(Prayer: Appeal filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, against the Judgment and Decree made in MCOP.No.1092 of 2004 on the file of Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, (Principal District Judge), Tirunelveli, dated 28/04/2005.)
1. The case on hand is relating to a fatal accident took place on 26.04.2004 about 05.20 p.m on Tirunelveli Tuticorin main road near Vasavappapuram and the deceased was travelling in a Tata Sumo bearing registration No.TN-69-F-6562, which was collided with the respondent transport corporation Bus bearing registration No.TN-27-N-0858. The legal heirs of the deceased filed an application in MCOP.No.1092 of 2004, before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Principal District Court, Tirunelveli, and the Tribunal by considering the facts and circumstances of the case, awarded Rs.3,87,000/- as total compensation with interest at 9% per annum. The claimants have filed the present appeal, challenging the Award passed by the Tribunal, on the ground that the multiplier adopted by the Tribunal, is erroneous and in violation of the principles laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Smt.Sarla Verma and Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation and another reported in 2009 (2) TNMAC 1 (SC). Further, the appellants have questioned the amount of compensation granted under the head funeral expenses and also contended that the Tribunal erred in not awarding any sum for the loss of love and affection.
2. The learned counsel for the respondent transport corporation opposed this petition, by stating that the accident took place in the year 2004 and therefore, the compensation fixed under the head funeral expenses is correct and no compensation was awarded for the loss of love and affection and the concept was introduced recently and therefore, the Tribunal has not committed any error, while passing such award. In respect of adoptation of multiplier, learned counsel for the respondent fairly submitted that as per Sarla Verma's case, the multiplier '11' ought to have been adopted by the Tribunal.
3. Hence, this Court is inclined to consider the grounds of appeal filed by the appellants and accordingly, the award of the Tribunal is set aside. The Tribunal fixed the monthly income of the deceased at Rs.4,000/- after deducting 1/3rd deduction towards the personal and living expenses of the deceased and by adopting '11' multiplier, the loss of income is fixed as Rs.5,28,000/- (Rs.4000X12X11). Two daughters and one son have lost the love and affection of their mother at the age of 27, 25 and 23 years respectively, and therefore, a sum of Rs.5,000/- each, totalling Rs.15,000/-, is awarded to the appellants/claimants towards loss of love and affection and a sum of Rs.3,000/- awarded towards funeral expenses is enhanced to Rs.5,000/-. The Rate of interest awarded by the Tribunal at 9% per annum is reduced to 7.5% per annum. Resultantly, the compensation is apportioned as hereunder:-
Loss of income = Rs.5,28,000/-
Loss of love and affection = Rs. 15,000/-
Funeral expenses = Rs. 5,000/-
Total = Rs.5,48,000/-
(Less) Award of the Tribunal = Rs.3,87,000/-
Enhanced compensation = Rs.1,61,000/-
4. Accordingly, the appellants/claimants are entitled to modified compensation of Rs.5,48,000/- with interest @ 7.5% per annum from the date of claim to till realisation. The respondent transport corporation is directed to deposit Rs.5,48,000/- with interest @ 7.5% per annum and costs, to the credit of the claim petition, within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment, less the amount already deposited, if any. On such deposit, the appellants/claimants are permitted to withdraw the same in equal share, with respective proportionate accrued interest and costs, by filing necessary application before the Tribunal.
In the result, the Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is partly allowed. No costs.