Thursday 25 April 2024

Supreme Court: Motor accident claim tribunal must grant an increment of 10% on the conventional heads in every three years

 Although the High Court was correct in placing reliance on Pranay Sethi (Supra), the High Court erred by not granting an increment of 10% on the conventional heads in every three years as directed in the Pranay Sethi (Supra), it may be relevant to extract the following observations:—

‘52…..The conventional and traditional heads, needless to say, cannot be determined on percentage basis because that would not be an acceptable criterion. Unlike determination of income, the said heads have to be quantified. Any quantification must have a reasonable foundation. There can be no dispute over the fact that price index, fall in bank interest, escalation of rates in many a field have to be noticed. The court cannot remain oblivious to the same. There has been a thumb rule in this aspect. Otherwise, there will be extreme difficulty in determination of the same and unless the thumb rule is applied, there will be immense variation lacking any kind of consistency as a consequence of which, the orders passed by the tribunals and courts are likely to be unguided. Therefore, we think it seemly to fix reasonable sums. It seems to us that reasonable figures on conventional heads, namely, loss of estate, loss of consortium and funeral expenses should be Rs. 15,000, Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 15,000 respectively. The principle of revisiting the said heads is an acceptable principle. But the revisit should not be fact-centric or quantum-centric. We think that it would be condign that the amount that we have quantified should be enhanced on percentage basis in every three years and the enhancement should be at the rate of 10% in a span of three years. We are disposed to hold so because that will bring in consistency in respect of those heads.”

18. Hence, we are of the opinion that the High Court ought to have added the increment of 10% to the conventional heads as per the dictum in Pranay Sethi (Supra).

 In the Supreme Court of India

(Before Krishna Murari and Bela M. Trivedi, JJ.)

Anjali and Others  Vs Lokendra Rathod and Others … 

Civil Appeal No. 009014 of 2022 

Decided on December 6, 2022.

Citation: 2022 SCC OnLine SC 1683.

Read full Judgment here: Click here.

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