Posted On by &filed under High Court, Karnataka High Court.


Karnataka High Court
Malini Muralidharan Nair And Ors. vs Geetha Transport Co. And Ors. on 12 September, 2000
Equivalent citations: 2002 ACJ 92
Author: H N Tilhari
Bench: H N Tilhari, T Vallinayagam


JUDGMENT

Hari Nath Tilhari, J.

1. This appeal arises from the judgment and decree or award dated 27.11.1993 in MVC No. 551 of 1986 by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal No. 3, Mangalore, whereby the Tribunal has dismissed the petitioner’s claim petition on the ground that it is not maintainable.

2. The facts of the case in nutshell are that a motor accident did take place on 16.4.1986 at about 3.15 p.m. on National Highway No. 17 near Katapady while the deceased, namely, husband of the claimant (K.G. Muralidharan Nair) was riding on motor cycle bearing No. GDG 9493 and bus bearing registration No. MRL 4676, according to the claimant’s case, which was being driven in a rash and negligent manner came and collided with the motor cycle. According to the claimant, K.G. Muralidharan Nair died on account of the accident. The claimant-appellant claimed a sum of Rs. 6,50,000 as compensation.

3. Against respondent Nos. 1 and 3, the case remained ex parte and it was contested by the insurance company, respondent No. 2 before the Tribunal. A technical plea was, no doubt, raised that the claimants not having signed, verified or filed the application, instead it appears to have been got signed by Mr. P.J. Karkera, Advocate/Power of Attorney Holder and filed by him, was liable to be dismissed in limine as the Power of Attorney Holder could not either sign, verify or present the application. The respondent No. 2 also disputed the allegation that the accident did take place on account of rash and negligent driving of the bus by bus driver. The respondent No. 2 contended that the accident was due to negligent act of K.G. Muralidharan Nair, the deceased.

4. On the basis of pleadings of the parties, Tribunal framed the following issues:

(1) Whether the alleged motor accident on 16.4.1986 was due to rash and negligent driving of the bus No. MRL 4676 by respondent No. 3?

(2) Whether the deceased Muralidharan Nair died as a result of the injuries sustained in the said accident?

(3) Whether this petition as brought by Mr. P.J. Karkera is maintainable?

(4) Whether the petitioners are entitled to any compensation and, if so, to what amount?

(5) What reliefs, if any, the parties are entitled to?

5. The Tribunal held that so far as issue No. 1 is concerned, it has been established that the motor accident in question did take place on 16.4.1986 on account of rash and negligent driving of the bus No. MRL 4676 by the respondent No. 3. After having recorded these findings, the Tribunal answered issue Nos. 3 and 4 and it held that petitioner is not entitled to any compensation as the claim petition has been filed and presented and signed by Mr. P.J. Karkera as Power of Attorney Holder as well as an Advocate. Having recorded these findings against the claimants with reference to issue Nos. 3 and 4, the Tribunal, Mangalore, dismissed the petition.

6. Feeling aggrieved from the judgment and decree of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal referred to above, the claimants have come up in appeal before us.

7. So far as issue Nos. 1 and 2 are concerned, nobody has challenged and the insurance company has got no right to challenge the cause of action. Those findings, as such, are final and binding on the parties.

8. The learned Counsel for the appellant contended that the Tribunal acted illegally in dismissing the petition as not maintainable. The learned Counsel submitted firstly that the petition could be made either by the applicant herself or through some person authorised or through her Advocate under the provisions of the Rules framed under the Motor Vehicles Act and there was no defect either in verification or in moving or in making of the application and the court below acted illegally in rejecting it. The learned Counsel further contended that even if for a moment there would have been any defect of the nature as to signing or verification of the pleadings, the defect was not such as could not be cured, if it was a defect either. The learned Counsel made reference in this connection to the decision of the Allahabad High Court in the case of Wali Mohammed Khan v. Ishak Ali Khan AIR 1931 Allahabad 507. He also contended that the object of all institutions of judiciary is to do justice to the parties and ordinarily rules of technicalities should not be allowed to hamper the course of justice. He submitted that, as such, Tribunal acted illegally in dismissing the claim petition and in not awarding compensation. Learned counsel submitted that if the court is pleased to admit the claim petition so made, it may decide it because evidence is on record and as well award interest also on the compensation at the rate of 12 per cent per annum.

9. On behalf of the respondents, it was firstly contended that when pleadings were not signed by the parties, then it is a fatal defect and the Tribunal was justified in rejecting and dismissing it. He further contended that if the court comes to the conclusion that finding on issue No. 3 is incorrect, the matter may be remanded for fresh decision. But, later he agreed for hearing on merits.

10. As regards finding on issue No. 3 as to whether petition was maintainable or not, firstly, in our opinion, it had wrongly been held that the petition could not be filed through an Advocate. In the present case, the claim petition appears to have been filed primarily by Malini Murali-dharan Nair, widow of late K.G. Murali-dharan Nair and has an address of Goa mentioned in the description. Thereafter it is mentioned that it is represented through General Power of Attorney by Mr. P.J. Karkera, Advocate. No doubt, petition appears to have been signed and verified by Mr. P.J. Karkera as Attorney of Malini Muralidharan Nair. The defendant, i.e., the respondent took the plea that the claimants cannot sign, verify and file the application or the claim petition through the Power of Attorney Holder and the petition has to be dismissed in limine. The petition had been filed on 14.10.86. The Tribunal had framed the issue, i.e., whether petition brought by Mr. P.J. Karkera is maintainable? In the counter filed on 16.8.1987 what has been taken as a plea is that a Power of Attorney Holder cannot file the petition claiming the compensation for the loss sustained by his principal under the Motor Vehicles Act who being an Advocate representing his client. The claim petition was filed on 14.10.1986. It appears from the record that Mr. P.J. Karkera’s power or vakalatnama had been filed in the case for the first time on 22.2.88, as powers on record do reveal. Thereafter it appears that in 1990 Mr. S.V. Shetty, Advocate, filed his power on behalf of Malini Muralidharan Nair on 19.2.90. There does not appear any power of Mr. P.J. Karkera to have been filed along with the claim petition and the claim petition appears originally to have been filed by Malini Muralidharan Nair through an agent or the Power of Attorney Holder Mr. P.J. Karkera. This fact is again mentioned in the order of the Tribunal itself that there is no vakalatnama as on 14.10.1986, the date of signing of the claim petition and presentation thereof by Mr. P.J. Karkera. Therefore, it is clear that the Tribunal observes that there was neither vakalatnama in his favour signed and executed by the petitioner No. 1 nor any power of attorney executed by her on 14.10.1986, the date of verification and signing of the claim petition, for the presenting of the same by the said Advocate Mr. P.J. Karkera. As such, Claims Tribunal opined that there was no legal authority empowering him to verify and sign the claim petition or present the same by himself before the court as on 14.10.86 on behalf of the petitioner Malini Muralidharan Nair. From the lower court record it appears that a general power of attorney executed in favour of Mr. P.J. Karkera by Malini Muralidharan Nair on her own behalf and on behalf of the minor children had been filed and is on record. The seal of the court indicates as if it was filed on 7.4.1988. It is in page No. 47 of the record. No doubt, power of attorney purporting to be dated 16.5.1986 had been filed in this Court which appears to form the part of the record of the appellate court. Under the power of attorney, the power appears to have been given to file the claim petition as well as to do all things necessary for getting the claim decreed as well as to sign, execute, file and verify all plaints, applications, written statements, etc., vide Clause (iv) of power of attorney agreement on the record of the trial court, i.e., paper No. 47 on the record of the lower court dated 20.12.87 and also in the power of attorney dated 16.5.1986. Further it appears that Malini had issued a notice to Mr. P.J. Karkera on 25.10.1993 cancelling his power of attorney dated 22.12.1988. It may further be mentioned here that Malini had appeared as PW 1 in the case. She states herself to be the petitioner in the case and her children to be petitioner Nos. 2 and 3 and Parvathy Amma to be petitioner No. 4. She is the resident of Goa. She has not been cross-examined by the respondents on the question whether she had authorised Mr. P.J. Karkera or not to make and file the claim petition making the claim for compensation, namely, the one filed in the court. No question had been put to her as to whether Mr. P.J. Kar-kera was or was not authorised orally or in writing to file the claim petition in question which is numbered as Claim Petition No. 551 of 1986. Further, subsequent execution of power of attorney, paper No. 47 on record, reveals and really appears to confirm the act of filing of the claim petition before the Tribunal as Clause (i) of subsequent power of attorney also states. The conduct of Malini Muralidharan Nair, in appearing as a witness also in support of the claim and to prove the claim, clearly reveals that Mr. P.J. Karkera was, if not in writing, authorised to file the claim petition in the name of Malini Muralidharan Nair represented through Mr. P.J. Karkera. Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, provides that an application for compensation arising out of an accident of the nature specified in Sub-section (1) of Section 110 may be made either by the person injured himself or by his agent duly authorised by him. In the same way, in the case of death of a person as a result of accident, the claim petition can be made by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased or by an agent duly authorised by such injured person or authorised by the legal representatives of the deceased. Section 110-A, Sub-section (1) may be quoted and it reads as under:

Section 110-A. Application for compensation.-(1) An application for compensation arising out of an accident of the nature specified in Sub-section (1) of Section 110 may be made-

(a) by the person who has sustained the injury; or

(aa) by the owner of the property; or

(b) where death has resulted from the accident, by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased; or

(c) by any agent duly authorised by the person injured (or all or any of the legal representatives) of the deceased, as the case may be:

Provided that, where all the legal representatives of the deceased have not joined in any such application for compensation, the application shall be made on behalf of or for the benefit of all the legal representatives of the deceased and the legal representatives who have not so joined shall be impleaded as respondents to the application.

(Emphasis supplied)

Section per se permits the application to be made even by an agent of the claimant, i.e., to be made by the agent of the injured or in case of death of a person, the agent duly authorised by the heirs or legal representatives of the deceased. The expression “made” here means application prepared and signed by him, in case of injured person, on behalf of the injured person and in case it is made by the legal representatives of the deceased, signed by that agent. The application, therefore, for the claim being entertained means prepared and signed as required and presented. Section 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, is almost in the same terms as Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The “made” expression includes prepared, drafted and presented. But the application has to be treated as one made by the applicant mentioned or claimants mentioned in the application as petitioners. In this connection, it will be appropriate to refer to the decision of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in the case of Gujarat State Road Trans. Corporation v. Ramanbhai Prabhatbhai 1987 ACJ 561 (SC), after referring to Section 110-A of the old Act of 1939 which is analogous to Section 166 of the new Act of 1988, observed as under:

10. Clauses (b) and (c) of Sub-section (1) of Section 110-A of the Act provide that an application for compensation arising out of an accident may be made where death has resulted from the accident by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased or by any agent duly authorised by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased. The proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 110-A provides that where all the legal representatives of the deceased have not joined in any such application for compensation, the application shall be made on behalf of or for the benefit of all the legal representatives of the deceased and the legal representatives who have not so joined shall be implead-ed as respondents to the application. The expression ‘legal representative’ has not been defined in the Act. Section 2(11) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 defines ‘legal representative’ as a person who in law represents the estate of a deceased person and includes any person who intermeddles with the estate of the deceased and where a party sues or is sued in a representative character the person on whom the estate devolves on the death of the party so suing or sued. The above definition, no doubt, in terms does not apply to a case before the Claims Tribunal but it has to be stated that even in ordinary parlance the said expression is understood almost in the same way in which it is defined in the Code of Civil Procedure. A legal representative ordinarily means a person who in law represents the estate of a deceased person or a person on whom the estate devolves on the death of an individual. Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 110-A of the Act authorises all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased to make an application for compensation before the Claims Tribunal for the death of the deceased on account of a motor vehicle accident and Clause (c) of that sub-section authorises any agent duly authorised by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased to make it. The proviso to Sub-section (1) of Section 110-A of the Act appears to be of some significance. It provides that the application for compensation shall be made on behalf of ox for the benefit of all the legal representatives of the deceased. Section 110-A (1) of the Act thus expressly states that (i) an application for compensation may be made by the legal representatives of the deceased or their agent and (ii) that such application shall be made on behalf of or for the benefit of all the legal representatives…It is further seen from Section 110-B of the Act that the Claims Tribunal is authorised to make an award determining the amount of compensation which appears to it to be just and specifying the person or persons to whom compensation shall be paid.

(Emphasis supplied)

11. Rule 343 provides for presentation of application. It provides every application for payment of compensation made under Section 110-A shall be in the Form 82 CUMPT. If application is made by an agent as an agent for the claimant in whose name application has been filed by the agent, the signing of application by the agent will have to be deemed to have been signed by the claimant-applicant, i.e., as agent for and on behalf of the claimant or applicant. The applicant in such a case has to be taken to include authorised agent of the applicant or the claimant. Rules of procedure are meant to facilitate the course of justice and with an object to provide easy and quick justice. Rules of procedure are not meant to create hurdle in the way of justice to the parties. When Section 110-A authorises the injured or the legal representatives of a person dying in an accident to file an application or petition for compensation through an agent of such injured person or of such legal representatives of the deceased, the rules have got to be interpreted keeping in view the principles of the provisions of the Act under which the claim for compensation can be made either by the person injured personally or through the agency of his authorised agent or in case of death of a person, either by the legal representatives of the deceased themselves personally or through their authorised agents and, therefore, when application is required to be signed by the applicant, it may be signed by the agent as well. If we interpret that application has only to be signed by the claimant and not by his authorised agent, then it would have an effect of bringing the Rule 343 or Form 82 read with Rule 343 in conflict with the principal provision of Section 110-A (1) Clause (c) or in case of new Act, with Section 166(1)(c) of the Act. Such an interpretation has to be avoided. An interpretation which is consistent with Section 110-A or Section 166(1)(c) is that an application or petition for compensation if it has been made by the person injured or by the legal representatives of the deceased either personally or through the agency of their duly authorised agent, then petition has not to be held as not maintainable. The expression “duly authorised agent” contained in Section 110-A does not mean that authorisation should always be in writing. It includes a person having an implied authority to claim compensation for the one who is injured in the accident or even for the legal representatives of a deceased person. We have to conceive the situation where the claimant is injured, suffered severe injuries resulting in his becoming physically or mentally handicapped, to apply or to execute an authority and in such a case if we take that there should be written authority, it may frustrate the whole object of creating the special Tribunals, for quick justice avoiding technicalities. The section does not provide or requires that authority must be in writing. The authority may be implied from earlier or subsequent conduct as well of the person on whose behalf the claim petition had been filed by another under implied authority. If the legislature would have thought that there should be authority in writing authorising the person presenting a claim petition or making a claim petition on behalf of the injured person or on behalf of the legal representatives of the deceased, the legislature would have used the expression ‘the authority duly executed in writing’. So, if a person has filed a claim petition expressly indicating that the claim petition is filed for the benefit of the legal representatives of the injured or claim petition is filed in the name of heirs of the deceased person or the legal representatives of the deceased person or it is mentioned through so and so as a next friend or as an agent, the making of the petition and filing it by the agent cannot be termed to be illegal or invalid until and unless the person in whose name the petition has been filed through the representative or the person on whose behalf the petition has been filed, comes and denies the authorisation or disowns the filing of those proceedings. But where the real claimant in whose favour the petition had been filed as so and so through so and so agent, the petition is to be deemed and be taken to have been made by the real claimant, namely, either in case of injured, by the injured person and in case of legal representatives of the deceased by the legal representatives of the deceased. The rules of pleadings and verification and signing as contained in Order 6, Rules 14, 15 or 16 have not been applied and so cannot be invoked while considering the claim petition as a claim petition and not as a plaint as observed by this Court in the case of M. Krishnappa v. Madras Motor & Genl. Insurance Co. Ltd. 1971 ACJ 240 (Mysore) and in the case of Basappa v. K.H. Sreenivasa Reddy 1982 (Supp) 585 (Karnataka). In the case of Krishna Kumari Sharma v. Vikram Dev Sharma 1981 ACJ 123 (Allahabad), their Lordships of the Allahabad High Court have also observed keeping in view the dominant object of the Amending Act to mitigate the dilatory procedure and provide more efficacious and speedy remedy to the claimants, adoption of technical interpretations would again stand in the way of effective remedy for obtaining relief intended to be conferred. It will be material to quote the following:

Obviously, therefore, the dominant object of the Amending Act was to mitigate the dilatory procedure which had been the product of the old Act and to provide more efficacious and speedy remedy to the claimants. Surely a better and more effective machinery was devised by the Amending Act. It would, therefore, be destructive of the very purpose of the said Act if a technical interpretation were adopted which would again stand in the way of a speedy and effective remedy for obtaining the relief intended to be conferred by the Act. Consequently we are persuaded to treat a claim application, which substantially gives all the relevant facts, as sufficient for the purpose of Section 110-A, even though it may not conform to the prescribed form and/or may contain some omissions. In Bessarlal Laxmichand Chirawala v. Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Greater Bombay 1970 ACJ 334 (Bombay), it was held in para 15 of the report: ‘Formal defect of failure to mention appropriate names of the parties, who would be liable to pay ultimately compensation to the claimants was never intended to defeat the claims filed under the Act’. It was also observed in the same case that it was basically the duty of the Claims Tribunal to find out all the parties who may be liable to pay compensation and that all the relevant facts were left by the Act to be ascertained by the Claims Tribunal itself. Therefore, in view of the specific terms in which a prayer was made in the impleadment application we are satisfied that it was in substance an application for compensation and it would have been dealt with as such.

In the case of A. Subramanyeswara Rao v. B. Manikya Sarma 1981 ACJ 29 (AP), their Lordships of the Andhra Pradesh High Court have interpreted the expression “agent duly authorised” and their Lordships have observed as under:

After the amendment of that rule effected in 1972, it is obligatory for the Claims Tribunal to permit the claimants to appear through a legal practitioner. However, whether before or after the amendment, there is no specific provision requiring such applications to be presented in person by the claimants or prohibiting these applications from being presented through a legal practitioner. In these circumstances, the only question that requires to be considered in this regard is whether a legal practitioner could be deemed to be a person duly authorised to present an application for compensation. Under Order 3, Rule 1 of C.P.C. an application required or authorised by law to be made or done by a party in a court, may, except where otherwise expressly provided by any law for the time being in force, be made or done by the party in person, or by his recognised agent, or by a pleader appearing, applying or acting, as the case may be, on his behalf. A pleader appointed under Order 3, Rule 4, C.P.C. is empowered to file applications on behalf of the parties when a vakalat is executed in his favour. When a pleader is empowered to act on behalf of a party by executing such a vakalatnama and the same if filed into the court or Tribunal, he would be an ‘agent duly authorised’. The term ‘agent duly authorised’ occurring in Section 110-A (1) (c) of the Motor Vehicles Act must be understood in the wider context as a person authorised to act on behalf of the parties claiming compensation. When the purpose of appointing a pleader by executing a vakalat is to appear and act, which includes presentation of the petitions as envisaged by Order 3, Rule 4, C.P.C., there is no reason why a pleader so appointed by the claimant should not be deemed to be an ‘agent duly authorised’ under Section 110-A (1) (c) of Motor Vehicles Act. In this view of the matter, we hold that the presentation of a claim petition by a pleader appointed under a vakalat was a proper presentation.

[Emphasis supplied]

It will be appropriate at this stage also to make reference to the following observations made in the case of Binod Chandra Goswami v. Dr. Anandi Ram Baruah , which reads as under:

(5) I have considered the submissions made on behalf of the petitioner and the opposite party and have perused the impugned order and other materials on record. Technically the impugned order does not suffer from any infirmity. But the provisions of the law are not to be observed as ritual. There lies the legislative intendment as well as the juristic principles beneath the words of the provision of law. From a plain reading of Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, it becomes apparent that legislative intendment regarding entertaining application claiming compensation by the Tribunal is very liberal. Sub-section (4) of Section 166 empowers the Tribunal to treat the report filed by the police officer regarding an accident as if it were an application under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. What care is to be taken by the Tribunal is to see that no person other than the person entitled to compensation manages to get away with the compensation by impersonation. In the case wherein the application is made by a person other than the person entitled to the compensation, without being authorised only course for the learned Tribunal may not be to reject the application. The learned Tribunal may treat the application as if it was preferred by the person entitled to compensation if, subsequent to the filing of such claim application, the real claimant appears before the Tribunal and endorses the action taken by the unauthorised person claiming compensation. Legislative intendment to provide immediate relief to the injured person as contemplated under Section 140 of the Motor Vehicles Act cannot be allowed to be sacrificed at the altar of technicality.

12. In this view of the matter, in our opinion, the Tribunal acted illegally in dismissing the application on a wrong view of law. Further if there was any such technical defect, the rules of procedure are to substantiate justice and, therefore, in the first instance, the court should have held the application to be validly filed and in alternative, it could have called Malini Muralidharan Nair to remove the defect within the time prescribed.

13. In this view of the matter, in our opinion, the appeal against order rejecting the claim petition has to be allowed and Tribunal’s order rejecting the claim petition on the ground that claim petition was not maintainable has to be set aside and is hereby set aside. That findings on the issue Nos. 1 and 2 are in favour of claimant and as evidence is on record to enable us to decide the question of quantum on merits, remanding of the case to the Tribunal for decision afresh is likely to cause further delay in the disposal of the case. It does not appear to be just and proper to remand it. Instead we proceed to hear on merits as to quantum of compensation and we decide it on the basis of material on record.

14. The finding of the Tribunal, as mentioned earlier, is that the accident in question on 16.4.1986 had taken place on account of rash and negligent driving of bus No. MRL 4676 by the driver of the bus who had been arrayed as respondent No. 3 in the claim petition and who is respondent No. 3 in the memo of appeal. The Tribunal had further found that the accident having taken place, the evidence of PWs 1 to 4 further establishes that K.G. Muralidharan Nair had died on account of injuries sustained by him in the said motor accident. These two findings having already been arrived at by the Tribunal, the question remains to be considered is, what “amount of compensation the claimants are entitled to get”. As per the claim petition, the claimants had made a claim for a sum of Rs. 6,50,000 in total as compensation. As allegations in the claim petition indicate, the age of the deceased at the time of occurrence was 36 years. He was a P.W.D. contractor and according to the claimants’ claim petition, his income was approximately Rs. 2,500 per month. PW 1 had deposed that the age of her husband at the time of occurrence was 34 years. She had deposed that the deceased used to give to PW 1 a sum of Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 every month for running of the household and he was paying the rent of Rs. 450 per month for the house. She had denied the suggestion to the effect that her husband was not paying Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 every month for running the family. In the post-mortem report Exh. P-6 the age of the deceased is mentioned as 40 years. The certificate issued by the Udupi Rural Police Station, Station House Office, age of the deceased K.G. Muralidharan Nair on the date of the occurrence had been mentioned to be 40 years. In the duplicate school certificate/Exh. P-3, the date of birth of K.G. Muralidharan Nair is mentioned as 23.5.1954. Relying on Exh. P-3 the school certificate, the xerox copy of which is on record, we hold the age of K.G. Muralidharan Nair, deceased on the date of accident which did take place on 16.4.1986 to be 33 years. No doubt, the deceased was a contractor. The claimant had filed, no doubt, documents of running account bills. Keeping in view the account bills and the fact that the deceased being a contractor, if we read the statement of PW 1 in this context, the income of the deceased would not have been less than Rs. 2,000 per month. We hold that the monthly income of the deceased would have been about Rs. 2,000. Making usual deductions from the monthly income of the deceased to the extent of 1/3rd for his personal use, we find that the deceased K.G. Muralidharan Nair would have been contributing towards his family Rs. 1,300 per month. Thus, on account of death of K.G. Muralidharan Nair, there has been loss of monthly dependency to the family to the tune of Rs. 1,300 and yearly loss of dependency would come to Rs. 15,600. The deceased at the time of occurrence was about 33 years or 34 years. Had the accident not taken place, he would have lived the normal life to the span of 70 years. Thus his earnings would have also increased or enhanced with the progress of life. In our opinion, the proper multiplier to be applied in such a case would be 16. Thus, the loss of dependency comes to a sum of Rs. 2,49,600. In our opinion, the claimant is also entitled to be awarded a sum of Rs. 20,000 towards loss to estate and a sum of Rs. 25,000 for loss of consortium, love and affection. The claimant is further entitled to a sum of Rs. 4,000 towards funeral expenses and obsequies. The claim is thus awarded in favour of the claimants/appellants and respondent No. 4 against respondent Nos. 1 to 3 generally.

15. Thus appeal is allowed and in total, in our opinion, the claimants are entitled to Rs. 2,98,600 which is rounded off to Rs. 3,00,000 and is awarded herewith. The claimants are, keeping in view the rate of interest on long term deposits in scheduled bank, also awarded interest on the above amount of Rs. 3,00,000 at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from the date of filing claim petition till the date of payment/deposit. It is directed that all the claimants will be entitled to share the compensation amount in equal shares, i.e., equally. The amount under award with interest shall be deposited by the respondent Nos. 1 to 3, particularly respondent No. 2 the insurance company with whom the vehicle in question had been insured, within a period of four months from the date of copy of the order being available or within a period of six months from the date of this order whichever is earlier. The amount so deposited under the above directions shall be invested in the interest earning securities run by the nationalised bank for a period of five years and interest earned thereon may be withdrawn by the petitioner/appellant No. 1 every month or every quarterly during this period. The investment may be renewable from time to time, till the minors attain, majority. But in case of exigencies or urgency, it will be open to the appellant No. 1, Malini Muralidharan Nair to withdraw the amount, with the permission of the Tribunal, in the best interest of the children and the family. The claim had been decreed with costs at the rate of Rs. 1,100 with reference to trial court and Rs. 1,100 for this Court.


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