Sant Singh Vs Sukhdev
Singh and others
J U D G M E N T
appellant-claimant, Sant Singh, on 8.11.2004, was going to Dera Bassi from Chandigarh
as a pillion-rider on the scooter (No. CH-01-P-7028) driven by one Nahar Singh,
at about 1.30 PM, when the first respondent (driving Tata 709 No. PB-03-E-4525)
came from the Dera Bassi side in a rash and negligent manner and struck the scooter.
As a result of the collision, Nahar Singh and the appellant fell down and sustained
multiple injuries. The appellant fractured his left leg below the knee and both
the bones of his right leg. The appellant was admitted in Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi
and thereafter was referred to PGI Chandigarh, where he was hospitalized for 11
appellant filed a claim petition before the MACT under section 166 of the Motor
Vehicles Act, 1988 claiming Rs.5 lacs as compensation along with 24% interest. The
appellant was 48 years of age on the date of the accident and claimed to be working
as a Work Munshi and earning Rs.4000/- p.m.
MACT awarded total compensation of Rs.1,47,209/-. MACT awarded Rs.5,000/- as compensation
for hospitalization, special diet, attendant and transportation. As permanent disability
of the limb had been assessed at 60%, it awarded Rs.1,20,000/- as compensation
for permanent disability based on the reasoning in Piara Singh & Ors. v. Satpal
Kumar & Ors. [Vol. CZCVI-2 (2007-2) PLR 143 (P&H)]. It also awarded Rs.22,209/-
for cost incurred in purchase of medicines. Thus, the total compensation came to
Rs.1,47,209/- with interest at 7.5%. MACT held all the respondents to be jointly
and severally liable to pay the said amount to the petitioner.
with the award of the Tribunal, the appellant appealed to the High Court of Punjab
and Haryana for enhancement of compensation and interest. Keeping in view the facts
and circumstances of the case, the High Court was of the opinion that the
amount of compensation awarded was not sufficient under the different heads for
the injuries suffered and treatment received by the appellant. Thus, it awarded
an overall enhancement of Rs.15,000/-, which it felt would make the compensation
just and reasonable.
dissatisfied with the compensation awarded by the High Court, the appellant filed
the present appeal before this Court. The appellant contended that the Tribunal
had completely failed to compensate him for loss of future earnings for which
multiplier method was to have been applied as per the Second Schedule to section
163A of the Motor Vehicles Act. Further, the appellant contended that he was
entitled to interest @ 9%.
heard the parties and on perusal of evidence on record, we are of the opinion that
the appeal of the appellant deserves to be allowed.
the case of United India Insurance Co. Ltd. etc. etc., v. Patricia Jean Mahajan
and others etc. etc., [AIR 2002 SC 2607], the Court observed that: "We therefore,
hold that ordinarily while awarding compensation, the provisions contained in the
second schedule may be taken as a guide including the multiplier, but there may
arise some cases, as one in hand, which may fall in the category having special
feature or facts calling for deviation from the multiplier usually
the case of Smt. Supe Dei and Ors. v. National Insurance Co. Ltd. and Anr. [(2002)
ACJ 1166 (SC)], the Supreme Court observed as follows: "...It is not disputed
that though the second schedule to the Act in terms does not apply in the case since
the claim is not made under Section 163A of the Act, it serves as a guideline for
the purpose of determination of compensation under Section 166 of the
Abati Bezbaruah v. Dy. Director General, Geological Survey of India and another,
[AIR 2003 SC 1817], this Court has observed: "It is now a well settled
principle of law that the payment of compensation on the basis of structured formula
as provided for under the Second Schedule should not ordinarily be deviated from.
Section 168 of the Motor Vehicles Act lays down the guidelines for determination
of the amount of compensation in terms of Section 166 thereof. Deviation of the
structured formula, however, as has been held by this Court, may be resorted to
in exceptional cases. Furthermore, the amount of compensation should be just and
fair in the facts and circumstances of each case."
though the present claim is made under section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, the
principles for determining compensation as per Section 163A can be used as a guide.
Thus, the Second Schedule can be used as a reference for determining compensation
in a claim under Section 166 of the Act.
made under Section 166 are to be determined based on the principles laid down in
Section 168 of the Act, whereby, the Tribunal must award compensation that is
we are of the view that in the present case, compensation should be awarded on the
basis of the principles contained in the Second Schedule to the Act and thus, the
Tribunal and the High Court erred in not considering the same. The award of the
High Court is thus set aside.
appellant was earning Rs.4,000/- p.m. which amounts to Rs.48,000/- per year.
After deduction of 1/3rd for personal expenses, the annual income of the appellant
would be Rs.32,000/-. As per the Second Schedule to the Motor Vehicles Act, as the
appellant was aged 48 years, a multiplier of 13 is to be applied. Accordingly, appellant
is entitled to compensation of Rs.4,16,000/-. We also award Rs.5,000/- as compensation
for hospitalization, special diet, attendant and transportation and Rs.22,209/-
for cost incurred in purchase of medicines. Thus, total compensation amounts to
Rs.4,43,209/-, which is rounded off to Rs.4,43,000/-. The compensation shall be
payable to the appellant along with interest at the rate of 9% by all the
respondents jointly and severally.
the appeal is allowed.
(ASOK KUMAR GANGULY)