Yadava Kumar Vs.
Div.Mangr.,National Insurance Co.L.& ANR  INSC 697 (31 August 2010)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.7223 OF 2010 (Arising out
of SLP (Civil) No.1827 of 2010) Yadava Kumar ..Appellant(s) Versus The
Divisional Manager, National Insurance Co. Ltd. & Another ..Respondent(s)
the Division Bench judgment of the Karnataka High Court dated 12.8.2009,
whereby compensation of Rs.52,000/- granted by the Tribunal was enhanced to
Rs.72,000/-, this appeal claiming higher compensation was filed by the
The Hon'ble High
Court has awarded compensation under the following heads:
1. Towards pain and
2. Loss of income
from the period of treatment: Rs.9,000/-
3. Towards medical
expenses, conveyance, nourishing food and attendant charges: Rs.8,000/-
loss of amenities: Rs.35,000/- Total: Rs.72,000/- + 8% p.a. interest from the
date of the petition till realization.
material facts of the case are that, the appellant, a painter by profession,
was 30 years old at the time of sustaining the injury in a road accident which
took place on 24th March 2003 while the appellant was standing on the side of
Nagavara Ring Road to cross it from south to north. The offending Tempo bearing
No.KA-04-C/6030 came at a great speed from west to east and hit the appellant
as a result of which he fell down and sustained several injuries. The appellant
was rushed to Al- Habeeb Hospital where he was treated. The claim petition was
filed on 3rd February, 2006.
the nature of the injury sustained by the appellant, the evidence of PW-2 Dr.
S. Ranjanna, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospital, Bangalore
is very crucial. PW-2 examined the appellant on 26.11.05. As per the wound
certificate and X-ray report of Al-Habeeb Hospital, Bangalore, PW-2 noted that
the appellant sustained the following injuries:
"(1) Fracture of
distal end of left radius with fracture of left ulnar styloid process.
(2) Fracture of
distal end of right radius with mild diastases is Radioulnar joint and soft
tissue swelling around wrist joint."
on examination on 26.11.05,which is after two and a half years after the date
of incident, PW-2 found the following injuries on the appellant:
(1) Deformity of right
wrist (2) Limitation of right wrist movements by 40% (3) Limitation of right
forearm movements by 30% (4) Wasting of right forearm muscles by 3 cms (5) Weak
Right hand grip (6) Limitation of left wrist movement by 25% (7) Tenderness
over left wrist 3 (8) Instability of left in favour of Radio ulnar joint (9)
Weakness of left hand
opined that in view of the injuries the appellant cannot perform any hard work,
cannot lift any weight and cannot perform any work smoothly and after referring
to various guidelines in manual PW-2 opined that the appellant has disability
of 33% of right upper limb and 21% to left upper limb and 20% total disability
of the whole body. In view of such disability, appellant cannot work as a
painter and cannot do any other manual work also. In cross- examination also
PW-2 admitted that even if the appellant continues his old vocation as a
painter, he has to do it with difficulty.
the Tribunal and the High Court have failed to incorporate any thing by way of
compensation in the category of `loss of future earnings' in spite of
recognizing the fact that there is disability of 33% in the right upper limb,
21% in the left upper limb and 20% in respect of the whole body, which does not
allow the appellant to paint as he did earlier.
Second Schedule under Section 163A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 gives a
structured formula for the calculation of compensation in accident cases.
Section 5 of the
Schedule deals with disability in non-fatal accidents and reads as follows:
in non-fatal accidents:
compensation shall be payable in case of disability to the victim arising out
of non-fatal accidents:
Loss of income, if
any, for actual period of disablement not exceeding fifty two weeks.
PLUS either of the
following:- (a) In case of permanent total disablement the amount payable shall
be arrived at by multiplying the annual loss of income by the Multiplier applicable
to the age on the date of determining the compensation, or (b) In case of
permanent partial disablement such percentage of compensation which would have
been payable in the case of permanent total disablement as specified under item
Injuries deemed to
result in Permanent Total Disablement/Permanent Partial Disablement and
percentage of loss of earning capacity shall be as per Schedule I under
Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923."
the multiplier method is to be applied in cases of injuries also and it has
been applied in a 5 number of accident cases by High Courts and this Court. others
- 2008 ACJ 9, awarded compensation in case of injury for loss of future
earnings and applied the multiplier method for calculation of the same.
same principle was recognized by this Court in Priya SC 40.
1792, Madhya Pradesh High Court applied the multiplier method keeping in mind
the percentage by which the injured person's earning capacity was reduced. A
similar calculation was made by the Division Bench of Karnataka High Court in
Syed Nisar Metropolitan Transport Corporation - 2003 5 Karn. L.J. 186.
this case, the appellant has sustained a fracture of distal end of left radius
with fracture of left ulnar styloid process and fracture distal end of 6 right
radius with mild diastosis and soft tissues swelling around wrist joint. The
doctor has assessed the disability at 33% in respect of the right upper limb
and 21% towards left upper limb and 20% in respect of the whole body, which
prevents the appellant from painting in view of multiple injuries sustained by
Hon'ble High Court while granting compensation refused to award any amount
towards loss of future earning. Though that point was specifically urged before
the Hon'ble High Court, the Hon'ble High Court refused any compensation towards
loss of future earning by, inter alia, holding that:
"We are of the
view that, the said submission has no force for the reason that, the appellant
has not produced an iota of document to substantiate his stand."
are unable to agree with the aforesaid view of the High Court.
assessing compensation in accident cases, the High Court or the Tribunal must
take a reasonably compassionate view of things. It cannot be disputed that the
appellant being a painter has to earn his 7 livelihood by virtue of physical
work. The nature of injuries which he admittedly suffered, and about which the
evidence of PW-2 is quite adequate, amply demonstrates that carrying those
injuries he is bound to suffer loss of earning capacity as a painter and a
consequential loss of income is the natural outcome.
goes without saying that in matters of determination of compensation both the
Tribunal and the Court are statutorily charged with a responsibility of fixing
a `just compensation'. It is obviously true that determination of a just
compensation cannot be equated to a bonanza. At the same time the concept of
`just compensation' obviously suggests application of fair and equitable principles
and a reasonable approach on the part of the Tribunals and Courts. This
reasonableness on the part of the Tribunal and Court must be on a large
peripheral field. Both the Courts and Tribunals in the matter of this exercise
should be guided by principles of good conscience so that the ultimate result
become just and equitable (See Mrs. Helen C. Transport Corpn. and another - AIR
1998 SC 3191).
Court also held that in the determination of the quantum of compensation, the
Court must be liberal and not niggardly in as much as in a free country law
must value life and limb on a generous State Transport Corporation and another
- (1992) 2 SCC 567).
High Court and the Tribunal must realize that there is a distinction between
compensation and damage. The expression compensation may include a claim for
damage but compensation is more comprehensive. Normally damages are given for
an injury which is suffered, whereas compensation stands on a slightly higher
footing. It is given for the atonement of injury caused and the intention
behind grant of compensation is to put back the injured party as far as
possible in the same position, as if the injury has not taken place, by way of
grant of pecuniary relief. Thus, in the matter of computation of compensation,
the approach 9 will be slightly more broad based than what is done in the
matter of assessment of damages. At the same time it is true that there cannot
be any rigid or mathematical precision in the matter of determination of
by these principles, as we must, this Court is constrained to observe that in
this case the approach of the High Court in totally refusing to grant any
compensation for loss of future earning is not a correct one.
Court could have remanded the matter to the High Court for assessment of
compensation on the aforesaid lines but the accident took place in March 2003
and a remand to the High Court for determination of compensation will further
delay the matter. Therefore, to shorten litigation, and having regard to this
Court's power under Article 142 of the Constitution to do complete justice
between the parties, this Court itself assesses the compensation as follows:
10 Therefore, in the
present case, the loss of future income may be calculated using the multiplier
method as follows:
Income of the
appellant (as accepted by the High Curt) is Rs.3,000/- p.m. Therefore, the
yearly income is Rs.36,000/-.
to age (30 years) as per Schedule is 17.
Thus,the total comes
Rs.36,000/- x 17 =
disablement is 20% Therefore, loss of future earnings would come to
this is added to the compensation provided by the High Court in other
categories, the total compensation comes to Rs.1,22,400/- + Rs.72,000/-, that
Court, therefore, grants a lump sum of Rupees Two Lakhs by way of compensation
plus 8% interest as granted by the High Court.
appeal is allowed to the extent indicated above.
There will be no
order as to costs.
.....................J. (G.S. SINGHVI)