(Prayer: Civil Miscellaneous Appeal filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, to set aside the fair and decreetal order dated 25.04.2008, and made in M.C.O.P.No.347 of 2006 on the file of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Subordinate Court, Kulithalai, Karur District and to allow this appeal.)
1. It is a case of death of a bachelor, occurred due to the accident took place on 09.08.2005, at about 12.00 noon, near Vellalar Street Junction, Kodambakkam Arcot Road, Chennai.
2. The only legal heir who is the mother of the deceased Manivel Arumugam filed an application before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Kulithalai and the Tribunal, after considering the facts and circumstances of the case, granted award amount of Rs.6,07,000/- as total compensation.
3. The appellant/TATA AIG Insurance Company prepared this appeal solely on the ground that the deceased was a bachelor and therefore, the age has to be calculated by taking the average age of the claimant. The learned counsel for the appellant fairly submit that such principle was overlooked and the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that the age of the deceased alone is to be taken for the application of the multiplier while fixing the compensation and therefore, the average age of the claimant shall not be considered for granting compensation. In support of the arguments, the learned counsel for the appellant produced a Judgment reported in 2015 (1) TN MAC 814(SC) in the case of Munna Lal Jain V. Vipin Kumar Sharma, in paragraph Nos.12 and 13, wherein, it is extracted below:-
12. The remaining question is only on Multiplier. The High Court following Santosh Devi (supra), has taken 13 as the Multiplier. Whether the Multiplier should depend on the age of the dependents or that of the deceased has been hanging fire for sometime; but that has been given a quietus by another Three-Judge Bench decision in Reshma Kumari (supra). It was held that the Multiplier is to be used with reference to the age of the deceased. One reason appears to be that there is certainty with regard to the age of the deceased but as far as that of dependants is concerned, there will always be room for dispute as to whether the age of the eldest or youngest or even the average, etc., is to be taken. To quote:
36. In Sarla Verma, this Court has endeavoured to simplify the otherwise complex exercise of assessment of Loss of Dependency and determination of Compensation in a claim made under Section 166. It has been rightly stated in Sarla Verma that the Claimants in case of death claim for the purposes of Compensation must establish (a) age of the deceased: (b) income of the deceased; and (c ) the number of dependants. To arrive at the Loss of Dependency, the Tribunal must consider (I) additions/deductions to be made for arriving at the income; (ii) the deductions to be made towards the Personal and Living Expenses of the deceased; and (iii) the Multiplier to be applied with reference to the age of the deceased. We do not think it is necessary for us to revisit the law on the point as we are in full agreement with the view in Sarla Verma.
13. In Sarla Verma (supra), at Paragraph-19, a Two-Judge Bench dealt with this aspect in Step 2. To quote:
'19. . .. . . .
Step 2 (Ascertaining the Multiplier)
Having regard to the age of the deceased and period of active career, the appropriate Multiplier should be selected. This does not mean ascertaining the number of years he would have lived or worked but for the accident. Having regard to several imponderables in life and economic factors, a Table of Multipliers with reference to the age has been identified by this Court. The Multiplier should be chosen from the said table with reference to the age of the deceased.'
4. The Hon'ble Supreme Court overlooked the earlier principle of calculating the age by applying the average age and now the legal position is changed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and this Court is constrained to follow the same.
5. Accordingly, the award passed by the learned Subordinate Judge, Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Kulithalai, in M.C.O.P.No.347 of 2006, dated 25.04.2008, is confirmed and the Civil Miscellaneous appeal is dismissed.
6. The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the 50% of the award amount with accrued interest and costs had already been deposited and the appellant is directed to deposit the balance 50% of award amount with accrued interest and costs to the credit of claim petition, within a period of the four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and thereafter, the respondent/claimant is permitted to withdraw the entire award amount along with accrued interest and costs, through R.T.G.S., by filing necessary application before the Tribunal. No costs.