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inder Lal Vs. Narendra Kumar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Misc. Appeal No. 87 of 1973
Judge
Reported in1984WLN750
Appellantinder Lal
RespondentNarendra Kumar and ors.
Cases ReferredInsurance Co. Ltd. v. J.K. Modi
Excerpt:
.....of compensation amount--rise of prices and low purchasing power of rupee--held, deduction would not be appreciated.;there has been steep fall in the value of rupee/currency of india and purchasing power of the rupee has gone too much low. coupled with it, these courts have noticed that there has been enough monstruous inflation and rise of prices and the interest rate is very low. in view of the above, deduction would not be appreciated.;(b) motor vehicle act, 1939 - section 110 a--compensation--quantum of--amputation making common passage for stools and urine--life of boy made pitiable and miserable--held, compensation is increased to rs. 50,000/- from rs. 31,675/-.;where condition of the small boy is so pitiable that on account of the amputation, he is having the..........by non-petitioner-ramchandra at that time and was insured with the oriental fire and general insurance company ltd., m(sic) road, jaipur a case against non-petitioners no. 1 and 2 was registered by the police and the san(sic)e resulted in conviction of ramchandra driver.5. narendra kumar, the respondent, has claimed rs. 450/- as expenses incurred by him for medicines and treatment upto 17-2-1971. he has claimed rs. 500/- as expenses incurred for milk and fruits etc. rs. (sic)000/- for future expenses incurred by him and rs. 50,000/- as general damages on account of imputation of leg resulting in disablement, which is a permanent infirmity and also on account of pain and mental agony.6. the case of the appellant inderlal and ramchandra-respondent was that the vehicle was not driven.....
Judgment:

G.M. Lodha, J.

1. Amputation of leg to the pathetic extent of making common passage for urine and passing of stool, is the climax of this tragic accident which is worst than a Fatal Accident. The worst irony of fate is that it happened with a young boy of six years of age, who could not physically die becaused he survived, but mentally is destined to face death every moment in this inhuman, pathetic, tragic life.

2. This litigation has also now become 14 years old and the boy of 6 now 2, due to delay in disposal of claim cases, must have remained under legal suspense and litigation coma, adding insult to injury. The pity is that even then this is only half way of litigation so far, and future is all uncertain.

3. This unfortunate boy of six years of age met an accident on 31-10-1970 while crossing tie Jaipur-Malpura road at the bus stand at village Renewal by truck No. RRL 4667, which has alleged to be coming with a fast speed from Jaipur side and was going towards Malpura. The boy was crushed and his left leg was injured, On account of the injuries, he sustained the injury of fracture of the left neck femur bone and also on the pelvis, which later on resulted in complete amputation of the leg and complete disability.

4. Inderlal, the non-petitioner, is the proprietor and owner of the truck which was driven by non-petitioner-Ramchandra at that time and was insured with the Oriental Fire and General Insurance Company Ltd., M(sic) Road, Jaipur A case against non-petitioners No. 1 and 2 was registered by the police and the san(sic)e resulted in conviction of Ramchandra driver.

5. Narendra Kumar, the respondent, has claimed Rs. 450/- as expenses incurred by him for medicines and treatment upto 17-2-1971. He has claimed Rs. 500/- as expenses incurred for milk and fruits etc. Rs. (sic)000/- for future expenses incurred by him and Rs. 50,000/- as general damages on account of imputation of leg resulting in disablement, which is a permanent infirmity and also on account of pain and mental agony.

6. The case of the appellant Inderlal and Ramchandra-respondent was that the vehicle was not driven rashly and negligently by Ramchandra. It was contended by them that the mother of the respondent-Narendra Kumar faded to take due and proper prosecution before crossing the road, and it was because of her negligence that the unfortunate occurrence took place. It was also contended that Narendra Kumar is not entitled to any compensation by him. The insurance Company has taken the same line as that of the appellant Inderlal and Ramchandra-respondent and further contended that the liability of the insurance company is only limited to Rs. 20,000/-.

7. On the basis of the pleadings, the parties joined issue on the following points:

(1) Whether the accident on 31-10-19(sic)0 took place by rash and negligent driving of the vehicle No. RRL 4667 by Shri Ramchandra non-applicant No. 2 which caused injuries to the petitioner Narendra Kumar ?

(2) Whether the petitioner is entitled to claim Rs. 53,950/- from the opposite parties and from whom ?

(3) Relief ?

8. The Tribunal has allowed only claim of Rs. 31,675/-. Para 18 of the Award relevant in the case reads as under

It may be stated that the injured has not only been invalidated by the loss of the leg but is in a very pitiable condition of having the common passage for the stools and urine. He will not be able to do any thing even to the extent of working while sitting and earning even Re. 1/- or Rs. 2/- a day. I do not agree with the learned Counsel for the non-petitioner that the boy will be able to earn Re. 1/- or Rs. 2/- a day. It is of course correct that an allowance is to be given for uncertainties of life and a reduction of 25% has been generally approved by the Claims Tribunal and confirmed by the High Courts. A reduction of 25% is, therefore, allowed which comes to Rs. 40,500/- (Rs. 54.000/- less 13500/-). From this a deduction of Rs. 10,125/- at the rate of l/4th from the above amount is to be made, because the injured instead of getting Rs. 5/- a day would get the whole amount in one lump sum, which he can even invest in securities and get its return. This amount includes the compensation for pain and suffering as well. The petitioner is, therefore, entitled to receive this sum from the non-petitioners, of course to the extent of Rs. 20,000/- only from non-petitioner No. 3, the Insurance Company. The issue is decided accordingly.

9. Shri Dalip Singh, the learned Counsel for the respondent No. 1 petitioner has pointed out that the recent trend in judgments of the various High Courts has not allowed such deduction. Shri Singh referred to the decision of Delhi High Court in Satyawati Pathak v. Hari Ram and Ors. (1983 ACJ 425) wherein it has been held that the deduction on account of lump sum amount, insurance amount and family pension, as decreed by the Tribunal, was not justifiable because on account of the rising prices, the benefits of lump sum payment become negligible. Shri Singh further relied upon the judgment of this Court in Sudarshan Puri v. RSRTC (1983 ACJ 489) wherein it was observed as under:

15. In Manjushri Raha and Ors. v. B L. Gupta and Ors. (1977 ACJ 134 (SC), their Lordships of the Supreme Court took into consideration the chances of increased earnings until the deceased would have attained the age of superanuation and also the chance of his earning the pensionary benefits, at least for a period of 10 years after his retirement. Thus, the capitalised value of the dependency may be considered as Rs. 76,800/- to which a further sum of Rd. 8,200/- may be added on account of pensionary benefits which the deceased might have earned if he would have lived after superanuation. In any view of the matter, therefore, the claimants are entitled to a sum of Rs. 85,000/- by way of compensation This figures need not be discounted on account of lump sum payment, looking to the prospects of promotion and considerably increased future earning referred to above and the general depreciation in the purchasing power of money.

10. Shri Singh also placed reliance on the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Srisailam Devastanam v. Bhavani Pramilamma and Ors. (1983 ACJ 580). Their Lordships of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, white considering the quest on, whether any deduction should be made from the amount to be awarded to them, observed that in the interregnum, cost of living has been mounting up and the value of the money has gone down miserably to the low ebb and now the official figures put the value of the rupee at twenty-two paise per rupee. It was further observed that (sic)t king these actors into consideration the lapse of time would be taken as 'set off' for deduction from the lump sum amount, the claimants are entitled to. The following observations are relevant:.The fact that there is steep fall in the value of money has received judicial notice by the highest Court of the land in Motor Owner's Insurance Co. Ltd. v. J.K. Modi (1981 ACJ 507 (SC., wherein their Lordships of the Supreme Court have held thus:

The delay in the final disposal of motor accident compensation cases, as in all other classes of litigation, takes the sting out of the laws of compensation because, an infant child who seeks compensation as a dependent of his deceased father has often to await the attainment of majority in order to see the colour of the money. Add to that the monstrous inflation and the consequent fall in the value of the rupee. Compensation demanded say ten years ago, is less than quarter of its value when it is received today.

11. It would thus be teen that in the above decisions, recent judicial trend in compensation cases is that there has been steep fall in the value of rupee/currency of India and purchasing power of the rupee has gone too much low. Coupled with it, these courts have noticed that there has been enough monstrous inflation and rise of prices and the interest rate is very low. In view of the above, deduction would not be appreciated.

12. In the instant case, it is pitiable and tragic case where condition of the small boy is so pitiable that or account of the amputation, he is having the common passage for the stools and urine and his life has been made a hell which can be described as worst. Any amount of this monetary compensation to the person of this pitiable and miserable well worthy is too trivial and low for a plight where human being is required to live as worst than chattel, always in mertal agony disturbance and disappointed for whole of he life as cursed, due to the rashness and negligence of the driver. In such state of affairs, I am inclined to accept the contention and increase the compensation to Rs 50,000/- (Rupees fifty thousand) from Rs. 31675/-. The ability of the Insurance Company on the relevant date of 31st October, 1970 was extended to Rs. 50,000/- by the amendment made earlier in the Motor 'Vehicles Act and consequently, the respondent Insurance Company would be liable for the payment of whole of this amount also as it will have to indemnify the owner.

13. In the result, the cross-objection in this appeal is, therefore, accepted and the Award passed by the Tribunal is modified and the amount of compensation is increased to Rs. 50,000/- from Rs. 31,675/- against all the non-applicants including the Insurance Company. The petitioner-respondent No. 1 would also get his cost throughout from the non-petitioners and interest from the date of application till the date of payment.

14. The appeal is, therefore, disposed of as indicated above.


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