Ponnumany Alias Krishnan & ANR Vs. V.A. Mohanan & Ors  INSC 525 (27 March
S.B. SINHA & P.P. NAOLEKAR NON-REPORTABLE CIVIL APPEAL NO 2151 OF 2008 [arising out of Special Leave
Petition (Civil) No. 5207 of 2006] P.P. NAOLEKAR, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. The first appellant met with a motor accident and as a result thereof he
was paralysed due to head injury. It was found by the Motor Accident Claims
Tribunal that he was having 100% disability and that he was an agriculturist
having five acres of land. The Tribunal on assessment of the evidence led by
the parties fixed a sum of Rs.10,000/- as yearly income from agriculture and
taking into consideration the age of the appellant, multiplier of 13 was
applied and was awarded an amount of Rs.1,30,000/- towards loss of earning
capacity; Rs. 20,000/- towards the pain and suffering suffered by him; Rs. 3,000/- towards the cost of hospitalization; and Rs.50,000/- towards
continued loss of amenities, totalling to a compensation of Rs. 2,03,000/-.
Aggrieved by the quantum of compensation awarded by the Tribunal, the appellant
approached the High Court of Kerala. The High Court partly allowed the appeal and modified the award. The High Court was of the view that the income of the appellant should have
been assessed on the basis of notional income of a non- earning person as fixed
in the Second Schedule to the Motor Vehicles Act. Considering that the
appellant would be entitled to Rs.1,95,000/- as loss in earning capacity, the
High Court thus enhanced the amount of compensation under that head by an
amount of Rs.65,000/-. The High Court was further of the view that the
appellant would require the life-long attention and for that he would be
requiring by- standers/nursing expenses and awarded Rs.20,000/- on that account. Considering the long term treatment from 1.7.1996 to 30.7.1996 in hospital
and the nature of the injury sustained, the compensation towards medical
expenses was enhanced by an additional amount of Rs.10,000/-.
3. Thus, in the appeal the High Court has enhanced the amount of
compensation by an amount of Rs.95,000/- with 7% interest per annum from the
date of application till the date of deposit. Aggrieved by the said order on
account of inadequate compensation under the headings of loss of income, pain and
suffering and continuous loss of amenities, the present appeal has been filed.
4. It is contended by the learned counsel for the appellants that the
assessment of compensation on the basis of notional income of a non- earning
person according to the Second Schedule to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988,
of Rs.15,000/- as notional yearly income of the accident victim applying the
special provisions of Section 163A of the Act was not correct when the evidence
has been led to show that the appellant was an agriculturist and holding 5
acres of land.
5. The assessment of damages to compensate the claimants is beset with
difficulties because from the nature of the things, it depends on many factors
such as the amount that the deceased would have earned during the remainder of
his life, the chances that the deceased may not have lived to their life
expectancy, the chances that the deceased might get more or less income.
6. In the present case, although the first appellant has placed material
before the court to show that he owned the agricultural lands but there is no
convincing evidence to prove the income out of that.
That apart, since he owned the land it cannot be said that there is a total
loss of income due to the injury suffered by the appellant: thus, the
calculation of the amount of compensation on the basis of the notional income
cannot be faulted with.
7. For the aforesaid reasons, we do not find any good or sufficient reason
to interfere with the order passed by the High Court.
8. The appeal is dismissed.