Motor Accident Claim: Courts Need To Consider Future Aspects While Awarding Loss of Dependency- Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has observed in a motor accident claim case has observed, "...we are of the opinion that the amount awarded by the High Court can be said to be on lower side. While awarding the loss of dependency, the High Court has not awarded/considered the future prospects at all."
The Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice C.T. Ravikumar observed that while awarding the loss of dependency, the High Court has not awarded/considered the future prospects at all.
In this case, the Appellants - Original Claimants had assailed the order of the High Court which had reduced the amount of compensation from Rs. 20,64,000/- as awarded by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to Rs.11,34,136/- alongwith interest @ 6% p.a. Aggrieved the Appellants approached the Supreme Court.
The Apex Court relied on National Insurance Company Limited Vs. Pranay Sethi and Ors., (2017) 16 SCC 680, wherein it was held that there shall be a 40% rise towards future prospects and noted that "even if we consider the notional income @ Rs. 6,500/- per month as determined by the High Court and adding 40% towards the future prospects and deducting 1/3rd towards the personal expense of the deceased and by applying the multiple of 17, the claimant shall be entitled to Rs. 12,37,790/- under the head loss of dependency."
The Court further relied on Janabai and Ors. Vs. I.C.I.C.I. Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd., 2022 ACJ 2003, wherein it was held that the claimant shall also be entitled to Rs. 40,000/- towards parental consortium for a minor child; Rs. 40,000/- towards spousal consortium for wife and Rs. 40,000/- towards filial consortium for the father of the deceased. Thus, the claimants shall be entitled to Rs. 1,20,000/- under the head loss of consortium. The claimants shall also be entitled to Rs. 30,000/- under the conventional head (funeral expense and loss of estate).
The Court further held that the High Court has also erred in reducing the interest from 9% p.a. to 6% p.a. and because the deceased died in the year 2012, the claimants shall be entitled to the interest @ 7.5% p.a. thus allowing them to Rs. 13,87,790/- with interest @7.5%.
The Apex Court allowed the appeal preferred by the claimants against the order of the High Court reducing the amount of compensation from Rs. 20,64,000/- as awarded by the learned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to Rs.11,34,136/- along with interest @ 6% p.a. and awarded Rs. 13,87,790/- with interest @7.5% to the claimants.
Cause Title- Sarup Singh @ Ram Sarup vs. HDFC Ergo General InsuranceCompany Ltd. and Ors