Tnstc Vs. Suguna & Ors.  INSC 143 (23 January 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 395 OF 2009 (Arising out
of SLP (C) No.13776 of 2007 Managing Director, TNSTC ..Appellant Versus Suguna
and Ors. ..Respondents
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the order passed by a learned Single Judge of the
Karnataka High Court allowing the appeal filed by the claimants-respondents.
Background facts in a nutshell are as follows:
On 19.3.1998 a bus
owned by the appellant-corporation was plying between Erode to Mysore via
Nanjangud. At about 8.15 p.m. one Jayasheela (hereinafter referred to as the
`deceased') who was driving two wheeler sustained injuries, because the bus
dashed against the deceased who died on the spot. Respondent No.1 the widow of
the deceased and his two minor children filed a Claim Petition claiming
compensation in terms of Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (in short
the `Act'). Appellant filed its objections denying the liability and took the
stand that the accident occurred because of the negligence on the part of the
deceased. The first Additional Civil Judge (Sr. Division) and Motor Accidents
Claim Tribunal, Mysore (in short the `MACT') awarded a sum of Rs.1,83,500/- as
compensation Along with 6% interest from the date of filing the Claim Petition.
of the compensation, respondents Nos.1, 2 and 3 filed an appeal before the High
Court. The High Court fixed the quantum at Rs.4,05,500/- with interest at the
rate of 6% as was directed by the
counsel for the appellant-Corporation submitted that no basis has been
indicated for awarding the compensation. By a practically non- reasoned order,
appeal has been disposed of.
counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, submitted that though the
judgment is not very elaborate, yet the basis can be found out from the
impugned order. In the normal course in a case where an appeal has been
disposed of by a practically non reasoned order, the matter is remitted for
fresh consideration. But considering the passage of time and the limited nature
of the controversy with the assistance of learned counsel for the parties, we
have gone through the records. The accident took place on 19.3.1998. The
deceased according to the post mortem report was aged about 24 years. Though it
was claimed that he was getting salary of Rs.2,500/- p.m., there was no
evidence adduced to substantiate the claim.
The MACT noticed that
no evidence was adduced to substantiate the income and, therefore, notional
income of Rs.1,500/- p.m. was fixed. One- third was deducted for personal
expenses. The High Court did not indicate any reason to fix the income at
Rs.2,500/- p.m. though it deducted one-third for personal expenses.
the aforesaid background, the amount of compensation is fixed at Rs.3 lacs to
be paid with interest at the rate of 6% p.a. from the date of filing of claim
application. While working out the interest payable the amounts already paid
shall be duly taken note of and the interest would be calculated on the balance
appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)