27 July 2020


Judgments

Supreme Court

Anthony Vs. The Managing Director, K.S.R.T.C.

MANU/SC/0473/2020

10.06.2020

Motor Vehicles

Compensation for loss of future earning has to be proper and just and not elusive

The Appellant was travelling in a bus of the Respondent Corporation and met with an accident due to rash and negligent driving of the bus driver who hit a lorry from behind. As a consequence of the injuries suffered, the left leg of the Appellant had to be amputated. The Tribunal awarded a compensation of Rs. 4,08,850. The High Court in appeal enhanced the same to Rs. 5,10,350. The appeal preferred by the Respondent Corporation was dismissed. The Appellant is in appeal aggrieved by the order of the High Court, claiming inadequacy of compensation granted to him in a motor accident case.

The Appellant submitted that the compensation enhanced by the High Court is niggardly and grossly inadequate considering the nature of injuries suffered. The Appellant was a painter by vocation. He had a daily income of Rs. 300 cumulated at Rs. 9,000 per month, supported by the evidence of his employer which has been wrongly rejected. The permanent disability of the Appellant has been wrongly fixed at 25% of the whole body without any reasoning to support the same, in the nature of the injury, suffering, future medical treatment and loss of future income caused to the Appellant.

The physical disability of the Appellant without any reasoning has been assessed at 25% of the whole body with which present Court is unable to concur. The compensation granted towards loss of future earning on account of disability at Rs. 2,31,000 is considered grossly inadequate in the facts and circumstances of the case, as also the compensation of Rs. 50,000 towards future medical expenses and only Rs. 25,000 towards loss of amenities.

PW 3 had assessed the physical functional disability of the left leg of the Appellant at 75% and total body disability at 37.5%. The High Court has considered it proper to assess the physical disability at 25% of the whole body only. There is no discussion for this reduction in percentage, much less any consideration of the nature of permanent functional disability suffered by the Appellant. The extent of physical functional disability, in the facts of the case has to be considered in a manner so as to grant just and proper compensation to the Appellant towards loss of future earnings. The earning capacity of the Appellant as on the date of the accident stands completely negated. He has been rendered permanently incapable of working as a painter or do any manual work.

Compensation for loss of future earning therefore has to be proper and just to enable him to live a life of dignity and not compensation which is elusive. If the 75% physical disability has rendered the Appellant permanently disabled from pursuing his normal vocation or any similar work, it is difficult to comprehend the grant of compensation to him in ratio to the disability to the whole body. The Appellant is therefore held entitled to compensation for loss of future earning based on his 75% permanent physical functional disability recalculated with the salary of Rs. 5,500 with multiplier of 14 at Rs. 6,93,000.

The High Court also erred in granting a sum of Rs. 50,000 only towards future medical expenses. PW 3 deposed that, the Appellant would require three more replacements of the artificial left leg during his lifetime. Present Court considers it proper to enhance the same by Rs. 2,50,000 in addition to that granted by the High Court. The compensation granted towards loss of amenities is also enhanced to Rs. 50,000 considering that the Appellant was deprived of social mixing as deposed by PW. 3. The award of the High Court is modified accordingly to be paid along with interest @ 6 per cent from the date of petition till the realization. The appeal is allowed.

Tags : Inadequacy Compensation Enhancement

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