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Harbans Lal and ors. Vs. Saroj Khanna and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectInsurance;Motor Vehicles
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in2(1985)ACC482
AppellantHarbans Lal and ors.
RespondentSaroj Khanna and ors.
Excerpt:
- - it is now well settled that no such deductions can be made......deduction. the loss of earnings till the age of retirement have nothing to do with the amount of pension that the deceased would have earned after retirement. if the tribunal wanted to deduct the said amount on account of pension the appropriate method should have been to take the life span of the deceased up to the age of 65 or 70, to work out the dependency on the basis of rs. 300/-and then deduct the amount of pension which the family would have received. the other way of looking as it is to leave the family with whatever pension they were getting after the notional date of retirement, and to work out the loss suffered by the family by way of contribution from his salary till the date of retirement.7. the tribunal has also made deduction of rs. 2,643/- on account of provident fund,.....
Judgment:

S.B. Wad, J.

1. This appeal has been filed by the insurance company respondent No. 3 against the award of the Motor Accidents claims Tribunal dated 3-6-1975. The Tribunal has awarded a sum of Rs. 31,460/- as compensation. The claimants have filed the cross-objections claiming Rs. 1,50,000/-as compensation.

2. The accident took place on 21-7-1971 at about 4.00 p.m. on Curzon Road near Scindia House, Connaught Place, New Delhi. Devendra Kumar Khanna was going on his cycle along Curzon Road from the side of Baroda House towards Connaught Place, New Delhi. Bus No. DLP 4817 under DTC operation came with a great speed from behind and knocked down the cyclist. He was taken to Willingdon Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on 27-7-1971. Dr. Bharat Singh PW 5 who conducted the post mortem of the deceased found the following injuries on his person:

(1) Diffused swelling over whole of the right thing including knee joint with abrasions on the outer and front part in an area of 8' to 10'.

(2) One stitched wound over the right in guinostol area placed vertically. 7' long on cutting the sutures, there was collection of clotted blood in the musculature of right thigh.

(3) Fracture of the neck of the right femur bone.

(4) secreted wound on the medical side of left knee joint standing below and upward size 8' X 3' X muscle deep, covered by blood clot. There was evidence of abrasions in the surrounding area.

(5) Abrasions on the left knee joint outer side size 6'X4' with crust formation.

(6) Abrasions on the left fore arm on the front and sides on an area of S'x4'.

(7) Abrasions on the left iliac crust size 2'X 1' with crust formation.

(8) Cut open mark on both ankle joints.

3. It is also in his evidence that there was fracture of 7th and 8th ribs on the right side. Both lungs were bruised and the pelvic cavity contained blood. It is also in his evidence that liver, spleen and kidneys were pale and that all the injuries were antemortem and were possible by road side vehicular accident.

4. After the accident the FIR. was lodged which is exhibit PW 2/1, a site plan was prepared by the police which is exhibit PW 1/1 and the photographs of the accident (exhibit PW 6/1 and exhibit PW 6/2) were taken. A report of the mechanical inspection of the vehicle was also produced. In the criminal case Sled against the driver of the bus Harbans Lal, be was convicted Under Section 304-A IPC read with Section 279 IPC.

5. The claimants had examined eye witnesses apart from other evidence mentioned. On consideration of the evidence of the eye witnesses as corroborated by the evidence of the doctor, site plan, photographs and the mechanical inspection report, the Tribunal came to the conclusion that the fatal injury was caused by rash and negligent driving of bus No. DLP 4817. I have gone through the evidence on record and I do not find any infirmity in the evidence of eye witnesses of the other corroborative evidence. I agree with the Tribunal that the rash and negligent driving of the bus in question caused the death of Devendra Kumar Khanna.

6. The deceased was 36 years old at the time of accident. He was working as an Auditor in the Chief Auditor's Office, Northern Railway, Baroda House. At the time of the accident his salary was Rs. 476.80. The age of the retirement was 58. The Tribunal has held that the deceased was contributing Rs. 250/- per month for the support and maintenance of the family. There is no reasoning behind this finding. Even assuming that the deceased was spending 1/3rd amount of his income on himself, it can be assumed that he was contributing Rs. 318/- to the family. The loss of this monetary support to the family for the remaining 22 years of his service will come to about Rs. 80,000/-. I, thereforee, hold that the claimsan s are entitled to Rs. 80,000/-as compensation. The Tribunal has deducted a sum of Rs. 20,880/- which the family would have go to by way of pension. It was in the evidence that the family was getting R. 120/- per month towards pension for the first 7 years-and was entitled to get Rs. 60/- per month by way of pension after years. The Tribunal has followed an erroneous approach in making this deduction. The loss of earnings till the age of retirement have nothing to do with the amount of pension that the deceased would have earned after retirement. If the Tribunal wanted to deduct the said amount on account of pension the appropriate method should have been to take the life span of the deceased up to the age of 65 or 70, to work out the dependency on the basis of Rs. 300/-and then deduct the amount of pension which the family would have received. The other way of looking as it is to leave the family with whatever pension they were getting after the notional date of retirement, and to work out the loss suffered by the family by way of contribution from his salary till the date of retirement.

7. The Tribunal has also made deduction of Rs. 2,643/- on account of provident fund, Rs. 4,340/- as gratuity and Rs. 3,000/- as the insurance money received by the family. It is now well settled that no such deductions can be made. This is for the simple reason that the compensation is paid as damages for the negligence and other incomes accruing to the benefit of the family have nothing to do with the said damages. I, thereforee, do not propose to make any deduction on this account.

8. The deduction on account of lump sum payment is also unwarranted. It has been held in a number of decisions that the rising cost and high inflation have substantially reduced the real value of money and thereforee, no deduction should be made on account of lump sum payment which is 15 per cent of the amount.

9. I, thereforee, hold that the claimants are entitled to Rs. 80,000/- as compensation. They are also entitled to 6 per cent simple interest from the date or the petition for compensation till the date of actual payment. The insurance company, respondent No. 3 shall draw up a cheque for Rs. 80,000/-and the interest awarded and deposit the same with the Registrar of this Court within 3 months. The Registrar shall disburse the amount to the claimants after due notice. The counsel for the appellant points out that Rs. 31,460/- as awarded by the Tribunal have already been paid to the claimants. If the said amount is collected by the claimants naturally credit will be given for the same in working out the actual sum. The appeal is dismissed and the cross-objections are allowed.


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