The Supreme Court has reiterated that, while computing Motor Accident Compensation, for the age group of 15-25 years, the multiplier has to be '18'.
Two recent judgments of the Supreme court has modified the award of MACT Tribunals on this ground.
Mohit Goel was 23 years old bachelor when he met with an accident and died. His parents filed a claim petition before the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal.The MACT determined the total compensation as Rs.25,48,050/- but on account of contributory negligence to the extent of 50%, it directed the the insurer, to pay only half of the said amount to the claimant. The High Court upheld the MACT order.
Though the Apex Court bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose upheld the contributory negligence finding, it observed:
"We have examined the impugned judgment and all other perspective also and do not find any infirmity except two aspects: (a) the multiplier applied was 13 while as per the judgment in Sarla Verma & Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation & Anr.- (2009) 6 SCC 121, it should have been 18.(b) The interest granted is of 6% which generally the interest being granted is of 9%"
The bench modified the judgment of the High Court in terms of the above observations.
In another judgment delivered this week [ERUDHAYA PRIYA vs. STATE EXPRESS TRANSPORT CORPORATION LTD.], the court had made similar observation. In that case the claimant was the victim who suffered disability due to an accident which occurred to him while he was 23 year old. The High Court had applied the multiplier of 17. Modifying the same, the Apex Court had observed:
"The aforesaid increase of multiplier is sought on the basis of age of the appellant as 23 years relying on the judgment in National Insurance Company Limited v. Pranay Sethi and Others . In para 42 of the said judgment, the Constitution Bench effectively affirmed the multiplier method to be used as mentioned in the table in the case of Sarla Verma (Smt) and Others. v. Delhi Transport Corporation and Another. 2 . In the age group of 15- 25 years, the multiplier has to be '18' along with factoring in the extent of disability."
Before the standardisation of the multiplier in Sarla Verma v. Delhi Transport Corporation (2009) 6 SCC 121, there were different scales of multiplier followed by the Courts leading to inconsistencies. In Sarla Verma, it was held thus:
We therefore hold that the multiplier to be used should be as mentioned in column (4) of the Table above (prepared by applying Susamma Thomas, Trilok Chandra and Charlie), which starts with an operative multiplier of 18 (for the age groups of 15 to 20 and 21 to 25 years), reduced by one unit for every five years, that is M-17 for 26 to 30 years, M-16 for 31 to 35 years, M-15 for 36 to 40 years, M-14 for 41 to 45 years, and M-13 for 46 to 50 years, then reduced by two units for every five years, that is, M-11 for 51 to 55 years, M-9 for 56 to 60 years, M-7 for 61 to 65 years and M-5 for 66 to 70 years
This was later upheld in National Insurance Company Limited v. Pranay Sethi and Others [(2017) 16 SCC 680].