Co. Ltd. Vs. Vithabai & Ors.
J U D G M E N T
ANIL R. DAVE, J.
served, none appeared for the respondents.
appellant - Insurance Company has challenged the validity of the Judgment dated
1st July, 2009 delivered by the Karnataka High Court, Circuit Bench at Gulbarga
in MFA No. 30178 of 2009.
virtue of the impugned judgment, the respondents-claimants, who had filed MVC No.
359 of 2006 before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Bidar have been awarded higher
amount of compensation. Being aggrieved by the enhancement of compensation, the
insurance company has filed the appeal.
Tribunal was pleased to award Rs. 1,76,000/- by way of compensation with
interest thereon @ 6% to the claimants - the widow and children of Vithal who had
died in a motor accident. After considering the evidence adduced before the Tribunal,
the Tribunal had come to a conclusion that average income of the deceased was Rs.
5,000/- per month. On the basis of the said income and looking to the relevant factors,
including age of the deceased which was 56 years, the Tribunal had considered
multiplier of `8' for determining the amount of compensation. The Tribunal had
also considered the fact that the deceased was riding his cycle in the centre of
the road and, therefore, he was also held to be negligent to the extent of 50%.
appeal was filed before the High Court by the claimants and after hearing the concerned
advocates and looking to the facts of the 3case, the High Court enhanced the amount
of compensation to Rs. 4,86,000/-. The High Court enhanced the compensation
because it found that there was no evidence with regard to contributory negligence
of the deceased and, therefore, the amount of compensation should not have been
reduced. Moreover, the High Court increased the multiplier from `8' to `11', as
the age of the deceased was 56 years, by relying upon the judgment delivered in
the case of Gulam Khader vs. United India Insurance Ltd. reported in 2001 (1)
KLJ 340 .
learned counsel appearing for the appellant-insurance company vehemently
submitted that the High Court was in error while increasing the multiplier to
`11' from `8'. She submitted that the High Court did not consider the law laid down
in the case of Sarla Verma(Smt.) and Others vs. Delhi Transport Corporation and
Another reported in (2009) 6 SCC 121 and the multiplier used in the Second Schedule
to the Motor Vehicles Act. She also submitted that in view of the judgment
delivered in the case of Sarla Verma (supra), the High Court was in error in
considering the law laid down by the Karnataka High Court in the case of Gulam Khader
(Supra). She further submitted that looking to the age of the deceased, the
multiplier, as per 4the aforestated schedule should have been `8' and, therefore,
the Tribunal had not committed any error in using `8' as a multiplier. In view of
the said fact, the High Court ought not to have increased the multiplier to
considering the submission made by the learned counsel and looking to the law
laid down by this Court and in view of the fact that the age of the deceased was
56 and, therefore, taking notice of the multiplier indicated in the Second
Schedule of Motor Vehicles Act, we are of the view that the High Court was not
justified in increasing the multiplier from `8' to `11'. In our opinion, the Tribunal
was right while considering `8' as a multiplier. We do no find any other error
in the judgment delivered by the High Court and therefore, we are of the view
that instead of `11', the multiplier of `8' should be used while calculating the
amount of compensation. In view of the said fact, a sum of Rs. 1,20,000/- shall
be reduced on account of reduction in multiplier. While considering `11' as the
multiplier, the High Court had determined the amount of compensation towards loss
of dependency as Rs. 4,40,000/- which is hereby reduced to Rs. 3,20,000/- as
multiplier has been reduced from `11' to `8'.
the above modification, no other interference is required in the impugned
Judgment. Accordingly, the amount of compensation shall be recalculated and paid
to the respondents-claimants with interest as directed by the Tribunal. The direction,
as regards the depositing of the amount with a nationalized bank, shall
appeal is partly allowed to the above extent but without any order as to costs.
(Dr. MUKUNDAKAM SHARMA)
(ANIL R. DAVE)