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Delhi High CourtIndian Cases

Surinder Kaur And Ors. vs Inder Kapoor And Anr. on 18 November 2003

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Delhi High Court
Surinder Kaur And Ors. vs Inder Kapoor And Anr. on 18 November, 2003
Equivalent citations: II(2004)ACC866
Author: S.K. Mahajan
Bench: S.K. Mahajan
JUDGMENT

S.K. Mahajan, J.

1. ADMIT.

2. With the consent of the parties, the matter has been heard and disposed of by this order.

3. This appeal is filed by the appellants for enhancement of compensation for the death of Mr. Amrik Singh in a road accident caused by the rash and negligent driving of the offending vehicle by its driver.

4. The main challenge in the appeal is that the deceased was employed as Naib Subedar in Army and due to the implementation of the recommendations of the Vth Pay Commission, his salary would have increased manifold and the Trial Court, therefore, should have taken into consideration the salary which the deceased might have received at the time of his retirement and adding the same to the salary which he was receiving in 1989 i.e. at the time of the accident and dividing the same by two average salary should have been arrived at by the Tribunal to assess the loss of dependency to the family. One of the other grounds on which the impugned judgment has been challenged is that in place of the multiplier of 17 in accordance with the Second Schedule to the Motor Vehicles Act, the Tribunal has applied the multiplier of 13. Relying upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in U.P. State Road Transport Corporation Versus Trilok Chandra 1996 ACJ 831 it is also contended that the Tribunal ought to have divided the family into units taking one unit for a minor and two units for a major and deducted the expenses which the deceased might have been spending upon himself according to his units.

5. While there are merits in the contentions of Mr. Sharma that the Tribunal ought to have applied the multiplier of 17 in terms of Second Schedule to the Motor Vehicles Act and also ought to have applied the principles laid down in U.P. State Road Transport Corporation Versus Trilok Chandra (supra) for deducting the expenses which the deceased might by spending upon himself, I am unable to agree with him that the Tribunal ought to have taken into consideration the maximum salary of the deceased which he might have received at the end of his career after the implementation of the report of the Vth Pay Commission. As has been repeatedly observed by the Supreme Court, at the time of awarding compensation, the Court is also to take into consideration the uncertainties of life and may be for any unforeseen reason the deceased may not have been able to complete his tenure in service. This court, therefore, cannot take the maximum salary which the deceased might have received, had he continued to serve the Army throughout with unblemished record. In my opinion, the principles laid down in Sarla Dixit and another Versus Balwant Yadav and others 1996 ACJ 581 can be applied in this case. Income of the deceased can be doubled and adding the same to his income at the time of the accident and dividing by two, average income can be arrived at to decide the loss of dependency to the family of the deceased. The deceased was in receipt of a salary of Rs.3280/- per month at the time of the accident and besides that he was also entitled to free medical aid for himself as well as for the members of his family and certain other allowances as well. A rough estimate of the medical and other allowances which the deceased might have been receiving for himself and for the members of his family can be made as Rs. 200/- (approximately) per month. In my opinion, the income of the deceased can thus be taken to be Rs. 3500/- per month at the time of accident. Applying the principles laid down in Sarla Dixit and another Versus Balwant Yadav and others (supra) the income of the deceased can be doubled because of his getting regular increment and because of rise in D.A, due to the rise in the cost of price index, and adding the same to his income of Rs. 3,500/- per month and dividing it by two, the average income of the deceased can thus be taken to be Rs.5250/- per month or say Rs. 63,000/- per year. The deceased had a large family to support inasmuch as besides his wife and three children he was also supporting his parents. The family thus can be divided into 11 units taking two units for each of the four adults and 3 for each of the 3 minors and personal expenses which the deceased may have been spending upon himself would, therefore, come to Rs. 63,000 x 2/11 or say Rs. 11,400/- per year. Deducting this from the annual income of the deceased, the loss of dependency to the family would come to Rs. 51,600/- per year. Applying the multiplier of 17 to the loss of dependency, the total loss of dependency to the family would come to Rs. 8,77,200/-. Adding to this another sum of Rs. 22,800/- towards non-pecuniary damages like loss of love and affection, loss of estate and funeral expenses etc. the total compensation to which the appellants would be entitled comes to Rs. 9 lakhs.

6. I, accordingly, allow this appeal, modify the award and direct the respondents to pay total compensation of Rs. 9 lakhs to the appellants. The appellants will also be entitled to interest @ 9% per annum on the enhanced compensation from the date of filing of the application till its realisation. Since the parents of the deceased have died, their share of compensation be divided equally amongst the appellants and I also direct that the compensation lying in the fixed deposits in the name of the parents be distributed amongst the appellants equally. Except as aforesaid, compensation would be distributed to the appellant in the manner directed by the Tribunal. With these observations, the appeal stands disposed of.