Anita Devi & Ors.
Vs. Satyendra Narain Singh & Ors.  INSC 1073 (10 July 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. OF 2008 (Arising out of
SLP (C) No.15368 of 2006) Anita Devi and Ors. .......Appellants Versus
Satyendra Narain Singh and Ors. .......Respondents
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the order passed by a Division Bench of the Jharkhand
High Court, Ranchi dismissing the Miscellaneous application filed by the
appellants under Section 173(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (in short
of the appellants, in a nutshell, is as follows:
(hereinafter referred to as the `deceased') died in a vehicular accident in
which Maruti Van bearing registration No.ER-14P-4320 was involved. The Maruti
Van was being driven by respondent No.1 rashly and negligently.
Kumar had sustained grievous injuries. He was first taken to the Government
Hospital from which he was referred to Bokaro General Hospital where he had
expired on 18.4.2000. The deceased was 37 years of age. The petition for
compensation in terms of Section 166 of the Act was filed by the dependants of
the deceased. The Motor Accidents Claims
Tribunal (in short
the `MACT') on consideration of the materials placed before it held that
claimants are entitled to 2 compensation of Rs.1,39,808/-. Since the vehicle
was the subject matter of insurance, the Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd.
to as the `insurer') was held liable for the compensation amount to the
claimants alongwith interest @ 9% per annum from the date of filing of the
application. It was found that there is no concrete material regarding the
income of the deceased. However, it was held that notional income of
Rs.15,000/- p.a. can be taken after deducting certain amounts for personal use.
The contribution was fixed at Rs.10,216/- p.a. The multiplier of 13 was applied
and Rs.5,000/- was also granted for loss of expectation of life and Rs.2,000/-
for funeral expenses. An appeal was preferred by the claimants questioning
correctness of the award, taking the stand that the quantum fixed was very low.
High Court dismissed the appeal holding that there was no evidence of earning
support of the appeal, learned counsel for the appellant submitted that
several documents were filed to 3 establish the income of the deceased.
This aspect was not taken note of either by the MACT or the High Court.
counsel for the respondents submitted that the appellants did not produce
any definite material regarding income and the MACT was justified in
taking the notional income.
test the correctness of the stand of the appellants that several documents
were filed to establish the income of the deceased, the original records
from MACT were called for. It appears from the records that certain
documents have been filed. It is true that there are no copies of the
income tax return or the assessment order. But the documents on record can
certainly throw light on the income aspect.
being the position, we set aside the award of the MACT as affirmed by the
High Court and remit the matter to MACT to consider the matter relating to
income of the 4 deceased and determine the compensation afresh taking into
account the documents already on record.
appeal is allowed in the aforesaid extent with no order as to costs.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)