& Anr Vs. Karnataka Cement Pipe Factory & Ors  Insc 98 (13 February 2004)
Raju & Arijit Pasayat.
out of SLP (C) No. 22032/2002) ARIJIT PASAYAT,J
were the parents of one Yallappa Angadi (hereinafter referred to as 'deceased')
who died in a vehicular accident. The appellant No.1 filed a claim petition
under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (in short the 'Act') in the Court of First
Additional District Judge and M.A.C.T. Dharwad (in short the 'Tribunal')
claiming compensation. In the Claim Petition the appellant No.2 herein, i.e.
the mother of the deceased was added as a formal party-respondent No.5. The
Tribunal noticed that the deceased was aged 27 years at the time of accident.
It accepted that the deceased was getting Rs.2000/- p.m. On that basis to work
out loss of dependency multiplier of 18 was adopted after deducting 50% of the
income for personal expenses. A total sum of Rupees two lakhs with 6% interest
per annum from the date of application was awarded as compensation.
appeal was preferred by the claimants under Section 173 of the Act praying for
an increase of the compensation. The High Court by the impugned judgment found
no merit and dismissed the same.
support of the appeal, learned counsel for the appellants submitted that two
points fall for adjudication. Firstly, whether the deduction of half of the
monthly income for personal expenditure is justified, and secondly whether the
award of 6% interest per annum is justified.
the respondents have been served notice, only counter affidavit has been filed
by respondent No.2- Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the
counsel for respondent No.2, submitted that there cannot be any rigid formula
as to what would be the percentage or quantum of deduction. The Tribunal and
the High Court have taken note of the relevant aspects to hold that 50%
deduction would be appropriate. There is no scope for any interference with the
percentage of deduction as fixed. Further, before the High Court there was no
challenge to the rate of interest awarded by the Tribunal.
for the first time before this Court such a grievance cannot be raised. It is
also submitted that multiplier of 18 as adopted is on the higher side.
would be the percentage of deduction for personal expenditure cannot be
governed by any rigid rule or formula of universal application. It would depend
upon circumstances of each case. The deceased undisputedly was a bachelor. Stand
of the insurer is that after marriage, the contribution to the parents would
have been lesser and, therefore, taking an overall view the Tribunal and the
High Court were justified in fixing the deduction.
to be noted that the ages of the parents as disclosed in the Claim Petition
were totally unbelievable.
deceased was aged about 27 years as found at the time of post mortem and about
which there is no dispute, the father and mother could not have been aged 38
years and 35 years respectively as claimed by them in the Claim Petition. Be
that as it may, taking into account special features of the case we feel it
would be appropriate to restrict the deduction for personal expenses to
one-third of the monthly income. Though the multiplier adopted appears to be
slightly on the higher side, the plea taken by the insurer cannot be accepted
as there was no challenge by the insurer to the fixation of the multiplier
before the High Court and even in the appeal filed by the appellants before the
High Court the plea was not taken.
there was no question raised about the correctness of the rate of interest
before the High Court, we do not find any scope for interference with the rate
of interest fixed by the Tribunal in the absence of any challenge to it before
the High Court. The appeal is allowed to the extent indicated above, with no
order as to costs.
we part with the case we think it necessary to point out a somewhat shocking
state of affairs which came to our notice. In the Claim Petition filed before
the Tribunal, this Court and the High Court of Karnataka, Bangalore were impleaded
as respondents for no sensible reason, and in gross abuse of process of law,
though by hindsight absurdity seems to have been set right by ordering
deletion. Though these parties were given up during adjudication, it is clear
that the Claim Petition was filed without any application of mind by the
counsel concerned as to who would be proper or necessary party or even a formal
party and great sense of responsibility is expected to be exhibited by those
concerned. At least while impleading a party in Claim Petition, proper
attention ought to be devoted which sadly was not done.