1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BENGALURU R DATED THIS THE30H DAY OF JANUARY, 2020 BEFORE THE HON' BLE MR.JUSTICE R DEVDAS MFA NO.5651 OF2016(MV)BETWEEN :
1. NEELAMMA W/O LATE MAHESHWARAPPA AGED ABOUT43YEARS R/AT KAMASAMUDRA VILLAGE, KANKATTE HOLI, ARASIKERE TALUK HASSAN DISTRICT. NOW ALL R/AT SRINIVASA COMPOUND, HEGGERE VILLAGE KASABA HOBLI TUMKUR TALUK-572103 2.
3. NAVEEN KUMAR.K.M. @ NAVEEN S/O LATE MAHESHWARAPPA R/AT KAMASAMUDRA VILLAGE, KANKATTE HOLI, ARASIKERE TALUK HASSAN DISTRICT. NOW ALL R/AT SRINIVASA COMPOUND, HEGGERE VILLAGE KASABA HOBLI TUMKUR TALUK-572103 KUMARASWAMY.K.M. S/O LATE MAHESHWARAPPA R/AT KAMASAMUDRA VILLAGE, KANKATTE HOLI, ARASIKERE TALUK HASSAN DISTRICT. NOW ALL R/AT SRINIVASA COMPOUND, HEGGERE VILLAGE KASABA HOBLI TUMKUR TALUK-572103 2 4. MALAMMA W/O LATE MADAPPA AGED ABOUT66YEARS R/AT KAMASAMUDRA VILLAGE, KANKATTE HOLI, ARASIKERE TALUK HASSAN DISTRICT. NOW ALL R/AT SRINIVASA COMPOUND, HEGGERE VILLAGE KASABA HOBLI TUMKUR TALUK-572103. (BY SRI R.D.RENUKARADHYA R.D., ADVOCATE) AND:
1. M G ROOPA W/O R.B.SANTHOSH AGED ABOUT40YEARS R/AT SHIVASOUNDARYA NILAYA3D MAIN, ASHOK NAGAR TUMKUR-572 103 APPELLANTS2 3. ROYAL SUNDARAM ALLIANCE INSURANCE CO LTD., SUNDARAM TOWER, 45 AND46 WHITES ROAD CHENNAI-600 014 REPRESENTED BY ITS MANAGER. THE MANAGER RELIANCE GENERAL INSURANCE CO LTD., CENTENERY BUILDING, 5TH FLOOR, M.G.ROAD BANGALORE-560 001 RESPONDENTS (BY SRI O.MAHESH, ADVOCATE FOR R-2; SRI. ASHOK N. PATIL, ADVOCATE FOR R-3; NOTICE TO R-1 IS DISPENSED WITH VIDE ORDER DATED:12.04.2018) THIS MFA IS FILED UNDER SECTION1731) OF MV AWARD JUDGMENT AND ACT, AGAINST THE3DATED:29.01.2016 PASSED IN MVC NO.165/2013 ON THE FILE OF THE6H ADDITIONAL DISTRICT JUDGE AND MACT, TUMKUR, PARTLY ALLOWING THE CLAIM PETITION FOR COMPENSATION AND SEEKING ENHANCEMENT OF COMPENSATION. THIS MFA COMING ON FOR ADMISSION THIS DAY, THE COURT DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING: JUDGMENT R. DEVDAS J., (ORAL): This is not a normal appeal, in the sense that the deceased who met with an accident had in fact come out on parole, while he was serving sentence of life imprisonment. The Tribunal has taken note of this aspect. PW-1, the wife of the deceased, in her deposition and in cross-examination has contended that the deceased was earning even as an inmate of the jail. She has stated that her husband was earning Rs.100/- per day and the jail authorities used to send the money earned by the deceased to the family, which kept the family going. At the time of the accident, the deceased had two minor children. The money sent by the deceased helped the family not only for the family necessities but also for the 4 studies of the minor children. Having regard to all these aspects, the Tribunal came to a conclusion that the appropriate income of the deceased can be considered as Rs.3,000/- per month.
2. Learned Counsel for the appellants submits that the Tribunal has erred in assessing the income of the deceased. In this regard, though the learned Counsel for the appellants is not able to substantiate his contention by producing any cogent material, the learned Counsel for the respondent-Insurance Company has placed some material which would throw light on the wage structure and wage earning scheme as per the Prison Rules.
3. As per the said information, the old structure would provide Rs.70/- for unskilled workers, Rs.80/- for skilled workers and Rs.90/- for highly skilled workers. However, towards the recovery for upkeep of inmates Rs.40/- was provided for. The Wage Board was constituted in the year 2014 and as per the recommendation of the Board, Rs.250/- should be given to highly skilled inmates, while Rs.175/- for 5 unskilled workers. It also recommended that Rs.100/- shall be deducted for up-keep of the prisoners including diet and clothing and the remaining amount will be credited to the Prisoners Personal Cash account. It is stated that the Government accepted the recommendation made by the wage board completely and it has issued orders implementing the new wage structure with immediate effect.
4. Another important aspect is regarding prisoners who came from agricultural background. It is stated that since majority of the prisoners are from agricultural background, more stress is laid on imparting training in modern methods of agricultural and horticulture so that when they come back after their release, they will be in a better position as agriculturists and horticulturists. Training in cultivation, understanding key role of fertilizers and their judicious use in crop husbandry, sowing seeds and till reaping of the crop was provided. It is also stated that all the major jails have agricultural lands 6 attached to them. Prisoners having agricultural background were trained to grow vegetables, jowar, cotton, paddy, sugarcane etc. Tractors are provided at Central Prisons at Belagaum, Gulbarga and District Prison at Shimoga for cultivation purpose. Accordingly, it is stated that agricultural income for the past three years in the prisons is Rs.34.20 lakhs in the year 2010-2011, Rs.48.98 lakhs for 2011-2012 and Rs.54.22 lakhs for 2012-2013.
5. Having heard the learned Counsels and on perusing the material placed on record, this Court finds that the income arrived at by the Tribunal is conservative. No doubt, these materials were not placed before the Tribunal. Although the learned Counsel for the respondent-Insurance Company submits that the accident occurred on 28.11.2012 and therefore, as per the wage structure, the deceased would have earned Rs.70/- per day, however, having regard to the material placed before this Court and having gone through the important material which would assist this Court in arriving at 7 the appropriate income of the deceased, this Court is of the opinion that the deceased would have earned Rs.175/- in a few years after the accident, if he had continued to survive and work as a jail inmate. It is also on record that the deceased was an agriculturist. In the normal circumstances, the notional income of a person in the year 2012 and 2013 is Rs.7,000/- to Rs.8,000/- even as per the chart prepared by this Court, in accordance with law.
6. Having regard to all the above aspects, this Court is of the considered opinion that Rs.5,000/- should be taken as the income of the deceased per month. The other aspect regarding 50% of the income to be deducted towards the personal expenses of the deceased, is confirmed.
7. One other aspect where the Tribunal has erred is not considering loss of future income. Having regard to the fact that the deceased was aged about 45 years at the time of accident, 25% should have been added to the income while calculating loss of future income. 8 8. Though the learned Counsel for the respondent-Insurance Company contends that in the case of a jail inmate, the question of loss of future prospects will not arise, the same is required to be rejected since even as per the material placed before this Court, there will be wage revision at definite intervals and the wages of the inmates of the jail are also revised time to time. Therefore, even the deceased, as an inmate of the jail, can look forward for future prospects. If 25% is added towards the Loss of Future income, the monthly income will be Rs.6,250/-. Deducting 50% towards personal expenses, the income will be Rs.3,125/- per month. Therefore, the Loss of Dependency would work out to Rs.5,25,000/- by applying the multiplier of 14 (Rs.3,125 x 12 x 14).
9. Towards the conventional heads, the Tribunal has awarded Rs.40,000/-. As per the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of National Insurance Company Limited Vs. Pranay Sethi And Others reported in (2017) 16 SCC680 9 towards the conventional heads, a sum of Rs.70,000/- could be awarded. Therefore, towards the conventional heads a sum of Rs.30,000/- is awarded and enhanced.
10. The total compensation works out to Rs.5,95,000/- (Rs.5,25,000 + Rs.70,000). Consequently, the compensation awarded at Rs.2,92,000/- by the Tribunal stands enhanced by another sum of Rs.3,03,000/- (Rs.5,95,000 Rs.2,92,000). The compensation shall be payable by the respondent-Insurance Company along with interest at the rate of 6%, while the apportionment and deposit shall be made in the same proportion as directed by the Tribunal.
11. The judgment and award dated 29.01.2016 passed by the VI Addl. District Judge and AMACT at Tumkur, stands modified to the said extent. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed in part. JT/- SD/- JUDGE