1. This is an appeal by the legal representatives of deceased Dilip Kumar, who died on 6-4-1976 as a result of motor vehicle accident which occurred on 18-3-1976 at Dhamnod near Dhamnod bus stand.
2. Appellants Nos. 1 and 2 are the parents of the deceased and appellants Nos. 3 to 7 are his brothers and sisters. Deceased Dilip Kumar was aged about 25 years and was holding M. Sc. degree. He was employed as Quality Inspector in the Food Corporation of India and his monthly emoluments were Rs. 425/-. The offending vehicle truck No. D.H.C. 4121 belonged to respondent No. 1 Jogendra-singh and was insured with the respondent No. 3 Oriental Fire & General Insurance Co. Ltd. Respondent No. 2 Chetram was driving the said vehicle on the date and time of the accident. These are undisputed facts.
3. According to the appellants, on 18-3-76 at about 2.30 p.m. deceased Dilip Kumar was proceeding from the Bank to his office on a cycle. Truck No. D.H.C. 4121 driven by respondent No. 2 Chetram came from behind and dashed against his cycle. The driver was driving the vehicle in a rash and negligent manner, just before hitting deceased Dilip Kumar, the truck had dashed (against) an old man sitting on the left side of the road. The old man also died due to the accident. The driver lost his balance and then dashed against deceased Dilip Kumar. As a result of the accident. Dilip Kumar received several external and internal injuries. His kidney was damaged and pelvic bone was fractured. He was shifted to the M. Y. Hospital, Indore but he succumbed to the injuries on 6-4-1976. Appellants claimed Rs. 1 lac as compensation on the ground that deceased Dilip Kumar contributed substantially to the family expenditure and appellants were deprived thereof due to his untimely death.
4. Respondents denied the claim. They also denied that driver Chetram was driving the truck rashly and negligently. They denied that the accident occurred due to rash or negligent act of Chetram. They pleaded that deceased Dilip Kumar was himself at fault and he lost his life due to his own negligence.
5. The Tribunal held that death occurred due to rash and negligent act of the driver. It held that the respondents were liable for damages. The Tribunal awarded Rs. 5,000/- as compessation to the parents for pain and suffering undergone by the deceased from the date of the accident till death. In addition Rs. 10,000/- were awarded as compensation for the loss of pecuniary benefits which they were likely to suffer. In addition Rs. 500/- were awarded as special damages. Aggrieved, the appellants have come up in appeal for enhancement of the amount of compensation.
6. On the issue of rash and negligent driving by the respondent No. 2, the appellant examined two witnesses Sachhidanand (A. W. 8) and Ganpat (A.W. 9). Both these witnesses confirmed the statement made in the claim petition that the driver of the truck was driving the vehicle in great speed and without care. The fact that before dashing against deceased Dilip Kumar, the truck had hit one Shrikrashna Joshi also resulting in his death proved to a great extent the allegation about the rashness on the part of the driver. This evidence stood unrebutted. Thus the finding of the Tribunal on the question of the liability of the respondents for the fatal accident must be upheld.
7. The other issue is about the amount of compensation determined by the Tribunal. As regards general damages for pain and suffering of the deceased till his death, we find that the compensation amounting to Rs. 5,000/- is quite reasonable. Similarly Rs. 500/- as special damages is also reasonable as nothing has been shown to prove more damages on this account.
8. However, the amount of Rupees 10,000/- awarded as compensation to the parents of the deceased is on the lower side. The deceased was a young, educated and promising man. The annual dependency was assessed by the Tribunal at Rs. 2,400/-. The span of life of an average healthy person should he taken between 65-70 years. Father of the deceased on the date of the accident was aged about 50 years and the mother was aged about 45 years. Both had about 20 years more to live. Though it is likely that deceased Dilip Kumar would have married and had his own family but at the same time it is also very probable that he would have risen in service and earned higher salary in due course. Learned counsel for the appellants cited the following decisions to support his contention that compensation to the parents should have been fixed at Rs. 50,000/- or more:-- Asa Singh v. State of Him Pra (1981 Acc CJ 313) : (AIR 1981 Him Pra 75), Dewan Hari-chand v. Municipal Committee of Delhi (1981 Acc CJ 131): (AIR 1981 Delhi 71) and Mohinder Singh Sohal v. Ramesh Kumar (1981 Acc CJ 326): (AIR 1981 Punj & Har 199). In all the three above cited cases compensation to the parents of the deceased had been awarded at Rs. 50,000/- or more. There are some distinguishing points because in cited cases the parents were comparatively younger and, therefore, taking into account their span of life and period of dependency a multiplier 16 was applied. In the instant case even if we apply a lower multiplier keeping in view the respective ages of the father and mother of the deceased we consider it proper that a sum of Rs. 30,000/- should have been awarded as compensation to the appellants Nos. 1 and 2 for loss of the pecuniary benefits suffered by them on account of their son's death.
9. Thus the total amount of compensation should be enhanced to Rs. 30,500/-instead of Rs. 15,500/- i. e. an increase of Rs. 15,000/-.
10. The appeal is partly allowed and the award is modified accordingly. The respondents shall pay the costs of the appellants. Advocate's fee Rs. 350/-.