Courts Must Consider Socio-Economic Background Of Claimants While Awarding Compensation In Permanent Disability Cases: SC
The Supreme Court has held that the Courts must consider the socio-economic background of the claimants while awarding compensation in cases of permanent disability.
"We are of the opinion that while awarding compensation in cases of permanent disability caused to claimants, the courts must look at the case in totality, and must consider the socio-economic background of the claimants.", the bench of Justice Krishna Murari and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat observed.
The bench also observed that persons from marginalized backgrounds often face an additional layer of discrimination due to bodily disabilities.
Thus, the Court held that it becomes the duty of the Court to at the very least restore the claimant as best as possible to the position he was in before the occurrence of the disability, and to do so must award compensation in a liberal manner.
The Court made this observation while dealing with an appeal by a man who, as per the Disability Certificate, suffered permanent disability of 70% due to a motor vehicle accident.
The Motor Accident Claim Tribunal had awarded him a compensation of Rs.15,76,465 which came to be enhanced by the Delhi High Court to Rs.16,70,932.
The appellant had claimed compensation of Rs.20,00,000.
Advocate Manjeet Chawla represented the appellant whereas Advocate Nishit Agrawal appeared for Respondent.
The Apex Court observed that the appellant has suffered permanent disability of 70% and has an amputated right lower limb amongst other injuries.
The Court noted that the functional disability of the Appellant will severely impact his earning capacity, thus the Court held that the loss of future earning capacity must be calculated at 60%.
The Court also awarded compensation of Rs. 7,80,000 for Prosthetic limbs and an additional Rs. 5,00,000/- was awarded for the maintenance of the same.
The Court awarded a compensation of Rs. 2,00,000 each to the appellant for pain and suffering, Loss of Amenities of Life and for disability and disfigurement.
The Court observed that while no material compensation can completely negate the trauma and suffering, the law only knows the language of monetary compensation in such case.
"While no material compensation can completely negate the trauma and suffering that the injured and his family faces, the law only knows the language of monetary compensation in such cases. It then becomes to duty of the court to translate the provisions of monetary compensation into a fabrication that helps the injured and his family in coping with their loss.", the Court observed.
Thus the Court held that the appellant is entitled to be awarded compensation to the tune of Rs. 38,70,120/- along with 9% interest per annum from the date of making the application.
Cause Title- Mohd. Sabeer @ Shabir Hussain v. Regional Manager, U.P. State Road Transport Corporation