The Supreme Court upheld Madras High Court’s valuation of Rs. 35.7 lakh as a young lawyer’s loss, both professionally and personally, due to a road accident which left him with 70 per cent permanent disability.
The recent decision by a Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu may become a precedent for assessing loss of income for lawyers who become victims of road mishaps. The apex court ruling sets a minimum amount of compensation or a threshold beneath which a court of law or tribunal cannot award a lawyer-victim in a road accident. By upholding the High Court order, the Supreme Court further confirmed in law the various parameters that accident tribunals and courts should consider when calculating the loss caused to victim lawyers in accident cases.
The 29-year-old lawyer, S. Achuthan, was represented by senior advocate Subramonium Prasad and advocate Vipin Nair in the Supreme Court.
Mr. Achuthan was travelling on a two-wheeler from Poonamallee to Parry’s Corner in Chennai when he was hit by an autorickshaw.
Mr. Achuthan had moved the Chennai Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Chennai, for a compensation of Rs. 51 lakh. But the MACT had reduced the amount by almost half to Rs. 24.5 lakh.
The lawyer appealed in the Madras High Court and got the compensation enhanced to Rs. 35.7 lakh.
The High Court noted that the lawyer was unable to walk without crutches or help, and would be unable to carry on with his legal practice in a proper and able manner. The High Court further noted that he was attached to a senior advocate. It further noted the loss of marriage prospects for the lawyer as a reason to increase the compensation.