questioning the quantum of compensation awarded by the Tribunal. Respondents 1 and 2 herein are the claimants. They sought compensation at Rs.3,00,000/- under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Rules thereunder for the death of their son-V. Chendra Sekhar @ Sekhar. After recording evidence and considering the respective claims, the Tribunal awarded compensation at Rs.1,55,671/- together with interest at 9% per annum from the date of petition till deposit.= The deceased was 28 years old at the time of his death. Consequently, compensation at Rs.10,000/- towards loss of estate deserves to be awarded in favour of the claimants. The claimants are also entitled to compensation at Rs.2,000/- towards funeral expenses and Rs.1,000/- towards transport charges. 8. Accordingly, the claimants are entitled to compensation at a) Compensation towards loss of income, loss of dependency and future expectancy of life .. Rs.1,36,000/- b) Compensation towards loss of estate .. 10,000/- c) Compensation towards funeral expenses .. 2,000/- d) Compensation towards transport charges .. 1,000/- ------------------ Total .. Rs.1,49,000/- ============ 9. The Tribunal awarded interest at 9% per annum. Where the death of the deceased was in 1999, it would be just and proper to award interest at 7% per annum. 10. Accordingly, the claimants are entitled to compensation at Rs.1,49,000/- together with interest at 7% per annum from the date of petition till deposit. The respondents 3 to 5 are jointly and severally liable to satisfy the claim. They shall deposit the awarded amount within one month from today. The claimants 1 and 2 are entitled to equal halves out of the awarded amount. 11. After deposit, they shall be entitled to withdraw Rs.40,000/- each at the first instance. The balance shall lie in fixed deposit for a period of three years at the end of which, the claimants 1 and 2 shall be entitled to withdraw the balance together with accrued interest. In case of emergency, the claimants may approach the Tribunal for release of additional funds. 12. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed in part. There shall, however, be no


HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE K.G. SHANKAR      

C.M.A. No.560 of 2003

05.11.2012

National Insurance Company Limited, rep.by its Divisional Manager,611, VI
Floor, Babukhan Estate, Basheerb Bagh, Hyderabad  

Barla Bhadraiah, and 4 others

Counsel for the Appellant: T. Ramulu

Counsel for the Respondents:  A. Prabhakar Rao T. Rajanikanth Reddy

<Gist:

>Head Note:

? Cases referred:
1. 1996 ACJ 1178
2. 2009 ACJ 1298
3. 2012 ACJ 2002

JUDGMENT:  
        Respondent No.3 before the Chairman, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal,
Warangal, filed this appeal primarily questioning the quantum of compensation
awarded by the Tribunal.  Respondents 1 and 2 herein are the claimants. They
sought compensation at Rs.3,00,000/- under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles
Act, 1988 and Rules thereunder for the death of their son-V. Chendra Sekhar @
Sekhar. After recording evidence and considering the respective claims, the
Tribunal awarded compensation at Rs.1,55,671/- together with interest at 9% per
annum from the date of petition till deposit.
       
2.      When the deceased was travelling in a Tata Sumo Van bearing Registration
No.AP 36E 6611 on 11.03.1999, the driver of the van, who is the third respondent
herein, allegedly drove the van in a rash and negligent manner resulting in the
van hitting a tree leading to the ultimate death of nine persons.
The deceased was one among them.  

3.      The question whether the accident was due to the rash and negligent
driving of the driver of the offending van does not arise for consideration in
this appeal, since the question is regarding the quantum of compensation only.
       
4.      Ex.A.4/Ex.B.1 is the copy of the policy.  Ex.B.5 is the copy of
certificate of registration.  Ex.A.4/Ex.B.1 and Ex.B.5 disclose that the seating
capacity of the offending van was nine passengers plus driver.  The policy
covers 10 persons only including the driver.  While so, admittedly, 11 persons
were travelling in the van at the time of the accident. The learned counsel for
the appellant-insurer inter alia contended that carrying 10 passengers by the
driver (11 persons in all including the driver) is tantamount to violation of
the terms and conditions of the policy and that the insurer, consequently, is
not liable to the claim.  However, this contention had been repelled by the
Tribunal placing reliance upon B.V. Nagaraju v. Oriental Insurance Company
Limited1.  The Supreme Court held in that case that mere carrying one or two
persons by the driver or the cleaner of the vehicle without the knowledge of the
owner of the vehicle could not be considered to be a fundamental breach so as to
exonerate the insurer from liability. I, therefore, agree with the finding of
the Tribunal that the insurer indeed is liable to satisfy the claim of the
dependents of the deceased travelling in the van including the claimants herein.
       
5.      The claimants asserted that the deceased was working as a tailor and also
as an agriculturist earning Rs.3,000/- per month.  PW.1, father of the deceased
deposed that the deceased was earning between Rs.1,200/- to Rs.1,500/- per month
as a tailor.
The Tribunal, however, considered it appropriate to determine the notional
income on an average at Rs.16,000/- per annum.  As rightly contended by the
learned counsel for the appellant-insurer, there would not appear to be any
appropriate reason for determining the income of the deceased at Rs.16,000/- per
annum.
The Tribunal could have followed the second schedule and determined the income
notionally at Rs.15,000/- per annum.  It could have taken note of the fact that
the deceased was a tailor and held driving licence and determine the income at a
higher rate.  The Tribunal, however, determine the income of the deceased at
Rs.16,000/- per annum without stating the reasons for arriving at such a figure.
However, I do not deem it appropriate to differ from the annual notional income
as arrived at by the Tribunal.  I, therefore, proceed with the calculation
considering that the income of the deceased was Rs.16,000/- per annum. Taking
the age of the mother of the deceased at 40, the Tribunal applied multiplier
'13'.  After the dictum of Sarla Verma (Sarla Verma v. Delhi Transport
Corporation2), the multiplier applicable for a person of 40 years is '15'.
However, recently the Supreme Court held in Amrit Bhanu Shali v. National
Insurance Co. Ltd.3 that the age of the deceased alone shall be considered to
determine the multiplier even if the deceased was a bachelor at the time of the
accident and consequent death.  I, therefore, consider it appropriate to
determine the multiplier with reference to the age of the deceased.
       
6.      Albeit the claimants asserted that the deceased was 22 years old at the
time of the accident, it is evident from Ex.A.3 copy of the driving licence of
the deceased that the deceased was 28 years old at the time of his death as he
was born on 26.04.1970 and died on 11.03.1999.  The relevant multiplier for a
28-year-old person is '17'.  Where the annual notional income of the deceased is
Rs.16,000/- and the appropriate multiplier is '17', the amount would be
Rs.2,72,000/-. However, where the deceased was a bachelor at the time of his
death, half of the income of the deceased deserves to be deducted towards his
personal and living expenses.  After deducting half of Rs.2,72,000/-, the amount
of loss of dependency, loss of life and future expectancy of life deserves to be
worked out at Rs.1,36,000/-.
       
7.      The deceased was 28 years old at the time of his death.  Consequently,
compensation at Rs.10,000/- towards loss of estate deserves to be awarded in
favour of the claimants. The claimants are also entitled to compensation at
Rs.2,000/- towards funeral expenses and Rs.1,000/- towards transport charges.
        8.      Accordingly, the claimants are entitled to compensation at
        a) Compensation towards loss of 
            income, loss of dependency and
            future expectancy of life          .. Rs.1,36,000/-
        b) Compensation towards loss of 
            estate                                             ..        10,000/-

        c) Compensation towards  
            funeral expenses                          ..          2,000/-

        d) Compensation towards  
            transport charges                         ..          1,000/-
                                                                ------------------
                                        Total        ..  Rs.1,49,000/-
                                                                ============    
9.      The Tribunal awarded interest at 9% per annum.  Where the death of the
deceased was in 1999, 
it would be just and proper to award interest at 7% per annum.
10.     Accordingly, the claimants are entitled to compensation at Rs.1,49,000/-
together with interest at 7% per annum from the date of petition till deposit.
The respondents 3 to 5 are jointly and severally liable to satisfy the claim.
They shall deposit the awarded amount within one month from today.  The
claimants 1 and 2 are entitled to equal halves out of the awarded amount.

11.     After deposit, they shall be entitled to withdraw Rs.40,000/- each at the
first instance.
The balance shall lie in fixed deposit for a period of three years at the end of
which, the claimants 1 and 2 shall be entitled to withdraw the balance together
with accrued interest.  In case of emergency, the claimants may approach the
Tribunal for release of additional funds.

12.     Accordingly, the appeal is allowed in part.  There shall, however, be no
order as to costs.
_________________  
K.G. SHANKAR, J  
Date: 05.11.2012

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