BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT DATED: 05/10/2010 CORAM THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE P.JYOTHIMANI and THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE S.NAGAMUTHU C.M.A.(MD) No.282 of 2005 1.Mallika 2.Alagammai 3.Kumarappan 4.Minor Laxumanan Rep. by his mother and Next friend Mallika 1st appellant. 5.Alagammai Achi .. Appellants vs 1.K.M.Thirunavukkarasu 2.The Oriental Insurance Co.Ltd., Rep. By its Branch Manager, Loyola Building, Salai Road, Dindigul .. Respondents This appeal is preferred to set aside the (award) Judgement and decree dated 23.04.2004 rejecting that portion of the claim made in MCOP No.614 of 2001 on the file of the Additional District Judge, Dindigul and allow the appeal. !For appellants ... Mr.Ramaratnam ^For respondents ... Mr.K.Bhaskaran for R2 :JUDGMENT
This civil miscellaneous appeal has been preferred by the claimants in
MCOP NO.614 of 2001 on the file of the Principal District Judge, Dindigul
seeking enhancement of the compensation.
2. The appellants are the claimants and they are dependants of the
deceased Mr.Selvam @ Selvaraj. According to the claimants, the deceased was
doing jewellary business along with his wife at Nilakottai. In order to prove
his income, on the side of the claimants income tax returns of the first
claimant have been produced in evidence as Ex.P5 and Ex.P6. Relying on the same,
it is now claimed that the income tax return pertaining to the wife of the
deceased should be treated as income of the deceased for the purpose of
calculating the loss of income to the dependants of the deceased. It is further
submitted that the deceased was doing the business in the name of his wife and
therefore, income shown in the income tax return pertaining to his wife should
be taken as income of the deceased, but the Tribunal has rejected the said
contention. As a matter of fact, in paragraph 9 of the award the Tribunal has
stated that it cannot be inferred from the above documents that the income shown
in the above returns and assessment orders are that of the deceased.
3. In this appeal, it is again contended by the learned counsel for the
appellants that the income shown in the income tax return pertaining to the
deceased wife should be taken as income of the deceased. In our considered
opinion the said contention cannot be accepted. There is no evidence to show
that income shown in the income tax returns pertaining to his wife were that of
the income of the deceased. The Tribunal has rightly taken Rs.5,000/- as a
contribution to the dependants. The respondent is not aggrieved by the same and
it is evident from the fact that no appeal has been preferred by the respondent.
Therefore, the monthly contribution of the deceased to the dependants fixed at
Rs.5,000/- stands confirmed.
4. Further the learned counsel for the appellants would submit that the
Tribunal has taken the multiplier as 13, which according to the decision
rendered in SMT.SARALA VERMA v. DELHI TRANSPORT CORPORATION & ANOTHER reported
in 2009 (2) TNMAC 1(SC) is not correct.
5. Admittedly, the deceased was aged 45 years at the time of the accident.
As per the Sarala Verma’s case (cited supra) the proper multiplier should be 14.
If 14 multiplier is applied, the loss of income to the family members is worked
out to Rs.8,40,000/- (60,000 X 14 = 8,40,000). Apart from that a sum of
Rs.20,000/- awarded towards loss of consortium also needs to be confirmed. The
Tribunal has awarded Rs.15,000/- towards loss of love and affection in respect
of other petitioners and Rs.5,000/- towards funeral expenses are also need to be
confirmed. Thus, in toto, Rs.8,80,000/- (Rupees eight lakhs eighty thousand
only) is awarded as compensation, for which the claimants are entitled to. To
that extent, the award of Tribunal needs to be modified.
7. In the result, the appeal stands partly allowed in the following terms;
i) There shall be an award to an extent of Rs.8,80,000/- instead of
ii) In so far as the interest is concerned, the respondents shall pay
interest at the rate of 9% for the amount awarded by the Tribunal and 7.5% for
the amount enhanced by this Court.
In all other respect, the appeal stands dismissed.