Friday, 2 August 2019

Compensation increased considering raise in annual notional income of a non-earning member pursuant to 1994 amendment in MV Act

 Admittedly, under the Second Schedule to
Section 163-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, which was
applicable at the relevant time, the annual notional income of
a person who is a non-earning member is calculated at the
rate of Rs.15,000/- (Rupees Fifteen Thousand Only). However,
after the amendment made in the year 1994 and after the
various decisions of the Hon’ble Apex Court from time to time,
this notional income has to be increased from Rs.15,000/-
(Rupees Fifteen Thousand only) to Rs.30,000/- (Rupees Thirty
Thousand only), which has to be considered by the Tribunal
under the facts and circumstances of each case. In this case,
it has been fixed to Rs.20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand
only) per annum.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND AT NAINITAL
Appeal from Order No.535 of 2015

Smt. Parwati Devi Vs  Paramjeet Singh

Hon’ble Sudhanshu Dhulia, J. (Oral)
Dated:03.07.2019.

This is an appeal arising out of the award dated
25.07.2015 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal,
Rudrapur, District Udham Singh Nagar in MACT Case No.153
of 2013, whereby a compensation of Rs.3,00,000/- (Rupees
Three Lakh Only) has been awarded to the claimants.
2. Brief facts of the case are that on 14.05.2013
at about 03:35 p.m. one Lalji Prasad aged about 32 years
was going on his motorcycle to his house from “Mahtosh”.
On this motorcycle were sitting the mother of Lalji
Prasad namely Gulabo Devi aged about 54 years and two
girl children namely Roshni and Kiran, aged about 12 years
and 9 years respectively. It is alleged that when they
reached near Premnagar Puliya, Gadarpur at about 03:35
pm, a truck bearing registration no. JK 02 C -1752 dashed
the motorcycle from the back and crushed it, as a result
of which, all the four persons who were riding on the
motorcycle sustained injuries and ultimately all of them
passed away. Thereafter, a claim petition was filed by the
claimants and a compensation of Rs. 6,00,000/- (Rupees

Six Lakh Only) was claimed on account of death of Ms.
Roshni.
3. The claim was admittedly moved under Section
163-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Section 163-A of the
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 reads as under:-
“163-A. Special provisions as to
payment of compensation on structured
formula basis.- (1) Notwithstanding anything
contained in this Act or in any other law for the
time being in force or instrument having the
force of law, the owner of the motor vehicle or
the authorised insurer shall be liable to pay in
the case of death or permanent disablement due
to accident arising out of the use of motor
vehicle, compensation, as indicated in the
Second Schedule, to the legal heirs of or the
victim, as the case may be.
Explanation.- For the purposes of
this sub-section, “permanent disability” shall
have the same meaning and extent as in the
Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923).
(2) In any claim for compensation
under sub-section (1), the claimant shall not be
required to plead or establish that the death or
permanent disablement in respect of which the
claim has been made was due to any wrongful
act or neglect or default of the owner of the
vehicle or vehicles concerned or of any other
person.
(3) The Central Government may,
keeping in view the cost of living by notification
in the Official Gazette, from time to time amend
the Second Schedule.”
4. Written statements were filed by the insurance
company, the driver as well as the owner of the ill fated truck.
5. On the basis of the pleadings, the learned Motor
Accident Claims Tribunal framed the following issues:-
3
“1. Whether on 14.05.2013 at about 3:30
p.m. when Roshni, the daughter of claimant no. 1
was coming towards her house along with her
father Lalji Prasad on a motorcycle, the motorcycle
had an accident in Gadarpur, with truck bearing
registration no. JK -02C-1752 which was being
driven rashly and negligently by its driver?
2. Whether on the date and time of
accident in question, the driver of the vehicle was
not having valid and effective driving licence and
the owner of the vehicle was not having valid
insurance and papers? If yes, then its effect?
3. Whether the claimants are entitled to
any relief, if yes then from which of the parties and
to what extent?”
6. The learned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal
while deciding issue no. 1 came to the conclusion that the
accident in question occurred due to rash and negligent
driving of the truck by its driver and due to the said accident
Roshni had sustained injuries which resulted in her death.
7. While deciding issue no. 2, the learned Motor
Accident Claims Tribunal came to the conclusion that the
driver of the vehicle was having valid and effective driving
licence on the date and time of the accident and the owner of
the vehicle was having valid R.T.O. Papers and valid
insurance.
8. So far as the compensation amount is concerned,
the learned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal keeping in view
the age of the deceased Roshni as 12 years, fixed her annual
notional income as Rs.20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand
4
Only). The learned Tribunal thereafter applied a multiplier of
15 and calculated the amount of compensation to the tune of
Rs.3,00,000/- (Rupees Three Lakh Only). No other expenses,
however, have been added to the compensation. Aggrieved by
the amount of the compensation, the appellants have filed the
present appeal before this Court. There is no appeal of the
Insurance Company.
9. Admittedly, under the Second Schedule to
Section 163-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, which was
applicable at the relevant time, the annual notional income of
a person who is a non-earning member is calculated at the
rate of Rs.15,000/- (Rupees Fifteen Thousand Only). However,
after the amendment made in the year 1994 and after the
various decisions of the Hon’ble Apex Court from time to time,
this notional income has to be increased from Rs.15,000/-
(Rupees Fifteen Thousand only) to Rs.30,000/- (Rupees Thirty
Thousand only), which has to be considered by the Tribunal
under the facts and circumstances of each case. In this case,
it has been fixed to Rs.20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand
only) per annum.
10. Learned counsel for the appellants has relied
upon a decision of the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of
Kishan Gopal and another vs. Lala and others, reported in
(2014) 1 SCC 244, where a child of 10 years of age died under
the similar circumstances, and an amount of Rs.30,000/-
(Rupees Thirty Thousand Only) as notional income was fixed
and Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand Only) was given
under the conventional heads. While doing so, the Hon’ble
Apex Court has relied upon its earlier decision in the case of
Lata Wadhwa vs. State of Bihar, reported in (2001) 8 SCC
197, where although the category is given under the no
income category but the general assumption is that since the

child belongs to low income category, generally there is some
earning of the child as well in one form or the other. In Kishan
Gopal case (supra) the notional income at the rate of
Rs.30,000/- (Rupees Thirty Thousand Only) was fixed with a
multiplier of 15 and an amount of Rs.4,50,000/- (Rupees Four
Lakh Fifty Thousand Only) was calculated apart from
Rs.50,000/- (Fifty Thousand Only) under the conventional
heads.
11. The tribunal has not considered the totality of
the facts and circumstances of the case and has fixed the
amount in a mechanical way.
12. In view thereof, the notional income of the girl
child Roshni is fixed at the rate of Rs.30,000/- (Rupees Thirty
Thousand Only) per annum, which is appropriate. On this
amount applying the multiplier of 15, the amount of
compensation comes to Rs.4,50,000/- (Rupees Four Lakh
Fifty Thousand Only). Apart from this, the claimants are also
entitled for a further amount of Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty
Thousand Only) under the conventional heads. Thus the total
compensation which is liable to be given to the claimants
comes to Rs. 5,00,000/- (Rupees Five Lakh Only), on which
they shall be given an interest at the rate of 9 percent per
annum from the date of the judgment passed by the learned
Tribunal i.e. 25.07.2015.
13. The appeal is allowed. Let the learned Tribunal
calculate the entire amount of compensation as per the above
determination after adjusting the amount already given to the
claimants, which shall be deposited by the insurance company
within a period of three weeks from the date of production of a
certified copy of this order. After the amount of compensation

is deposited by the insurance company, let the amount be
released in favour of the claimants forthwith.
(Sudhanshu Dhulia, J.)
03.07.2019

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