(Prayer: This miscellaneous first appeal is filed under Section 173(1) of MV Act against the judgment and award dated 04.08.2006 passed in MVC No.658/2003 on the file of the XVIII Addl. Judge and SCJ, Member MACT-4, Metropolitan Area, Bangalore, (SCCH-4), partly allowing the claim petition for comepnsation and seeking enhancement of compensation.)
1. This is a claimant's appeal directed against the judgment and award dated 4.8.2006 in M.V.C.No.658/2003 on the file of the XVIII Additional Judge, Member, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal-IV, Bangalore (SCCH-4) ('the Tribunal' for short) being dissatisfied with the quantum of compensation awarded by the Tribunal.
2. Succinctly stated, the appellant/claimant filed a claim petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1989, contending that on 30.12.2002 while proceeding in his Maruti Car bearing registration No.KA-01/M-3946 on Bangalore-Mysore Road near Doddamalur at 4.00 p.m., the offending vehicle bearing registration No.KA-11/A-1599 driven in a rash and negligent manner with high speed dashed against his car from the opposite side, thereby caused grievous injuries to him, thus sought for compensation of Rs.25 lakhs.
3. The claim was contested by the insurer. Enquiry was held. On overall consideration of the evidence placed on record, the Tribunal awarded compensation of Rs.1,18,000/- with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of petition till realization.
4. Sri.H.Subash Chandra, learned Counsel appearing for the appellant/claimant assailing the impugned award submits, though the appellant had produced the documentary proof for expending Rs.2,75,000/- towards medical bills, the Tribunal without any valid reason has restricted to Rs.75,000/- only. Further he submits, Rs.20,000/- awarded towards pain and suffering, Rs.5,000/- towards loss of amenities and Rs.5,000/- towards conventional expenses like transportation, nourishment and attendant charges are also on lower side. Though he had placed unimpeachable evidence that as an Architect he was earning Rs.40,000/- per month, the Tribunal assessed his monthly income at Rs.3,000/-, which is too meager and Rs.10,000/- awarded towards disability is contrary to the evidence of the Doctor. Hence, the impugned judgment and award may be modified by enhancing the compensation by reasonable amount.
5. Second respondent though served is not represented. First respondent though represented, Counsel is not present.
6. In the light of the submission made for the appellant, we have gone through the lower court records and the impugned judgment and find that the Insurance Company has complied the award by depositing the award amount of Rs.1,18,000/- with proportionate interest. Thus, it transcends to the point that at this stage there is no dispute about the occurrence of vehicular accident dated 30.12.2002 involving the vehicle bearing registration No.KA-11/A- 1599 belonging to the second respondent of which the first respondent is the insurer and claimant suffering injuries during the accident.
7. The grievance of the appellant/claimant is mainly about the medical bills that are disallowed by the Tribunal and the quantum of amount awarded under the head of pain and suffering, loss of amenities and loss of income arising out of the permanent disability of 12% he suffered during the accident. The Doctor, who examined him and issued the disability certificate, was examined as PW-2 and produced the case sheet, the X-ray report and the medical bills from the Manipal Hospital, Bangalore. As per the Doctor's evidence, he suffered comminuted compound fracture of right zygomatico - orbital complex and compound fracture of supra orbital region and head injury with cerebral concussion. He underwent open reduction and internal fixation of fracture of right zygomatico-orbital complex and right supra orbital region and ridge reconstruction with bone grafting under general anesthesia along with ACF carpeting and elevation of the left frontal depressed fracture. He was inpatient from 30.12.2002 to 17.1.2003. However, it emerged during the cross-examination of the Doctor that there was no problem to the claimant from the above fractures.
8. The Tribunal in the body of its award suspected the medical bills/Ex.P9 series, since the claimant himself had stated that he had expended Rs.2,50,000/- towards treatment, but had produced the medical bills to a tune of Rs.2,73,430/- and the Tribunal felt that some of the bills were redundant and the author of these bills was not examined, PW-2 had not certified the medical bills produced and all the medical bills were not supported with the prescription chit. Thus, the Tribunal scaled down the compensation towards medical expenses at Rs.75,000/- only. We have to say that the sweeping observation made by the Tribunal is not justified for not pinpointing as to which of the medical bills are unrelated. While the claimant/PW-1 was in the witness box, there was no suggestion to him discrediting the veracity of the medical bills/Ex.P9 series. We have meticulously examined all the Hospital bills and the Pharmacy bills and found that they totally amount to Rs.1,35,686/-. Thus, the appellant is entitled for difference of amount towards medical expenses at Rs.60,686/- (Rs.1,35,686/- minus Rs.75,000/-).
9. In the absence of any documentary proof evincing that he was earning Rs.40,000/- per month from his profession, rightly the Tribunal worked out his income as per prevailing pattern of assessing the monthly income at Rs.3,000/- per month. Having regard to the date of the accident, we hold said assessment was justified. Though the Doctor has assessed the disability at 12%, it was his own admission that the fractures suffered did not cause any inconvenience to the claimant and it is not his case that because of the fractures, he is disabled in any way and to proceed in his professional life. Hence, the amount awarded under other heads, in our considered opinion, is proper and justified for the reasons stated supra. Thus, the appellant is entitled for enhanced compensation of Rs.60,686/- with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of petition till realization.
10. For the foregoing reasons, the appeal is allowed in part.
The impugned judgment and award dated 4.8.2006 in M.V.C.No.658/2003 on the file of the XVIII Additional Judge, Member, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal-IV, Bangalore (SCCH-4) is hereby modified, awarding additional compensation of Rs.60,686/- with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of petition till realization.
The entire enhanced compensation of Rs.60,686/- with interest thereon at 6% per annum shall be released in favour of the appellant on deposit by first respondent.
Office to draw the award, accordingly.