10 June 2024


High Court of Calcutta

Y. Tulasiamma Vs. M. Andiyappan and Ors.



Motor Vehicles

For determining future prospects, age of victim as on date of accident is to be taken as starting point for calculation

Present appeal has been filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 against a judgment of Tribunal in MACT case, passed in an application under Section 166 of the Act filed by the Appellant who was the Claimant No. 1 before the Tribunal.

The Tribunal held that, the claimant was liable to be compensated with an amount of Rs. 5,80,200 together with interest at 6% from the opposite party No. 2/Insurance Company, from the time of filing of the claim application till the date of realization of the cheque and interest at the rate of 8% in case of default. The issue which falls for consideration is whether the amount of compensation of Rs. 5,80,200 awarded by the Tribunal together with interest at 6% is justified in the facts of the case and the relevant decisions on the subject.

In the present case, the Tribunal assessed the notional income of the deceased at Rs. 4,000 per month. The examination-in-chief of the Appellant (the mother of the deceased) stated that, the deceased was working as a private labourer and was earning Rs. 6,000 per month. The assessment of Rs. 4,000 as notional income by the Tribunal therefore does not appear to have any basis.

For determining future prospects, the age of the victim as on the date of the accident should be taken as the starting point of the calculation to be made. In Future General India Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Soumita Roy, the Court held in favour of compensation for loss of love and affection caused by the death of a sibling. For arriving at the compensation awarded, the Court was of the view that, compensation must be "just" in the facts of this case and not an arbitrary or fanciful amount without having any nexus to the extent of loss suffered by the members of the family of the deceased.

The expression "compensation" means to recompense the Claimant for the loss suffered or likely to be suffered as a result of the unexpected or untimely death of a family member caused by a motor accident. The Supreme Court has held in a number of decisions that, the compensation to be determined should be just, adequate and reasonable, taking into account the impact and consequences flowing from the sudden loss of a family member which would have a lifelong bearing on the remaining family members of the deceased.

The impugned judgment and Award of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal is set aside. The annual income of the deceased will be taken as Rs. 72,000 at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per month. An addition of 50% of the annual income amounting to Rs. 36,000 shall be made towards future prospects which would be added to the annual income. On such addition, the sum amounts to Rs. 1,08,000.

The total compensation amount of Rs. 10,08,300 shall carry an interest @ 8% per annum from the date of filing of the claim application till the date of receipt of the amount by the Appellant, failing which interest at the rate of 9% per annum will be borne by the Insurance Company for the same period. The appeal stands disposed of.

Tags : Compensation Quantum Legality

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