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A disabled person cannot be granted less compensation than a physically fit person for injuries suffered in a road accident, the Delhi High Court has held.

The court said this while setting aside a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) order which granted less compensation to a disabled accident victim on the ground that his one leg was already polio-afflicted.

Justice S.N. Dhingra said that the disability of a person at the time of accident need not be taken into consideration and compensation should be decided by the impact of the accident on the injured person.

‘The tribunal was supposed to see the impact of the accident on the injured. Even if one leg of the injured was already suffering from post-polio residual paralysis, the other leg of the injured was quite healthy and functional with the result that the injured was able to earn his livelihood by working as a helper,’ Justice Dhingra said.

The court increased the compensation from Rs.50,000 awarded to Shahid Ali by the tribunal to Rs.1.5 lakh for an accident in which his legs were fractured.

The tribunal had observed that the amount of compensation was sufficient as it was not a case where the injured had suffered permanent disability due to accident.

He was already suffering disability to some extent due to polio on right lower limb, the tribunal said.

‘The accident crippled him totally and fractured his right leg, already partially dysfunctional. The left leg, which was healthy, was also made dysfunctional by the accident with the result that the injured lost the capacity to work,’ Justice Dhingra said while increasing the compensation.

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