The Gujarat High Court recently modified the judgment and award granted by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal on the ground that the tribunal had not complied with the directions issued by the Supreme Court, prescribing Rs. 1 lakh compensation for a minor who sustains upto 10% permanent disability in a motor accident.
The claimant had challenged the order of the tribunal which awarded an amount of Rs.30,000/- holding the opponents therein jointly and severally liable to pay the compensation.
The counsel for appellant-claimant, Mr. R.G. Dwivedi submitted that the said award granted by the tribunal is not in consonance with the ratio laid down by the Supreme Court in Mallikarjun v. Divisional Manager, The National Insurance Company Limited and Others, MANU/SC/0878/2013 where the Apex Court held that for permanent disability upto 10%, the appropriate compensation on all other heads in addition to the actual expenditure for treatment, attendant, etc., should be Re. 1 lakh, unless there are exceptional circumstances to take different yardstick.
In this context, he further submitted that the appellant who was minor at the relevant time and had suffered 6% disability body as a whole and accordingly, urged to enhance the compensation in view of the decision in Mallikarjun case as well as on other heads.
Justice Ashok Kumar C. Joshi ruled:
“Thus, as per the above pronouncement, if the disability is upto 10%, appropriate compensation on all other heads in addition to the actual expenditure for treatment, attendant, etc., should be Rs.1 lakh. As referred to herein above, the Tribunal has awarded a sum of Rs.30,000/- under all heads, however, in view of the aforesaid decision of the Apex Court, the Tribunal has manifestly erred in awarding the just compensation and accordingly, this appeal requires favourable consideration.”
The court modified the order of the tribunal and enhanced the compensation to Re. 1 lakh with an additional sum of Rs. 5000/- for diet, attendant, transportation and medical expenses.
The court further directed that the difference amount shall be deposited within a period of 30 days and the appellant shall be entitled to interest @ 6% per annum, on such enhanced amount of compensation from the date of claim petition till realization.
Case Title: Aartiben Rameshshing Tomar v. Nasuruddin Chandanbhai Fakir