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Gujarat High Court Enhances Motor Accident Compensation By ₹4.8 Lakh, Grants Spousal & Parental Consortium

PRIYANKA PREET
14 Jun 2022 8:15 AM GMT
Gujarat High Court Enhances Motor Accident Compensation By ₹4.8 Lakh, Grants Spousal & Parental Consortium
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Taking into account the income of the deceased victim of motor accident, the spousal consortium and the parental consortium, the Gujarat High Court has increased the motor accident compensation for the Appellants (family of the deceased) by a significant amount, i.e., by Rs. 4,84,000.

Whereas the Trial Court had ordered payment of Rs. 15,58,900/-, the Bench comprising Justice RM Chhaya and Justice Sandeep Bhatt enhanced the compensation to Rs. 20,42,856/-. It observed, "all the three appellant no.1 would be entitled to spousal consortium, and appellants no.2 and 3 would be entitled to parental consortium of Rs.40,000/-(Rs.1,20,000/-)."

The Court was hearing an appeal under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 wherein the Appellants/Claimants sought an increase in compensation to a total of Rs. 35 lakh.

The brief facts of the case were that the deceased had parked the Tata Sumo car on a road which joined the highway for a short break for the passengers. Subsequently, a luxury bus driven in 'excessive speed in rash and negligent manner' dashed with the sumo car due to which the Claimants suffered injuries and the deceased fell down and the wheel of the sumo car ran over the body of the deceased.

The Claimants stated that the deceased was working as a helper with Asian Paints Ltd while drawing a salary of Rs. 14,158 per month in the Workman 'B' category. Reliance was placed on the salary slip of the deceased as well as the injury certificate of the hospital, including bonus slip for various months to contest that the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal had wrongly determined the salary of the deceased to be Rs. 10,600 per month.

The Claimants drew attention of the High Court to the bonus including travelling allowances as well as the overtime while determining the correct income. It was also claimed that the kith and kin were entitled to consortium in accordance with the Apex Court's pronouncement in United India Insurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Satinder Kaur alias Satwinder Kaur and Ors. Further, they were also entitled to Rs. 15,000 for loss of estate and Rs. 15000 towards funeral expenses.

Per contra, the Insurance Company contested that the income from allowances etc. was not regular and hence, determined at Rs. 10,600.

The High Court observed that the deceased was working permanently at Asian Paints and the gross salary was clearly mentioned in the pay slip as Rs. 13,227. There were further allowances of Rs. 1340, Rs. 1300 and Rs. 80. Therefore, the salary ought to be quantified at Rs. 13,000 per month.

Additionally, per the Sarla Verma vs. Delhi Road Transport Corporation judgement, the multiplier would be of 14 and not 12 considering the age of the deceased. The High Court also added parental consortium, spousal consortium, loss of estate, funeral expenses and thereby reached a total of Rs. 20,42,856 as compensation. However, the additional amount of INR 4,84,000 was directed to attract interest @6%. Accordingly, the appeal was partly allowed.

Case Title: HAMIDABANU ANAWARBHAI MULTANI & 2 other(s) v/s HAIDERBHAI BHIKHABHAI BHETARIYA & 5 other(s)

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 211

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment


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