading of the judgment in Sube Singh shows that, where a three Judge Bench has categorically taken the view that, it is the age of the deceased and not the age of the parents that would be the factor for the purposes of taking the multiplier to be applied.

There is no need to once again take up the issue settled by the judgments of three Judge Bench. It is the age of the deceased which has to be taken into account and not the age of the dependents. The appeal filed by the insurance company without merit. Appeals dismissed.

Relevant

Sube Singh and Anr. v. Shaym Singh (Dead) and Ors. MANU/SC/0106/2018
, Reshma Kumari and Ors. v. Madan Mohan and Anr. MANU/SC/0287/2013

Tags : Compensation Age Deceased

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