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Pritam Singh and anr. Vs. Satya Devi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported inII(1984)ACC353
AppellantPritam Singh and anr.
RespondentSatya Devi and ors.
Cases ReferredBhagat Singh Sohan Singh v. Om Parkash
Excerpt:
.....of expenditure in running a house-hold like house rent, water and electricity charges and the like which are not really effected with the number of the family being increased or decreased by one. the amount payable to the minor claimants shall be paid to them in such manner as the tribuna may deem to be in their best interest......caused by the rash and negligent driving of the driver of the tractor. a sum of rs. 52,291/- was awarded as compensation to the claimants.3. the evidence on record shows that asi opinder nath was 45 years of age at the time of his death. he died leaving behind his widow smt. satya devi, aged 40 years and five children ranging in age from 10 to 21 years. all the children were unmarried and were dependent upon him. according to pw. 1 amar lal, character rolls clerk from the office of the senior superintendent of police, jalandhar, the total emoluments of the deceased were rs. 535/75p per month.4. the compensation payable in such cases has to be assessed keeping in view the principles laid down by the full bench in lachhman singh v. gurmit kaur 1979 p.l.r. 1. considering the age and.....
Judgment:

S.S. Sodhi, J.

1. The controversy raised in appeal here is with regard to the compensation payable to the claimants, they being the widow and children of Assistant Sub-Inspector Opinder Nath, who died as a result of the injuries sustained by him, when a tractor came and hit into the government jeep, in which he was sitting. This happened on November 22, 1977 on the Muktsar-Bhatinda Road.

2. It was the finding of the Tribunal that the accident had been caused by the rash and negligent driving of the driver of the tractor. A sum of Rs. 52,291/- was awarded as compensation to the claimants.

3. The evidence on record shows that ASI Opinder Nath was 45 years of age at the time of his death. He died leaving behind his widow Smt. Satya Devi, aged 40 years and five children ranging in age from 10 to 21 years. All the children were unmarried and were dependent upon him. According to PW. 1 Amar Lal, Character Rolls Clerk from the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Jalandhar, the total emoluments of the deceased were Rs. 535/75P per month.

4. The compensation payable in such cases has to be assessed keeping in view the principles laid down by the Full Bench in Lachhman Singh v. Gurmit Kaur 1979 P.L.R. 1. Considering the age and circumstances of the deceased and the claimants the appropriate multiplier would clearly be 16. As regards the loss suffered by the dependants, it would be seen that the deceased had six persons to maintain. As is well known, there are certain fixed items of expenditure in running a house-hold like house rent, water and electricity charges and the like which are not really effected with the number of the family being increased or decreased by one. Seen in this light, after making an allowance for the amount that the deceased would have spent upon himself, the loss deserves to be taken at Rs. 400/- per month. On this basis, compensation payable to the claimants would work out to Rs. 76,800/- which may be rounded off to Rs. 77,000/-.

5. Mr. L.M. Suri, counsel for the tractor owner sought to contend that the three ex-gratia payments made to the claimants in this case totalling Rs. 17,317/- deserve to be deducted from the compensation payable to the claimants. This has, however, to be negatived in view of the judgment of the Full Bench in Bhagat Singh Sohan Singh v. Om Parkash 1983 A.C.J. 203, where it was held that no deduction is to be made on account of any ex-gratia payments made to the dependants of the deceased.

6. The compensation payable to the claimants is accordingly hereby enhanced to Rs. 77,000/- which they shall be entitled to along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of the application to the date of the payment of the amount awarded, out of the amount awarded a sum of Rs. 7,000/- each shall be paid to the children of the deceased and the balance to his widow. The amount payable to the minor claimants shall be paid to them in such manner as the Tribuna may deem to be in their best interest. The liability for payment of the amount awarded shall be that of respondents 1 and 2.

7. In the result, the appeal filed by the claimants is accepted and that of the owner and driver of the tractor is hereby dismissed. The claimants shall be entitled to their costs in both these appeals. Counsel's fee Rs. 300/-(One set only).


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