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Delhi High CourtIndian Cases

Sardar Kashmir Singh And Ors. vs Shri Gurmukh Singh And Ors. on 30 October 2003

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Delhi High Court
Sardar Kashmir Singh And Ors. vs Shri Gurmukh Singh And Ors. on 30 October, 2003
Equivalent citations: III(2003)ACC706, 2004ACJ2099, 2003VIIIAD(DELHI)318, 107(2003)DLT616
Author: S.K. Mahajan
Bench: S.K. Mahajan
JUDGMENT

S.K. Mahajan, J.

1. ADMIT.

2. The matter being short, with the consent of the parties, the same has been heard and disposed of by this order.

3. The appellant has filed this appeal for enhancement of compensation for the death of one Shri Sukhvinder Singh, son of appellants 1 and 2 and father of appellant No.3 in a road accident caused by the rash and negligent driving of the offending vehicle by its driver.

4. The only point argued by learned counsel for the appellant is that the deceased was admittedly getting a salary of Rs.48,000/- per annum, as is apparent from his income tax returns filed by him for the previous year, and at the time of deciding the loss of dependency to the family of the deceased, the tribunal ought to have taken into consideration the future prospects in the life and career of the deceased. There is force in the submissions made by learned counsel for the appellant. The Supreme Court has now in a judgment reported as Sarla Dixit Vs. Balwant Yadav 1996 ACJ 581 clearly observed that while deciding the loss of dependency to the family of the deceased, the courts and the tribunals are required to take into consideration the future prospects in the life and career of the deceased. Because of inflation and rise in the cost of living, the salaries are increased every year. Even the Government is issuing notifications from time to time to increase the minimum wages payable to workers. The deceased was only 36 years of age at the time of the accident and he would have served at least for a period of 24 years more. In these circumstances, this Court will not be in error in estimating the average income of the deceased at Rs.72,000/- per year. Deducting 1/3rd from this income towards his personal expenses, the loss of dependency to the family would come to Rs.48,000/- per year. Applying the multiplier of 16, as has been applied by the tribunal, the total loss of dependency to the family would come to Rs.7,68,000/-. Adding to this a sum of Rs.29,000/- as non-pecuniary damages towards funeral expenses and loss of love and affection and estate, etc., as has been awarded by the tribunal, the total compensation to which the appellants would be entitled comes to Rs.7,97,000/-.

5. I, accordingly, allow this appeal, modify the award and direct that the appellants would be entitled to the compensation of Rs.7,97,000/- from the respondents. The appellants will also be entitled to interest @ 8% per annum on the enhanced compensation from the date of filing of the claim petition till its payment.