Vs. Pallvan Transport Corporation  INSC 36 (17 January 1994)
Singh (J) Kuldip Singh (J) Yogeshwar Dayal (J)
1994 SCC (2) 189
Special Leave granted.
out of SLP (C) No. 13886 of 1987 190
While traveling in the bus owned by the respondent- Corporation, on November 1, 1979, Sundaravaradhan fell out of the
bus and died as a consequence of the injuries sustained by him. Appellant 1, in
the appeal herein, is the widow of the deceased and the other appellants are
his children. The appellants in their claim application before the Motor
Accident Claims Tribunal claimed Rs 1 lakh as compensation. The Tribunal
allowed the application and awarded Rs 75,000. The respondent-Corporation went
in appeal before the High Court against the order of the Tribunal. The High
Court upheld the finding of the Tribunal that Sundaravaradhan fell out of the
bus due to the negligence on tile part of the driver of the Corporation but on
the basis of perverse reasoning reduced the compensation to Rs 48,680. The
claimants have challenged the judgment of the High Court in this appeal.
have heard learned counsel for the parties. The High Court reduced the
compensation on the following reasoning:
Regarding quantification of damages payable, it is contended by the learned
Advocate-General that as the deceased was employed in M/s Simpson & Co.,
and being a permanent employee therein, he cannot claim that he was making
private earnings. On behalf of petitioners, no Standing Order or Regulation or
any special order issued to the deceased permitting him to make private
earnings, had been produced. Therefore, except the amount mentioned in Exh. P-4
salary certificate, no other earnings claimed by petitioners based on Exh. P-6
to P-8 and P-10 could be taken into account. In Exh. P- 4, his salary is
mentioned as Rs 630.08. Out of this, two-third he would have provided to the
family. So annually it would be Rs 5040.
aged 42 at the time of accident.
on the statistics furnished in the Works Development Report, 1985, this Court
had been consistently fixing the multiplier, by taking into account the average
expectation of life in India at 55, and therefore, the
multiplier therein is fixed at 13. Hence, he would have provided Rs 65,520. Out
of this lump sum arrived at for imponderables and uncertainty of life,
one-third of deducted, and therefore, the compensation towards loss of earnings
is fixed at Rs 43,680. The unusual amount of Rs 5000 is added towards loss of
expectation of life."
are inclined to set aside the High Court judgment on the short ground. We are
of the view that the High Court fell into patent error in reaching the finding
that the average expectancy of life in India was 55 years. It cannot be disputed that the life expectancy in India even in the year 1979 was not less
than 65 years. We, therefore, hold that the appellants were entitled to a
multiplier of 20.
the High Court finding that the annual expenditure by the deceased on his
family was Rs 5040, we give a multiplier of 20 to reach the compensation. Since
the appellants have claimed Rs 1 lakh as compensation we grant the same. We set
aside the High Court judgment and modify the judgment of the Tribunal to the
extent that the appellants shall be entitled to Rs 1 lakh as compensation from
the respondent-Corporation. The appellants shall be entitled to 12% interest as
191 awarded by the High Court. The appeal is allowed in the above terms with
costs. We quantify the costs at Rs 10,000.