Deceased Bachelor's Age Is The Basis For Computing Multiplier In Motor Accident Claims, Reiterates SC [Read Judgment]

Deceased Bachelor

"The issue with respect to whether the Multiplier to be applied in the case of a bachelor, should be computed on the basis of the age of the deceased, or the age of the parents, is no longer res integra."

The 'Multiplier' to be applied in the case of a deceased bachelor, should be computed on the basis of the age of the deceased, not the age of the parents, the Supreme court has reiterated.

The bench comprising Justice Indu Malhotra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna were considering an appeal filed by parents of a deceased girl, who was just twenty year old and unmarried at the time of accident. The High Court had dismissed the appeal filed against the order of the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal which applied the Multiplier of 11 on the basis of the age of the mother of the deceased.

While disposing their appeal [Joginder Singh vs. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company], the bench said:

The issue with respect to whether the Multiplier to be applied in the case of a bachelor, should be computed on the basis of the age of the deceased, or the age of the parents, is no longer res integra. This issue has been recently settled by a three Judge bench of this Court in Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Mandala Yadagari Goud & Ors., wherein it has been held that the Multiplier has to be applied on the basis on the age of the deceased.

In, Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Ltd vs. Mandala Yadagari Goud, a judgment delivered in April 2019, a three judge bench of the Supreme Court had held that, in the case of a motor accident where there is death of a person, who is a bachelor, it is the age of the deceased which should be taken into account for calculating the multiplier, not that of dependents. The focus for determination of such claim is the deceased and what would be his contribution towards the dependents would he to be alive, for the benefits of the dependents, the bench had held.

The bench also said that, since the deceased was 20 years old, a Multiplier of 18 ought to have been applied as per the judgment in Sarla Verma v. Delhi Transport Corporation. It also noticed that no Future Prospects @ 40% of the income of the deceased, as mandated by the judgment of the Constitution Bench in National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Pranay Sethi & Ors, was awarded in this case. Finally, the bench directed the Insurance Company to pay the enhanced amount of compensation of Rs. 13,48,000 to the claimants within 1 month.

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