MACT Claims: HC Should Assign Reasons For Not Granting Enhancement Of Compensation Or Reduction: SC [Read Judgment]

MACT Claims: HC Should Assign Reasons For Not Granting Enhancement Of Compensation Or Reduction: SC [Read Judgment]

‘It was, therefore, necessary, for the High Court to assign the reasons for not granting enhancement of compensation and/or its reduction.’

The Supreme Court reiterated that the High court while sitting in appeal above a MACT order, should assign the reasons for not granting enhancement of compensation and/or its reduction.

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal had awarded an amount of Rs.24, 62,065 to a youth who, as a result of the accident, had to suffer “paraplegia” (injury in the spinal cord). Both the claimant and the Insurer approached the Apex court in Appeal. The claimant’s appeal was dismissed as infructuous, while the insurer’s appeal was partly allowed reducing the compensation to Rs.20, 00,000.

Before the Apex court (Sudarsan Puhan vs. Jayanta Ku. Mohanty), it was contended on behalf of claimant that, the High court neither set out the facts, nor dealt with any issue, nor appreciated the ocular and documentary evidence much less in its proper perspective, nor examined the legal principles applicable to the issues arising in the case and nor rendered its findings on any contentious issues decided by the Tribunal except to observe “Considering the submissions of the learned counsel for the parties” and “I feel, the interest of justice would be best served if the awarded compensation amount of Rs.24,62,065 is modified and reduced to Rs.20,00,000”

Perusing the order, the bench comprising of Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer observed that no reasons were given by the High Court as to why the amount of compensation should be reduced and why it cannot be enhanced.

“Mere perusal of the afore-quoted order of the High Court would show that the High Court neither set out the facts of the case of the parties in detail, nor dealt with any of the submissions urged except to mention them, nor took note of the grounds raised by the claimant and nor made any attempt to appreciate the evidence in the light of the settled legal principles applicable to the issues arising in the case and proceeded to allow the appeal filed by the Insurance Company and reduced the compensation”, the bench added.

It further observed that appeal under Section 173 of the M.V. Act is essentially in the nature of first appeal alike Section 96 of the Code and, therefore, the High Court is equally under legal obligation to decide all issues arising in the case both on facts and law after appreciating the entire evidence.

The bench then remanded the matter to High Court for deciding the question as to whether any case is made out for further enhancement, and if so, on what grounds.

Read the Judgment Here