Smt.Sushila Devi Kejariwal vs Gobind Ram Saini & Ors on 1 May, 2009

Jharkhand High Court
Smt.Sushila Devi Kejariwal vs Gobind Ram Saini & Ors on 1 May, 2009
      IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI
                           M.A. No. 277 of 2008
                                 ------
      Smt. Sushila Devi Kejariwal               ....  ....      Appellant
                                 Versus
      Gobind Ram Saini and Ors.                 .... ....      Respondents
                                 ----
      CORAM:        HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE M.Y. EQBAL
                    HON'BLE MRS. JUSTICE JAYA ROY
                                 ---
      For the Appellant(s) :     Mr. Rajendra Prasad, Adv.
      For the Resp. No. 2:       Mr. G.C. Jha.
                           ____

5/01.05.2009

. This appeal filed by the claimant-appellant is for
enhancement of compensation amount, awarded by the Addl.
District Judge- I (M.A.C.T.), Dhanbad in Title (M.V.) Suit No.
46/91. The claimant-widow filed the Claim Application for grant
of compensation on account of death of her husband, Ashok Kumar
Kejariwal, aged about 30 years only. The deceased, Ashok Kumar
Kejariwal, while going on a motor-cycle, was dashed by a Truck
causing his spontaneous death on the spot.

The claimant made out a case that her husband was a
business-man and his earning was Rs. 5000/- per month. Copies of
the Income Tax Return were filed for two financial years i.e. for the
financial year 1988-89 and 1989-90, which show the income of the
deceased as Rs. 30,176.30 and Rs. 18,312.00, respectively. The
accident took place in the year 1991.

The Tribunal on the basis of the Income Tax Return for the
financial year 1989-90, filed by the deceased, took the earning of Rs.
18,312/- and after deducting one-third of the said amount, a sum of
Rs. 2,19,744/- was assessed as compensation.

The Tribunal further held that since it was a head-on-
collision between a motorcycle and a truck, 50% would be
deducted on account of the contributory negligence. Hence the net
amount of compensation Rs. 1,09,872/- has been awarded.

Heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties.
Firstly, we are of the view that the amount shown in the
Income Tax Return of 1989-90 would not be the basis for calculation
of the compensation. Admittedly, the deceased was a business-man
and according to the claimant-widow, his annual income was Rs.
60,000/-. Since the income from the business varies every year. If
the income tax return is taken as Rs. 30,176.00 in a round figure,
the income of the deceased was Rs. 30,000/-.

If this amount is taken, the annual dependency comes to
Rs.20,000/-. Taking multiplier 17, as the deceased was aged about
30 years, the amount of compensation comes to Rs. 3,40,000/-.

So far as contributory negligence is concerned, the deduction
of 50% is not just and proper. Normally, in a case of head-on
collision between a heavy vehicle and a light vehicle, the liability
always goes to the heavy vehicle.

In this case, we find some negligence on the part of the
deceased in driving the motorcycle and therefore 25% deduction
would meet the ends of justice. If the deduction of 25% is taken out
of the calculated amount of compensation i.e. Rs. 3,40,000/-,
approximately a sum of Rs. 2,50,000/- is just and reasonable
compensation. We therefore, enhance the compensation amount Rs.
2,50,000/-.

This appeal is, therefore, allowed and the compensation
amount is enhanced to Rs. 2,50,000/- (Rs. Two lakhs fifty thousand
only).

Needless to say that while paying the compensation amount,
the Insurance Company shall deduct the amount already paid to
the claimant-appellant.

It further goes without saying that the compensation amount
shall carry interest as awarded by the Tribunal.

(M.Y. Eqbal, J)

(Jaya Roy, J)
Anu/-

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