?IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS %DATED: 17/11/2008 *CORAM THE HON'BLE Mr.JUSTICE R.SUDHAKAR +C.M.A. No.3408 of 2008 #Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd. $S.Rajkumar !FOR PETITIONER : N.Vijayaraghavan ^FOR RESPONDENT : A.Shanmugaraj :ORDER
VIN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HONOURABLE Mr.JUSTICE R.SUDHAKAR
C.M.A.No.3408 of 2008
and M.P.No.1 of 2008
Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Limited.,
No.46, Whites Road,
Chennai 600 014. … Appellant
(2nd Respondent ex-parte before the Lower Court
hence notice may be dispensed with) … Respondents
Prayer:- Appeal is filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 against the judgment and decree dated 30.10.2007 made in M.C.O.P.No.2815 of 2004 on the file of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, IV Judge, Court of Small Causes, Chennai.
For Appellant : Mr.N.Vijayaraghavan
For R-1 : Mr.A.Shanmugaraj
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The Insurance Company has filed this appeal challenging the award dated 30.10.2007 passed in M.C.O.P.No.2815 of 2004 by the learned IV Judge, Court of Small Causes, Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Chennai.
2.This is a case of fatal accident. The accident in this case happened on 12.10.2003 at about 3.30 a.m. The deceased Arunthathi said to be working as a Tutor aged about 39 years was travelling in a van bearing Registration No.TN-01-Q-1913. The said van was hit by a lorry bearing Registration No.TN-09-AD-7466 insured with the appellant. In that accident, several passengers were injured and some of them were died. Arunthathi also died in the said accident. The husband aged about 39 years is the claimant. The daughter of the deceased-Arunthathi, who travelled along with her mother also died in the accident. A sum of Rs.9,00,000/- was claimed by the husband as compensation on the death of his wife. According to the claimant, his wife-the deceased was earning a sum of Rs.4,800/- per month as a Tutor. But the Tribunal has fixed the income of the deceased at Rs.3,000/- p.m. and after deducting 1/3 towards personal expenses of the deceased, fixed the monthly contribution at Rs.2,000/- and the annual contribution of the deceased at Rs.24,000/-. By adopting 16 multiplier, the Tribunal granted a sum of Rs.3,84,000/- towards pecuniary loss to the husband claimant. Rs.15,000/- towards loss of marital life and Rs.5,000/- towards funeral expenses were also granted. Totally, the Tribunal awarded a sum of Rs.4,04,000/- with interest at 7.5% per annum from the date of petition till the date of deposit.
3.The finding of negligence on the part of the driver of the lorry, who was responsible for the accident and the death of the deceased and the liability of the appellant-Insurance Company to compensate the claimant is not seriously disputed by the learned counsel for the appellant. The only contention raised by the learned counsel for the appellant is on the quantum of compensation particularly, the multiplier method adopted by the Tribunal.
4.The learned counsel for the appellant states that the husband cannot be termed as the dependent of the wife, however, her contribution to the family is relevant. The possibility of the husband getting married should also be considered. There is no dispute with regard to the total income of the deceased fixed by the Tribunal. He therefore, pleaded for reduction in the compensation.
5.The learned counsel for the claimant, on the other hand submitted that the husband is totally affected by the death of his wife and daughter. The deceased was educated and she was working as a Tutor and earning a sum of Rs.4,800 per month and she has contributed to the welfare of the family which is lost. Strictly speaking the husband cannot be termed as the dependent of the wife. However, the contribution of the wife to the family has to be taken as a relevant factor. The multiplier in this case cannot be taken as in the case of other claimants viz., dependents like parents and children etc., In this case, the accident happened in the year 2003. Therefore, the income of the deceased Tutor can be taken at least Rs.3,500/- per month.
6. In view of the decision of this Court in the case of “B.Anandhi ..vs.. R. Latha” reported in “2002 ACJ 233” and “State of Haryana and another ..vs.. Jasbir Kaur and others” reported in “2004(1) Law Weekly 1”, the multiplier will be 12 as against 16 granted by the Tribunal. Therefore, the loss of pecuniary benefits to the husband claimant will be Rs.3,36,000/- (Rs.3,500 x 2/3 x 12 = 28,000 x 12 = Rs.3,36,000/-.) A sum of Rs.20,000/- towards loss of consortium, Rs.5,000/- towards funeral expenses and Rs.3,000/- towards transportation are granted. Totally, a sum of Rs.3,64,000/- is granted as compensation. Accordingly, the compensation granted by the Tribunal is reworked as follows:-
Amount granted by the Tribunal
Amount granted by this Court
2 Funeral expenses Rs. 5,000/- Rs. 5,000/- 3 Loss of Marital life Rs. 15,000/- ------- 4 Loss of Consortium Rs. 20,000/- 4 Transportation --- Rs. 3,000/- Total Rs.4,04,000/- Rs.3,64,000/-
Since the accident in this case happened in the year 2003 and the award was passed on 30.10.2007, the interest at 7.5% p.a. granted by the Tribunal is confirmed.
7.The learned counsel for the appellant seeks eight weeks time to deposit the amount and the same is permitted. On such deposit, the claimant is entitled to withdraw the same.
8.In the result, this civil miscellaneous appeal is allowed as follows:-
i) The award of the Tribunal is reduced to Rs.3,64,000/- from Rs.4,04,000/-.
ii) The modified award amount shall carry interest at 7.5% p.a. as granted by the Tribunal.
iii)Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petition is closed.
iv) There shall be no order as to costs.
IV Judge, Court of Small Causes,
The Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal,