Saturday, 9 April 2016

Whether motor accident claim tribunal can grant more compensation than claimed by claimant?


Undisputedly,   the   Motor   Accident   Claims

Tribunal   has   held   that   the   claimants   are   entitled   to
compensation of Rs.8,49,000/­, but, has further held that the
claimants have restricted their claim in the claim petition to
Rs.5,00,000/­ and hence, the claimants cannot be granted
the compensation more than Rs.5,00,000/­.  
6] In para (B) of the claim petition filed before the
Tribunal,  the averments are made as under ­
(B) ­  It is submitted that the deceased could have easily
earned more than 1 crore and he could have easily
lived up to 80 years.  The claimants are unable to
make expenses for the huge amount and so for time
being, they restricts his claim to rupees 5 lakhs u/s
166 of M.V.Act.   But they undertakes, to pay the
difference   of   Court   fees,   if   the   Hon'ble   Tribunal
grants enhanced compensation than claimed.
It is not disputed that in view of the decision of the Apex
Court in the case of Nagappa  vrs.  Gurdayal Singh, reported
in  (2003)   2   SCC   274,   there   would   be   no   restriction   that
compensation   could   be   awarded   only   up   to   the   amount
claimed by the claimants. In an appropriate case, where from
the evidence brought on record if the Tribunal/court considers
that the claimant is entitled to get more compensation than
claimed, the Tribunal may pass such award.  The proposition
of law is not disputed and hence, the claimants would be

entitled to compensation of Rs.8,49,000/­ as has been found
by the Tribunal and the claimants will have to pay the deficit
court fees thereupon.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
NAGPUR BENCH, NAGPUR
FIRST APPEAL NO. 344 OF 2015 
 Gopalrao Punjaji Gayki,

...VERSUS...
Gopal s/o Dnyandeo Wakode,

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
CORAM: R. K. DESHPANDE, J.
DATE    :   14thJanuary, 2016 .
Citation;2016(1) ALLMR386

1] On 28.09.2015, this Court issued notice for final
disposal of the matter. The Respondents are served.  None
appeared for Respondent No.1. Shri D.N.Kukday, the learned
counsel appears for respondent No.2 and Shri R.D.Bhuibhar,
the learned counsel appears for respondent No.3.
In   view   of   the   fact   that   the   notice   for   final
disposal of the matter was issued, it is not necessary to issue
fresh notice to the Respondent No. 1 who is not present
before this Court.
Hence, Admit.
The learned counsel appearing for Respondent
Nos. 2 and 3 waives service of notice.
Heard   the   learned   counsels  appearing   for   the
parties.
2] In   M.A.C.P.   No.   142   of   2008,   decided   on
11.12.2012, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Buldhana,
has held that the claimants are entitled to compensation of
Rs.5,00,000/­ inclusive of the amount of Rs.50,000/­ towards
interim   compensation   under   Section   140   of   the   Motor

Vehicles Act (in short "the M.V. Act") along with interest at
the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of filing of the
petition till its realisation.  The Tribunal has further held that
the respondent No. 2 ­Reliance General Insurance Company
shall pay the compensation to the claimants and shall be
entitled to recover it later on from the owner of the vehicle.
The   claimants   are   before   this   Court   to   claim   further
enhancement of compensation to Rs.8,49,000/­ on the basis
of such findings recorded by the Tribunal in the impugned
judgment.
3] Shri Kukday, the learned counsel appearing for
respondent   No.  2  ­Reliance   General   Insurance   Company,
has urged that the findings recorded by the Tribunal makes it
clear that on the date of accident, the offending vehicle which
is TATA Tipper bearing registration No. CG­04­ZC­8638 was
insured with two different Insurance Companies, one is the
respondent No. 2 ­Reliance General Insurance Company and
another is the respondent No. 3 – I.C.I.C.I. Lombard General
Insurance   Company   Ltd.   The   Tribunal,   according   to   him,
ought   to   have,   therefore,   apportioned   the   payment   of
compensation   proportionately   between   the   two   Insurance

Companies.  He further urges that there was no occasion for
the Tribunal to discharge the respondent No. 3 – I.C.I.C.I.
Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd, from its liability to
pay   the   compensation.     He   further   submits   that   if   the
compensation   is   to   be   enhanced,   the   interest   on   the
enhanced amount shall be from the date of the award passed
by the Tribunal and not from the date of filing of the petition.
Relying upon several decisions of the Apex Court and of this
High Court, it is urged that before release of the amount to
the  claimants,   this  Court  should  direct  the  owner   of  the
offending vehicle to furnish security for the amount of the
claim.
4] The points for determination are as under ­
1] Whether   the   claimants   are   entitled   to
enhancement   of   compensation   from
Rs.5,00,000/­   to   Rs.8,49,000/­   on   the
basis   of   the   findings   recorded   by   the
Tribunal?
2] Whether   this   Court   should   take   into
consideration   the   contentions   raised   by
learned counsel Shri Kukday on behalf of
Respondent   No.   2   –   Reliance   General
Insurance Company Ltd?
5]   Undisputedly,   the   Motor   Accident   Claims

Tribunal   has   held   that   the   claimants   are   entitled   to
compensation of Rs.8,49,000/­, but, has further held that the
claimants have restricted their claim in the claim petition to
Rs.5,00,000/­ and hence, the claimants cannot be granted
the compensation more than Rs.5,00,000/­.  
6] In para (B) of the claim petition filed before the
Tribunal,  the averments are made as under ­
(B) ­  It is submitted that the deceased could have easily
earned more than 1 crore and he could have easily
lived up to 80 years.  The claimants are unable to
make expenses for the huge amount and so for time
being, they restricts his claim to rupees 5 lakhs u/s
166 of M.V.Act.   But they undertakes, to pay the
difference   of   Court   fees,   if   the   Hon'ble   Tribunal
grants enhanced compensation than claimed.
It is not disputed that in view of the decision of the Apex
Court in the case of Nagappa  vrs.  Gurdayal Singh, reported
in  (2003)   2   SCC   274,   there   would   be   no   restriction   that
compensation   could   be   awarded   only   up   to   the   amount
claimed by the claimants. In an appropriate case, where from
the evidence brought on record if the Tribunal/court considers
that the claimant is entitled to get more compensation than
claimed, the Tribunal may pass such award.  The proposition
of law is not disputed and hence, the claimants would be

entitled to compensation of Rs.8,49,000/­ as has been found
by the Tribunal and the claimants will have to pay the deficit
court fees thereupon.
7] Shri Kukday, the learned counsel appearing for
respondent no. 2 does not dispute the position of law that
normally the interest payable would be from the date of filing
of the claim petition. However, he has urged that this Court
has a discretion if it enhances the amount of compensation in
an appeal under Section 173 of the M.V.Act to make the
payment of interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the
date of passing of the order of the Tribunal.  I do not find any
justification for restricting the interest from the date of passing
of the award by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. Thus,
the claimants shall be entitled to the enhanced interest on the
compensation at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of
filing of the petition on the amount of Rs.8,49,000/­.
8] The   learned   counsel   Shri   Kukday   does   not
dispute the fact that thee was no pleading before the Tribunal
by   the   respondent   No.   2   ­Reliance   General   Insurance
Company in the written statement that in case it is found that
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the owners are entitled to reimbursement, then the liability to
pay   the   compensation   awarded   should   be   proportionately
divided between the two insurance companies with whom the
vehicle was insured on the date of occurrence of accident on
29.01.2008.  The contention, therefore, does not deserve any
consideration at this appellate stage.  
9] No   doubt,   the   Tribunal   has   held   that   the
respondent No. 2 ­Reliance General Insurance Company to
pay   the   compensation   to   the   claimants   and   thereafter   to
recover it from the owner of the vehicle.   However, in the
facts of the present case,  it is not possible to hold that before
release of the amount deposited by the respondent No. 2
­Reliance General Insurance Company,  the owner should be
directed to secure the payment of compensation made to the
claimants.  It was  a third party claim and the liability of the
respondent   No.   2   ­Reliance   General   Insurance   Company
was unlimited.  The Tribunal has recorded the specific finding
that   the   respondent   No.   2   ­Reliance   General   Insurance
Company has failed to prove that the communication about
the dishonour of cheque submitted towards premium was
sent   to   the   Regional   Transport   Office.   The   liability   of
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respondent No. 2 ­Reliance General Insurance Company is
absolute and hence, there is no occasion to direct furnishing
of   security   by   the   owner   as   a   condition   precedent   for
withdrawal of the amount deposited before the tribunal.
10] For   the   reasons   stated   above,   the   appeal   is
allowed.   The   claimants   are   held   entitled   to   total
compensation   of   Rs.8,49,000/­   inclusive  of   the   amount  of
Rs.50,000/­ towards the interim compensation granted under
Section 140 of the M.V.Act along with interest at the rate of
7.5% per annum from the date of filing of the petition till the
realization of the entire amount.   The appellants/claimants
shall pay the deficit Court fees, if any, within a period of 15
days from today. The appellants/claimants shall be entitled to
withdraw the enhanced amount of compensation only upon
the payment of deficit Court fees.  The award passed by the
Tribunal stands modified accordingly.  No order as to costs.
JUDGE
Rvjalit
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