BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT DATED: 05/01/2010 CORAM THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE R.SUDHAKAR C.M.A.(MD)No.644 of 2007 and M.P.Nos.1 of 2007 and 1 of 2009 The Branch Manager, M/s. Oriental Insurance Company Limited, D.No.39/40, Saradha Shopping Centre, Workshop Road, Simmakkal,Madurai, Madurai District. ... Appellant/2nd Respondent vs 1. Chellammal 2. L.Sundari 3. K.Panneerselvam ... Respondents Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is filed under Section 173 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 against the award and decree dated 23.08.2006, passed in M.C.O.P.No.78 of 2005, on the file of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (Sub- Court), Uthamapalayam. !For appellant ... Mr.C.Ramachandran ^For respondents 1 and 2 ... Mr.C.Sundaravadivel :JUDGMENT
The Oriental Insurance Company is on appeal challenging the award,
dated 23.08.2006, passed in M.C.O.P.No.78 of 2005, on the file of the Motor
Accidents Claims Tribunal (Sub-Court), Uthamapalayam.
2. The only contention raised by the learned counsel for the appellant is
on the quantum of compensation awarded by the Tribunal, in particular, the
multiplier adopted in the case of a death of a bachelor.
3. It is a case of fatal accident. The brief facts of the case are as
follows:- The accident in this case happened on 27.09.2001. The deceased
bachelor Selvakumar, a driver by occupation, aged 28 years, while travelling in
the lorry met with an accident and died. On his death, his mother, aged about 50
years, sister, aged about 33 years filed a claim petition, claiming
compensation for a sum of Rs.7 lakhs.
4. The sister of the deceased was examined as P.W.1 and documents Ex.P1
to Ex.P9 were marked on behalf of the claimants and on behalf of the
appellant/Insurance Company, no oral or documentary evidence was let in.
5. The liability fixed on the Insurance Company to compensate the
claimants is not disputed and hence the same is hereby confirmed and the
dispute is only with regard to the quantum of compensation.
6. The Tribunal adopted multiplier of ’18. It fixed the income of the
deceased at Rs.50,000/-p.a. without any specific documentary evidence and after
deducting one third towards the personal expenses of the deceased, fixed the
total pecuniary loss at Rs.6 lakhs. The Tribunal has also awarded a sum of
Rs.2,000/-towards funeral expenses and medical expenses Rs.500/-. The total
award comes to Rs.6,02,500/-The Tribunal failed to award amounts under the head
of loss of love and affection to the mother and sister. The Tribunal granted
compensation under conventional heads. In all, the Tribunal granted the
following amounts as compensation with interest 7.5% per annum:-
Sl. Head Amount granted by No. the Tribunal 1 Loss of pecuniary benefits to the parents Rs.6,00,000/- 2 funeral expenses Rs.2,000/- 3 Transport expenses Rs.500/- Total Rs.6.02,200/-
7. The deceased in this case is aged about 28 years, a bachelor, and his
dependants mother is aged about 50 years and the sister is aged about 33 years.
The marital status of the sister has not been explained and it is also not made
clear that whether his sister is a dependant or not.
8. In view of the decision of the apex court in Sarala Verma and other
.vs. Delhi Transport Corporation and another reported in 2009 ACJ 1298 and other
decisions, the multiplier of ’18’ adopted by the Tribunal cannot be justified
and the possibility of the deceased getting married and the consequential
reduction in the contribution by the deceased has to be taken into
consideration. Hence, the higher compensation awarded towards the pecuniary
loss on the death of a bachelor based on the multiplier of ’18’ cannot be
justified . The claimants are however is entitled to compensation for loss of
love and affection on the death of a bachelor. In this appeal it is contended
that if the age of the mother and sister is taken, the proper multiplier
should be ’13’ and not ’18’.
9. Learned counsel for the appellant relied upon the decision of the Apex
Court in Bijoy Kumar Dugar – vs. – Bidya Dhar Dutta reported in 2006 AIR SCW
1116 = 2006 (3) SCC 242 and stated that the contribution by the deceased to the
dependents will be reduced after the marriage and therefore, the Tribunal should
have adopted lesser multiplier in this case as against ’18’.
10. The deceased is a bachelor, earning member, driver by occupation and
28 years old. The income of the deceased fixed by the Tribunal at Rs.50,000/-
p.a. cannot be disputed in view of the Apex Court’s decisions in New India
Assurance – vs.- Smt.Kalpana and others reported in 2007 AIR SCW 1316 =
2007(1) Supreme 514 and in The Managing Director, TNSTC – vs. – Sripriya and
others reported in 2007(1) TN MAC 319 (SC).
11. As far as the multiplier is concerned, the fact remains that the
claimants are the mother, aged 50 years and the sister, aged 33 years. The
possibility of the deceased, bachelor, earning member getting married and the
pecuniary benefits getting reduced to the mother is there. In the case of
bachelor earning member, higher multiplier as per schedule need not be adopted
to grant compensation to the dependents, in this case, the mother and sister,
as the dependency will get reduced in due course. The lump sum payment as
compensation is another factor to be considered.
12. In view of the above decisions, the proper multiplier to be adopted
by the Tribunal is ’13’ and taking the income of the deceased at Rs.50,000/-
p.a.,and after deducting one third towards the personal expenses from
Rs.50,000/-, the annual loss of income comes to Rs.33,200 and if a multiplier of
’13’ is adopted, then the total loss of income comes to Rs.33,200×13=4,31,600/-.
The claimants/mother and sister are entitled to a sum of Rs.20,000/- and
Rs.15,000/- respectively towards loss of love and affection. The sum of
Rs.2,000/-awarded towards funeral expenses is hereby enhanced to Rs.3,000/-
which includes the transport expenses also. Accordingly, the award of the
Tribunal is modified as follows:-
Sl.No. Head Amount granted Amount granted by the Tribunal by this Court 1 Loss of pecuniary benefits to the parents Rs.6,00,000/- Rs.4,31,600/- 2 Loss of love and affection to the mother and sister --- Rs.35,000/- 3 Transport and funeral expenses Rs.2,500/- Rs.3,000/- Total Rs.6,02,500/- Rs.4,69,600/-
13. Further, in view of the decision of the Apex Court reported in 2005
(3) C.T.C. 373 (Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation vs. S. Rajapriya), the
interest stands reduced from 9% to 7.5%. The Insurance company undertakes to
deposit the above amount within four weeks from the date of receipt of copy of
this order and the counsel for the respondents 1 to 3/claimants seeks permission
to withdraw the same immediately thereafter. Accordingly, the appellant is
directed to deposit the amount as quantified by this Court less the deposit
already made, within four weeks from the date of receipt of copy of this order
and liberty is given to the respondents 1 to 3/ claimants to withdraw the same
with appropriate interest. This appeal is ordered accordingly. There will be no
order as to cost. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.
1. The Sub-Judge,
(Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal)