Death Case Enhancement
JHARKHAND HIGH COURT
Before:- Mr. Kailash Prasad Deo, J.
M.A. No. 584 of 2017. D/d. 7.1.2020.
Mantu Mahato, S/o late Chutar Mahato and other – Appellants
M/s Naresh Kumar and Company Limited at Udrej Bhawan, First Floor, G.T. Road (south), Upper Chalidangal, P.O. -Asansol, P.S. – Asansol, District -Burdwan (W.B.) and other – Respondents
For the Appellants :- Mr. Rajiv Kumar Karan, Advocate.
For the Respondent No. 2 :- Mr. Manish Kumar, Advocate.
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Sections 173 and 171 Death case – Deceased a Police Constable aged 25 years dashed by offending vehicle – Rs. 13,74,536/- awarded by Tribunal – Tribunal rightly took annual income of at Rs. 1,66,416/– Multiplier of 17 applied – Rs.70,000/- awarded under the conventional heads – Appellate Court took future prospects at 50% i.e. Rs. 83,208/- Since deceased was unmarried, 50% deducted towards personal expenses – Loss of income comes to Rs. 21,21,804/– Impugned amount of compensation enhanced upto Rs. 21,91,804/- Along with interest @ 7.5% p.a.
Mr. Kailash Prasad Deo, J. – I. A. No.396 of 2018
Heard, learned counsel for the appellants, Mr. Rajiv Kumar Karan and learned counsel for the respondent No.2, Mr. Manish Kumar.
2. The appellants have preferred this Miscellaneous Appeal with delay of 2 days, for condonation of the same I. A. No.396 of 2018 has been preferred on the ground stated in the application at paragraphs – 4 to 7.
Learned counsel for the Insurance Company has opposed the same.
Considering the short delay of 2 days the delay is hereby condoned.
Accordingly, I. A. No.396 of 2018 is allowed.
M.A. No. 584 of 2017
Heard, learned counsel for the appellants, Mr. Rajiv Kumar Karan and learned counsel for the respondent No.2. Mr. Manish Kumar. Though the notice has been validly served upon the owner of offending vehicle, M/s Naresh Kumar and Company Limited but they have choose not to appear, as such, the appeal is being heard and disposed of.
3. The claimants namely, Mantu Mahato, Homia Devi, Debu Mahato and Heena Kumari have preferred this Miscellaneous Appeal against the award dated 06.07.2017 in T.M.V. Case No. 218 of 2013 passed by learned District Judge-XVI-cum- P.O., MACT, Dhanbad whereby the claimants have been awarded compensation to the tune of Rs. 13,74,536/- along with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of filing of the case i.e. 09.08.2013 within a period of 60 days of passing of this award, failing which penal interest @ 9% per annum shall be charged after expiry of the aforesaid 60 days till its realisation.
4. Learned counsel for the appellants has submitted that deceased namely, Sarbeshwar Mahato was a Police constable in the Jharkhand Police. While he was travelling through scooter on 16.03.2012 at 9.30 A.M. when he reached near Putki Colliery gate on NH-32, A Hywa Truck bearing registration No. W.B. 37C/2024 dashed him causing serious injuries and the constable died on the spot. A Police case vide Putki P.S. Case No. 54 of 2012 dated 16.03.2012 for the offence under Sections 279,337,338 and 304(A) of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the driver of Hywa Truck No.WB-37C-2024. The deceased was aged about 25 years and a constable in Jharkhand Police getting monthly salary of Rs.20,000/- at the time of his death. The learned Tribunal has considered the salary slip of the deceased, which has been brought on record and considered the annual income of the deceased to be Rs.1,66,416/- but the Tribunal has not considered the future prospect of the deceased nor considered the amount payable to the claimants under conventional head in view of judgment passed by Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of National Insurance Company Ltd. v. Pranay Sethi and Ors. as reported in (2017) 16 SCC 680 para-59.8, where under the conventional head the claimants are entitled for Rs.70,000/-.
5. Learned counsel for the appellants has further submitted that instead of 6% interest the Tribunal ought to have granted @ 7.5 % interest from the date filing of the claim application till its realization in view of judgment passed by Apex Court in the case of Dharmpal and Sons v. U.P. State Road Transport Corporation [2008 (4) JCR 79 (SC)].
6. Learned counsel for the appellants has thus submitted that amount may be enhanced by adding the future prospect, amount under conventional head as well as the revision in the interest rate.
7. Learned counsel for the Insurance Company, Mr. Manish Kumar has opposed the prayer and has submitted that learned Tribunal has granted right and just compensation, Rs.10,000/- as funeral expenses and rightly not granted amount of consortium as the deceased was unmarried, as such, this Court may not enhance the compensation.
8. Heard, learned counsel for the appellants, Mr. Rajiv Kumar Karan and learned counsel for the Insurance Company, Mr. Manish Kumar and perused the impugned award. It appears that the income of the deceased has been rightly calculated as per the document produced by the claimants of the deceased. So far future prospect is concerned, the same has not been considered by the learned Tribunal, as such, in view of the judgment passed by Apex Court in the case of Sarla Verma (Smt) and Others v. Delhi Transport and Another (2009) 6 SCC 121 the claimants are entitled for future prospect of the deceased, who had a permanent job and was below the age of 40 years @ 50% of the income. Accordingly, 1,66,416/- plus 50% = Rs.83,208/- comes to Rs.2,49,624/- then 50% deduction for personal and living expenses as the deceased was unmarried then it comes to Rs.1,24,812/-, and then after applying multiplier 17 as the deceased was in the age group of 25-30 years, the amount comes to Rs.21,21,804/- and Rs.70,000/- under the conventional head, then total comes to Rs.21,91,804/- with 7.5% interest from the date of filing of the claim application.
9. The amount already paid by the Insurance Company shall be deducted from the total amount and rest amount shall be paid to the claimants within a period of 90 days from today in terms of the order passed by this Court. However, the recovery right given to the Insurance Company by the learned Tribunal at paragraph-14 of the impugned order as against the opposite party no.1, M/s Naresh Kumar and Company Limited at Udrej Bhawan, First Floor, G.T. Road (south), Upper Chalidangal, P.O. -Asansol, P.S. – Asansol, District -Burdwan (W.B.) shall remain as intact, since the owner has not put appearance before this Court even after notice by this Court.
10. Accordingly, the Miscellaneous Appeal is hereby allowed with aforesaid terms and conditions.