Kumar Vs. Kudrat Ali & Ors  Insc 198 (12 April 2002)
Mohapatra & P. Venkatarama Reddi P. Venkatarama Reddi, J.
this appeal by Special leave, the only question that is canvassed before us is
about the adequacy of compensation awarded by the High Court to the appellant a
minor, who was injured in a bus accident on 5.11.1994. The bus belonged to the
second respondent and was insured with the 3rd respondent. At the time of the
accident the appellant a student was aged nine years. The Motor Accident Claim
Tribunal, Ratlam, awarded a sum of Rs.25,000/- towards compensation with
interest at the rate of 12% p.a. from the date of petition. On appeal, the High
Court enhanced the compensation to Rs.35,000/-. A letters Patent Appeal filed
against that order, was summarily dismissed by the impugned order dated
8.7.1999. The amount of compensation awarded by the High Court under different
heads is as follows :- On account of disablity suffered by the victim as a
result of grievous injury caused to his right hand Rs.20,000/- (increased by
pain and suffering Rs.5,000/- (increased by Rs.1,500/-).
and stay expenses of the victim and his attendant for going to Baroda for treatment Rs.5,000/-.
contended that the compensation awarded under the first head is too low having
regard to the nature and gravity of injury. The evidence of medical experts (PWs
3 to 5) discloses that three bones of the appellant were fractured and surgery
had to be performed.
to P.W.5, an orthopaedic expert, appellant's right hand became irregular in
shape and its movement became restrained and he cannot lift heavy articles with
the right hand. The normal movement will be painful. However, the disability
sustained was assessed at 20 per cent. As rightly observed by the High Court,
the loss of earning capacity on account of permanent partial disability
suffered by the appellant cannot be calculated in terms of percentage only. It
will have serious repercussions on his studies and prospects of earning.
will have to face other handicaps in life. Though the High Court did realise
the need to enhance the compensation, we feel that the extent of enhancement is
still inadequate. The increase of Rs.5,000/- is only marginal. Taking inter alia
the table in the 2nd Schedule as guiding factor, we are of the view that the
compensation on account of disability incurred by the appellant should be
enhanced by Rs.20,000/- more; that means, he will get Rs.40,000/- instead of
Rs.20,000/- awarded by the High Court under the first head. In respect of other
items, the award as modified by the High Court remains undisturbed. In all, the
appellant shall get Rs.50,000/-. This amount should carry interest at the rate
and from the period specified by the High Court. The other directions in the
award of the Tribunal shall stand.
the appeal is partly allowed. Parties to bear their own costs.