D. Sampath Vs. United
India Insurance Co. Ltd. & ANR.
J U D G M E N T
H.L. DATTU, J.
appeal is directed against the Judgment and Order passed by the High Court of Judicature
at Madras in Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 2099 of 2002 dated 12.04.2010. By the
impugned judgment, the Court has modified the compensation awarded by the Motor
Accident Claims Tribunal, Chennai (for short, "the Tribunal") in MCOP
No.1971 of 1998 dated 12.02.2002.
facts are not in dispute. Claimant was a pillion rider of a motor cycle which
was driven by one A. Sridhar. It met with an accident due to oil spill on the
road on 14.01.1998 at about 7.10 P.M. The claimant and the driver of the
vehicle sustained injuries. Both of them were treated in the hospital for the
injuries sustained by them.
The vehicle was insured
with United India Insurance Company Ltd. - respondent No.1 by the owner of the vehicle
- respondent No.2. The claimant filed claim petition before the Tribunal inter-alia
requesting to award compensation at a sum of `12,00,000/- (Rupees Twelve lakhs only)
under various heads. Claimant had examined himself as PW-2 and other witnesses,
including Dr. J.R.R. Thiagarajan - PW-3, who had assessed the disability sustained
by the claimant at 75%.
The Tribunal, after considering
the various factors, including the medical evidence, had quantified the compensation
payable by the Insurance Company at a sum of `3,50,000/-. Being aggrieved by the
compensation so awarded by the Tribunal, the claimant had preferred Civil
Miscellaneous Appeal No.2099 of 2002, before the High Court of judicature at Madras.
The Court, after re- considering the claim of the claimant and re-appreciating the
evidence on record, has enhanced the compensation to `4,90,000/- from
`3,50,000/- awarded by the Tribunal. It is this judgment and order which is
called in question in this appeal.
have heard learned counsel for the parties to the lis and perused the records.
do not intend to disturb the judgment and order passed by the High Court except
to a limited extent. The High Court, while assessing the compensation payable to
the claimant, has arrived at the loss of earning capacity in a sum of `
8,16,000/- and, thereafter, though the Doctor has assessed 75% disability, has taken
into account 50% disability while calculating the loss of income without any
rhyme or reason. In our view, this is a mistake committed by the High Court.
It is no doubt true that,
while making assessment, there is an element of guess work, but that guess work
again must have reasonable nexus to the available material/evidence and the
quantification made. In the instant case, the claimant had not only examined himself
to sustain the claim made in the petition but also Dr. J.R.R. Thiagarajan, PW-3,
who has stated that the claimant has suffered 75% disability, by referring to
the Disability Certificate issued by a competent Doctor who had treated the claimant.
Though the Doctor is cross-examined
at length by learned Advocate for the Insurance Company, nothing adverse to the
interest of the claimant is elicited. Therefore, the Tribunal has rightly
accepted the evidence of the Doctor-PW-3. However, the High Court has taken 50%
disability into account while calculating the loss of income. This, in our view,
is the mistake committed by the High Court. We hastened to add that we are not
saying that under all circumstances, the Court has to blindly accept the
Disability Certificate produced by the claimant.
The Court has the discretion
to accept either totally or partially or reject the Certificate so produced and
marked in the trial but, that, can be done only by assigning cogent and acceptable
reasons. In this view of the matter, we take the disability suffered by the
claimant at 75% and calculate the loss of income of the claimant keeping in view
the loss of earning capacity of the claimant assessed by the High Court. Accordingly,
we arrive at the loss of earning capacity of the claimant at `6,12,000/-.
the result, the appeal is partly allowed. We direct the Insurance Company to
deposit a sum of `6,12,000/- after deducting the amount already paid or
deposited with accrued interest of 6% from the date of filing of the claim
petition till its payment before the Tribunal within two months from today. On
such deposit, the Tribunal is directed to release the amount to the claimant. No
order as to costs.