Karnataka High Court has come to the aid of a 21-youth who lost his genitals, in an accident. The court increased the compensation to RS 24 lakh from the Rs 2,70,000, awarded by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.
A division bench of Justice S N Satyanarayana and Justice P G M Patil, agreed with the arguments made by advocate Girish Bhat, appointed by the court to assist in the case, saying "The nature of injuries is so severe that it has literally changed the life of the victim and put him in a most miserable situation where even before he could attain his manhood he is being relocated from male gender to neutral gender."
A goods vehicle of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), was involved in the said accident and the court directed it to deposit the compensation amount in four weeks time with the Tribunal.
On December 22, 2010, Suresh Naik was riding pillion on a bicycle, when he was hit by a APSRTC DGT goods vehicle, bearing registration no AAZ-5263. The injuries suffered by the claimant is amputation of penis and scrotum, with fracture on right clavicle bone at it's mid third and also fracture of inferior ramus of pubic bone of pelvis. Injuries treated surgically resulted in removal of penis to it's roots and also both testicles.
Father of the injured initiated proceedings before MACT as at the time of accident, victim was a minor. A compensation of RS 50,00,000 was sought on various grounds. However, he was unable to substantiate the same before the tribunal and as such a compensation of RS 2,70,000 was awarded along with interest at the rate of 8 percent per annum.
Arguments made by Bhat:
Removal of testis and penis has irrevarsibly taken away his manhood, it is more than physical injuries the mental trauma that he has gone through from the date of accident till the claim petition filed by him before the trial court is not at all appreciated properly by the tribunal. It looked into the case of the claimant as if another claim petition where the injuries suffered would come in the way of his earning capacity and future life. While taking such a view the seriousness of the aftermath of the accident is completely lost.
The high court relied on an unreported judgement of the Apex court in the matter of G Ravindranath @R Chowdary Vs E Srinivas & another, where under under similar circumstances the Apex court has considered awarding compensation. The high court, reassessed the compensation independently taking the aforesaid judgement as base only to ensure that just, proper and reasonable compensation is provided to the claimant.
The bench while increasing the amount of compensation under the head of loss of amenities and prospect of marriage to Rs 6,00,000 said "In the light of the fact that penis being completely removed, there is no chance of marriage or even sexual activities even otherwise. Therefore, he has completely lost the said pleasure for the rest of his life."
On the ground of social stigma the claimant will have to face, court awarded Rs 4,50,000 while doing so it said "Admittedly the unseen ban from the group of men in not accepting him in their company for his physical condition, cannot be denied. Therefore, the social stigma will follow for rest of his life."