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Rashid HussaIn Vs. Union of India (Uoi) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported inI(1984)ACC458
AppellantRashid Hussain
RespondentUnion of India (Uoi)
Excerpt:
- .....entitled. these twin criteria were the normal expectancy of life of the deceased and secondly, the mental shock suffered by the parents on account of the loss of their child. as regards the first point, namely, normal expectancy of life, it was pointed out that the deceased was five years of age when he met with the accident and in ordinary course he would have been expected to live for 70 years, sri rashid hussain, father of the deceased, is a clerk in government inter college, allahabad and was drawing a salary of rs. 479.30 per month. there can be no doubt that a person employed in the education department is in a comparatively advantageous position so far as the education of his offsprings is concerned. it would be reasonable to expect that if the deceased had survived, he would have.....
Judgment:

M.N. Shukla, J.

1. This is an appeal Under Section 110-D of the Motor Vehicles Act on behalf of the claimants arising out of an order dated 23-12-1976 passed by the U.P. Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal (II Additional District Judge, Allahabad) awarding a sum of Rs. 1280/- only as compensation.

2. The brief facts of the case are that one Tanzim Rashid, aged about 5 years, died on account of the injuries sustained by him in the accident caused by the rash and negligent driving of Ambassador Car No. XB 34024, belonging to the Air Force under the Union of India. The occurrence is said to have taken place on 3-2-1975 at about 9 A.M. in Begum Bazar, Allahabad. It is alleged that the driver negligently and rashly, without blowing the horn dashed the vehicle against the child who died on account of the injuries sustained in the accident.

3. The claimants are the parents and they lodged a claim for Rs. 23,700/- by way of compensation. The Tribunal recorded a finding that there was negligence on the part of the driver of the disputed car in not taking the necessary precaution of applying the brakes in time to avoid the accident. The amount of compensation, however, awarded, as we have already observed, was a sum of Rs. 1280/- only.

4. The learned Counsel for the appellants has submitted that the compensation awarded was highly inadequate. Two main grounds have been urged by him as the grounds for attacking the quantum of compensation. Firstly, it was submitted that two main criteria should have been applied in arriving at a correct figure with regard to the compensation to which the appellants were entitled. These twin criteria were the normal expectancy of life of the deceased and secondly, the mental shock suffered by the parents on account of the loss of their child. As regards the first point, namely, normal expectancy of life, it was pointed out that the deceased was five years of age when he met with the accident and in ordinary course he would have been expected to live for 70 years, Sri Rashid Hussain, father of the deceased, is a Clerk in Government Inter College, Allahabad and was drawing a salary of Rs. 479.30 per month. There can be no doubt that a person employed in the Education Department is in a comparatively advantageous position so far as the education of his offsprings is concerned. It would be reasonable to expect that if the deceased had survived, he would have certainly gone to school at the age of seven and would have completed his education at the age of 21 or there about. He would have entered into matrimony at the age of 24 and thereafter his own family would have sprung up. Making allowance for the maintenance of his family, he would have also been expected to make some contribution to his aged parents. Even on a conservative view, the son of a clerk in an educational institution would have, in all probability, at least acquired the position of a clerk. By and large a clerk does not earn less than Rs. 300/- per month in present times and if the deceased had parted even with a moiety of his income, he would have been able to contribute a sum of Rs. 150/- per month to his parents. Starting his earning an the age of 24 years he would have retired at the age of 58 years and thus his period of employment would have lasted for 34 years. This would work out at a considerable large figure. However, since the appellants themselves had not claimed more than a sum of Rs. 15,000/- it is not permissible to award a compensation in excess of that amount of this count all the circumstances we award a sum of Rs. 15000/- to the claimants on this item.

5. The second item on which compensation has to be considered is mental shock suffered by the parents. This aspect of the case has been very curiously dealt with by the Court below. Taking into account Rs. 320/- per month as the income of the father it has been multiplied by four and thus a sum of Rs. 1280/- has been awarded as compensation on account of mental shock. This computation is plainly erroneous. The mental shock suffered by the parents on the loss of their child, irrespective of their status, is collossal. Hence, the sum of Rs. 1280/- awarded on this count appears to us gross inadequate. We are of the opinion that a sum of Rs. 5000/- as compensation on the ground of mental shock would meet the ends of justice.

6. Lastly, it was submitted that a distinct amount should have also been awarded as compensation on account of the unexpected funeral expenses of the deceased. Unfortunately there is no evidence on this point and this is an item on which the adjudication in favour of the claimants is possible only on the basis of specific evidence. Sir Thomas Browne felicitiously observed 'Man is a noble animal, splendid in ashes and pompous in the grave. 'Every one craves for a magnificent funeral, still, however, in a Court of law there can be no such presumption. The allegation has to be affirmatively proved. In the absence of such evidence in the instant case we are unable to ward any amount on account of the unexpected funeral given to the deceased.

7. In the circumstances this appeal is partly allowed with proportionate costs. The appellants shall be entitled to a compensation of Rs. 20,000/- along with simple interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum payable from the date of application i.e. 7-8-1975 till the date of payment.


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