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Madras Motor and General Insurance Co. Ltd., Madras Vs. G. Murthi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.A.O. No. 244 of 1972 and 80 of 1974
Judge
Reported inAIR1975Mad21
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 110
AppellantMadras Motor and General Insurance Co. Ltd., Madras
RespondentG. Murthi
Appellant AdvocateA. Devanathan, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateG. Venkateswara Rao, Adv.
Excerpt:
- - i think it is clearly wrong. 150 on that account and it is not known why the tribunal failed to award it. eye being the most valuable among the five senses, the blacking out thereof must have considerably affected the victim's biological and psychological capacity to enjoy life. but then, the tribunal has failed to consider the effect of the loss of one eye upon the future earning capacity of the victim......of medical treatment. i see no reason to interfere with this figure. under the head of actual loss of earnings, the tribunal has awarded a sum of rs. 500 on the basis that the victim has been unable to attend to his work as salesman for a period of five months. i think it is clearly wrong. the evidence is that murthi has been a salesman in sri gurunath stores, saidapet, madras getting a monthly salary of rs. 100--vide ex. p-4 a certificate issued by the employer of murthy. it is in evidence that ever since the accident upto the date of the deposition, murthi has been without employment. ex. p-4 shows that his services have been terminated after the accident and that he has not been able to function as a salesman thereafter. for at least 13 months the victim has been disabled from.....
Judgment:

Maharajan, J.

1. These two appeals are directed against the order of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal. Madras, awarding a sum of Rs. 6,000 by way of compensation for the injuries suffered by one G. Murthi in a traffic accident. On 7-12-1970 at about 8-50 p.m. as Murthi was cycling along the Mount Road in the northerly direction, he was knocked down by a private bus MDY 4954 belonging to Kuppuswami Mudaliar, the first respondent, and insured with the second respondent, Madras Motors and General Insurance Co. Ltd. The bus was being driven in the oppoiste direction by R.W. 1, Madanagopalaraju. Ex. P-3, the rough sketch drawn immediately after the accident by the police shows that the Mount Road is 60 ft. broad at the scene of the accident and that the impact between the bus and the cycle took place 5 ft. to the west of the middle line of the road. According to R.W. 1, while overtaking a stationary bus on the eastern side of the Mount Road, the accident must have happened. The evidence of P.W. 3, the victim of the accident, is that the bus was being driven at a terrific speed and that it came to the wrong side of the road and knocked against the cycle. The Tribunal was right in accepting the case of the victim that it was as a result of rashness and negligence of the driver of the bus that the accident took place. This finding is further reinforced by the plea of guilty entered by R.W. 1 in the criminal court. when he was prosecuted under Section 338, I.P.C. read with Section 116 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The theory of R.W. 1 that iti order to avoid frequent attendance in courts and consequent expenditure, he entered a false plea of guilty has to be dismissed without any serious notice.

2. The next question that arises for determination, is what is the amount of compensation awardable. P.W. 1, who is the Assistant to the Neuro Surgeon, Government General Hospital, Madras, says that Murthi was admitted in his ward on 7-12-1970. that at the time of admission he had echymosis of the right eye lids, sub-conjunctival haemorrhage on theright side, abrasion and laceration in the left frontorparietal scalp, abrasion in the neck, abrasion over the back of right shoulder region and abrasion on the back of the right arm and on the right thigh. It is also his testimony that as a result of the injuries received during the accident. Murthi lost vision in his right eye permanently. It also appears from his evidence that Murthi was an in-patient from 7-12-1970 upto 4-1-1971 and thereafter he was being treated as an out-patient till 30-7-1971. We find from P.W. 1's evidence that the victim was unconscious till 8-12-1970 and that he was given blood transfusion. There is little reason why the medical evidence should not be accepted especially when it has not been seriously challenged in cross-examination.

3. The Tribunal has awarded damages under different heads amounting to Rs. 6,000. The Insurance Company attacks the quantum as exaggerated, whereas the victim of the accident would say that it is unreasonably low. Under the head of pain and suffering, the Tribunal has awarded a sum of Rs. 2,000. Having regard to the serious nature of the injuries sustained and the period for which the victim has been undergoing treatment. I think this is a reasonable figure and must be accepted. A sum of Rs. 500 has been awarded by the Tribunal under the head of expenses of medical treatment. I see no reason to interfere with this figure. Under the head of actual loss of earnings, the Tribunal has awarded a sum of Rs. 500 on the basis that the victim has been unable to attend to his work as salesman for a period of five months. I think it is clearly wrong. The evidence is that Murthi has been a salesman in Sri Gurunath Stores, Saidapet, Madras getting a monthly salary of Rs. 100--vide Ex. P-4 a certificate issued by the employer of Murthy. It is in evidence that ever since the accident upto the date of the deposition, Murthi has been without employment. Ex. P-4 shows that his services have been terminated after the accident and that he has not been able to function as a salesman thereafter. For at least 13 months the victim has been disabled from attending to his work as a salesman and consequently lost Rs. 1,300 on this account. I would therefore enhance the compensation under the head of loss of earning upto the date of the deposition from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,300. It has been proved by P.W. 3 that as a result of the collision, his cycle has been completely smashed. He has claimed a compensation of Rs. 150 on that account and it is not known why the Tribunal failed to award it. Under Section 110 of the Motor Vehicles Act, after it was amended by Act 56 of 1969, with effect from 2-3-1970, the Tribunal got jurisdiction toaward compensation not only in respect of bodily injury but also in respect of damge to any property. I, therefore, award a sum of Rs. 150 on account of damages to the cycle of the victim.

4. I shall next deal with the compensation awarded under the head of permanent disability. The Tribunal has awarded Rs. 3,000 on this score. The victim is a young unmarried man aged 19 years. By losing one of his two eyes, his face has been aesthetically impaired and his prospects of marriage have become dim. Eye being the most valuable among the five senses, the blacking out thereof must have considerably affected the victim's biological and psychological capacity to enjoy life. I would therefore accept the figure of Rs. 3,000 as a proper compensation for the loss of one eye. But then, the Tribunal has failed to consider the effect of the loss of one eye upon the future earning capacity of the victim. The certificate, Ex. P-4, issued by the employer of P.W. 3 shows that the loss of one eye has already resulted in the loss of his job as a salesman. As one eyed man is very much less in demand in the labour market than a two eyed man. According to P.W. 1, the doctor, the disability on account of the loss of one eye may be taken to be 30%. I do not understand what the doctor meant by it. Under item 25 of Part II of Schedule I to the Workmen's Compensation Act, the loss of earning capacity for loss of one eye, without complications, has been fixed at 40%. Though I am not bound by the percentage of loss of earning capacity given in the Workmen's Compensation Act, I think it reasonable to hold that a working man who has lost one of his two eyes would suffer thereby 40% loss in his earning capacity. The victim was earning Rs. 100 per mensem. There was the prospect of his earning much more, but for the accident, during the rest of his life. There is also the likelihood of the victim living for another 40 years. Assuming that as a result of the loss of one eye, he would have lost at the average rate of Rs. 50 per mensem, he would be losing Rs. 600 every year for the next 40 years. The loss per year may be capitalised at Rs. 7,800. Making allowances for a lump sum payment. I would fix this figure at Rs. 5,000.

5. The total amount would then come to Rs. 11,950. I direct it to be payable by the Insurance Company. It is said that a sum of Rs. 3,000 has been paid by the insurance company and withdrawn by the victim. Two months' time from today is granted for payment of the balance. C. M. A. 244 of 1972 preferred by the Insurance Company will stand dismissed. There will be no order as to costs. C. M.A. 80 of 1974 preferred by the victim will be allowed with proportionate costs.6. As for the mode in which the balance may be invested, further orders will be passed in consultation with the victim, who is directed to be present in court, next Friday, 29-3-1974. The balance will be paid to Murthi.


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