United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs.
Narendra Pandurang Kadam & Ors  INSC 690 (16 December 1994)
SEN, S.C. (J) SEN, S.C. (J) JEEVAN REDDY,
CITATION: 1995 AIR 782 1995 SCC (1) 320 JT
1995 (1) 244 1994 SCALE (5)335
case has arisen out of an insurance claim made by Narendra 245 Pandurang Kadam.
Narendra was a bright student studying Industrial Electronics. He stood- first
in his class and fourth in the college. He was physically fit and a sports-
man. On 18.5.1980, at about 6 A.M., Narendra was travelling with one Sunil
David on motorcycle bearing No.GDC7526 along Afonso de Albuquerque Road,
Panaji, Goa. When the motorcycle carrying the claimant and his companion had
reached a road crossing the bus No.GDS1574 driven by the Alisaheb Appasaheb
Nadar, belonging to Ashok Vishwanath Naik came from the Western section of
Albuquerque road, and collided with the motorcycle. As a result of which
Narendra sustained serious injuries.
case is that the accident was due to rash and negligent driving on the part of
the driver of the bus. He was plying the bus at very high speed, and was unable
to control the vehicle at the intersection. After the accident the motor cycle
was dragged to a considerable distance before the bus could be stopped. As a
result of the accident, Narendra sustained fracture of the bone in the left leg
resulting in permanent shortening of the leg, disability of the right index
finger, fracture of the 6th & 7th ribs, loss of vision of both eyes with
100% disability and one of his kidneys had to be removed. The bus was insured
with United India Insurance Company Ltd., the appellant herein.
lodged a claim for compensation before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal,
Panaji, Goa. The claim was for Rs.6,25,000/-. The claim was lodged after more
than two years. A preliminary point of limitation was raised by the bus driver,
the owner of the vehicle and the insurance company. The preliminary objection
did not succeed. The Tribunal after a review of the evidence produced before it
held that the claimants had proved that the accident was due to rash and
negligent driving on the part of the driver of the bus. The Tribunal found that
the claimant had been hospitalised at Goa Medical College for three months for
treatment of injuries sufferred by him. Having regard to the injuries sufferred
by the claimant, the Tribunal held he was entitled to a compensation of Rs.
by the order of the Tribunal, Narendra preferred an appeal to the Bombay High
Court. A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court upheld the finding of the
Tribunal that the accident was due to rash and negligent driving by the bus
driver. The cross objection filed by the Insurance Company was dismissed. After
taking into consideration the prospect of the appellant in life and his
potential earning capacity before the accident, it observed that the injuries
sustained by the appellant, unfortunately, left him com- pletely disabled and
his life, hence forth, will be miserable. Therefore, the pain and agony, loss
of amenities in life and permanent disability, as well as the necessity to
provide for future expenses incidental to the injuries sustained, fully justify
a higher compensation. The compensation was enhanced from Rs. 1,50,000/- to a
total of Rs.2,70,000/- with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from
the date of the accident till actual payment.
This compensation had to be paid jointly and
severally by the respondents. Costs were to be paid by the respondents.
insurance company has now come up in appeal before this Court. On 17th July,
1987 an order was passed con- 246 doning delay of 330 days in preferring this
appeal and also directing issue of notice to the respondents. The notice was
confined to only one question i.e whether the direction issued by the High
Court relating to the payment of interest was in conformity with Section 110-CC
of the Motor Vehicles Act. The appellant was directing to pay Rs. 1,000/- by
way of cost to the respondent within two weeks.
contention of the appellant is that a court or a tribunal cannot allow interest
from a date earlier than the date of making of the claim for compensation. The
contention of the appellant appears to be borne out by the clear language of
the statute. Section 110-CC provides:- " 110-CC. Award of interest where
any claim is allowed Where any Court or Claims Tribunal allows a claim for
compensation made under this Act, such Court or Tribunal may direct that in
addition to the amount of compensation simple interest shall also be paid at
such rate and from such date not earlier than the date of making of the claim
as it may specify in this behalf."
a claim should be settled as soon as it is made. Because of the delay in settlement
of the claim by legal process or otherwise interest may be awarded but such
interest cannot be from a date earlier than the date of the claim. The language
of Section 110-CC is clear that the interest can be awarded by the Court or
Tribunal at such rate as it thinks fit but the interest cannot be made payable
from a date earlier than the date of the claim. The contention of the appellant
on this point appears to be prima facie correct.
however, is not the end of the problem in this case. The accident caused by the
rash and negligent driving of the bus No.GTS-1574 has ruined the life of the
Considering that the claimant was a youngman
of good health, a sportsman and a bright student, the amount of compensation
given by the Bombay High Court does not appear to be on the high side. The
claim made was for a total sum of Rs.6,25,000/- made up as under:-
1. Pain and mental shock. Rs. 25,000
2. Fracture of left leg and shortening of
leg, skin grafting. Rs. 25,000
3. Rt. index finger operated. Rs. 5,000
4. Fracture of 6th and 7th ribs Rs.5,000
5. Rt. Kidney removed. Rs.10,000
6. Loss of vision of both eyes Rs. 50,000
7. Loss of future, income and enjoyment of
life (average pay Rs. 1500 p.m. x 12 x 25 years). Rs.4,50,000
8. No chances of marriage. Rs. 25,000
9. Medical expenses and other expenses, extra
food, fruits,travelling rly.
charges, medical bills, expenses etc. Rs.
10. One more operation on left leg. Rs. 5,000
---------- Total : Rs.6,25,000 ---------- ---------- 247
claimant was able to get a small amount of the claim. In fact, the claim of
Rs.4,50,000/- on account of loss of future income and enjoyment of life was
made on a very modest basis of Rs. 1,500/- per month. Even that was not allowed
in full. The amount of compensation was brought down to Rs.2,70,000/-.
Considering the enormity of the.
suffering underwent by the claimant and also
the permanent injuries sustained by him as well as loss of future income and
enjoyment of life, we arc disinclined to interfere with the order directing
payment of interest. This will have the effect of further reduction in the
quantum of compensation awarded by the High Court.
was also enormous delay of 330 days for coming to this Court by the appellant.
The claim was not settled promptly. On the contrary, the case has been dragged
on mercilessly. The appellant also did not pay Narendra, the respondent No. 1,
Rs. 1,000/- as directed by this Court in time. The respondent No. 1 will be
entitled to retain the said sum of Rs. 1,000/-. The appellant will pay the re-
spondent No. 1 a further sum of Rs. 5,000/by way of costs.
appeal is dismissed.