Accident claim - M.V. Act - Whether the court has got power to grant more compensation than claimed when it is just and reasonable on proved facts - with out amendment of claim petition - High court held that the tribunal can grant and as such allowed the appeal and set aside the lower court order = Smt. Apparaju Sobha Rani..... Appellant Midiyam Rama Rao and another.... Respondents = 2014 ( January part ) judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/filename=10794

 Accident claim - M.V. Act - Whether the court has got power to grant more compensation than claimed when it is just and reasonable on proved facts - with out amendment of claim petition - High court held that the tribunal can grant and as such allowed the appeal and set aside the lower court order =

For the death of Ramakrishna Sastry in APSRTC bus accident, his wife filed
O.P.No.318 of 2000 against the driver and APSRTC and claimed Rs.2,00,000/- as  
compensation under different heads.
The Tribunal in its award held that the claimant is entitled to compensation
under different heads as follows:
1. Loss of Dependency                           Rs.2,56,000/-
2. Loss of consortium                           Rs.   15,000/-
3. Loss of estate                                       Rs.   15,000/-
4. Funeral expenses                                     Rs.     2,000/-
      ______________
TOTAL                   =       Rs.2,88,000/-
      _______________ 

Though the claimant was entitled to Rs.2,88,000/-, since her claim was
Rs.2,00,000/- the Tribunal awarded only Rs.2,00,000/-.
Hence, the appeal by the claimant. =

Whether the Tribunal can grant more compensation than claimed when the court 
finds it just and reasonable?

In the case of Nagappa vs. Gurudayal Singh (1 Supra), 
Hon'ble Apex Court held thus:
Para 16:        From the aforesaid observations it cannot be held that there is a
bar for the Claims Tribunal to award the compensation in excess of what is
claimed, particularly when the evidence which is brought on record is sufficient
to pass such award. In cases where there is no evidence on record, the Court may
permit such amendment and allow to raise additional issue and give an
opportunity to the parties to produce relevant evidence.
xxxx  For the reasons discussed above, in our view, under the M.V. Act,
there is no restriction that Tribunal/Court cannot award compensation amount
exceeding the claimed amount. The function of the Tribunal/Court is to award
'Just' compensation which is reasonable on the basis of evidence produced on
record. Further, in such cases there is no question of claim becoming time
barred or it cannot be contended that by enhancing the claim there would be
change of cause of action. It is also to be stated that as provided under Sub-
section (4) to Section 166, even report submitted to the Claims Tribunal under
Sub-section (6) of Section 158 can be treated as an application for compensation
under the M.V. Act. If required, in appropriate cases, Court may permit
amendment to the Claim Petition. 
The above decision was followed by our High Court in the case of New India Assurance Company Limited, Chittoor vs. Palagari Hassan (2 Supra).   =
So from the above decision of Hon'ble Apex Court it is clear that when the
evidence on record is sufficient to pass compensation in excess of what is
claimed, the Tribunal can award such compensation.  For granting such excess 
amount, there is no need of driving the party to file amendment petition.  It is
only in cases where there is no evidence on record and party seeks for amendment
of the claim petition to claim higher compensation, the Court may permit such
amendment and allow to raise additional issue and give an opportunity to the
parties to produce relevant evidence.
 In the result, this appeal is allowed and the compensation is enhanced to
Rs.2,88,000/- from Rs.2,00,000/- with costs and simple interest at 9% p.a from
the date of O.P till the date of realization.   Respondents are directed to
deposit the enhanced compensation amount within one month from the date of this 
judgment, failing which execution can be taken out against them.

2014 ( January part ) judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/filename=10794


THE HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE U.DURGA PRASAD RAO        

M.A.C.M.A No.382 of 2009

23-01-2014

Smt. Apparaju Sobha Rani..... Appellant

Midiyam Rama Rao and another.... Respondents

Counsel for Appellant: Sri  K. Venkatesh

Counsel for Respondent No.2: Sri K. Satyanarayana Murthy

< Gist:

> Head Note:

?Cases referred:
1) 2002 (8) Supreme 497
2) 2005(1) ALT 634
3) AIR 2009 Supreme Court 3104

HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE U. DURGA PRASAD RAO        
M.A.C.M.A. No.382 of 2009
JUDGMENT:
        Challenging the compensation granted in O.P.No.318 of 2000 by the Motor
Accidents Claims Tribunal-cum-I Additional District Judge, East Godavari,
Rajahmundry (for short "Tribunal") as inadequate, the claimant preferred the
instant M.A.C.M.A.
2)      The factual matrix of the case is thus:
a) For the death of Ramakrishna Sastry in APSRTC bus accident, his wife filed
O.P.No.318 of 2000 against the driver and APSRTC and claimed Rs.2,00,000/- as  
compensation under different heads.
b) The respondent No.2 contested the O.P.
c) The Tribunal in its award held that the claimant is entitled to compensation
under different heads as follows:
1. Loss of Dependency                           Rs.2,56,000/-
2. Loss of consortium                           Rs.   15,000/-
3. Loss of estate                                       Rs.   15,000/-
4. Funeral expenses                                     Rs.     2,000/-
      ______________
TOTAL                   =       Rs.2,88,000/-
      _______________ 

Though the claimant was entitled to Rs.2,88,000/-, since her claim was
Rs.2,00,000/- the Tribunal awarded only Rs.2,00,000/-.
Hence, the appeal by the claimant.
4)      Heard arguments of Sri K. Venkatesh, learned counsel for
appellant/claimant and Sri K. Satyanarayana Murthy, learned counsel for
Respondent No.2.
5)      Learned counsel for appellant argued that the Tribunal having observed
that the claimant is entitled to Rs.2,88,000/- ought to have granted the said
amount without restricting the compensation to Rs.2,00,000/-.  He submitted that
there is no bar for the Tribunal to grant higher compensation than claimed by
the claimants if it finds that such compensation is just and reasonable having
regard to the facts and circumstances of the case.  
To buttress his case, he
relied upon the following decisions:
i) Nagappa vs. Gurudayal Singh and others1.
ii) New India Assurance Company Limited, Chittoor rep. by its Divisional
Manager, Cuddapah vs. Palagiri Hassan and others2. 
He thus prayed to allow the appeal and enhance the compensation.
6)      Per contra, learned counsel for 2nd respondent/APSRTC while opposing the
appeal argued that the appellant ought to have filed amendment petition claiming
enhanced compensation and without doing so she cannot maintain the appeal.  He
further argued that the Tribunal selected multiplier '16' instead of '15' and so
compensation has to be reduced.  He thus prayed to dismiss the appeal.
7)      In the light of above divergent arguments, the point for determination in
this appeal is:
Whether the Tribunal can grant more compensation than claimed when the court 
finds it just and reasonable?
8)      POINT:  The issue touching the power of the Court to grant higher
compensation than claimed in just and reasonable cases is no more res integra
and covered by the decisions cited by the appellant.
In the case of Nagappa vs. Gurudayal Singh (1 Supra),
Hon'ble Apex Court held thus:
Para 16:        From the aforesaid observations it cannot be held that there is a
bar for the Claims Tribunal to award the compensation in excess of what is
claimed, particularly when the evidence which is brought on record is sufficient
to pass such award. In cases where there is no evidence on record, the Court may
permit such amendment and allow to raise additional issue and give an
opportunity to the parties to produce relevant evidence.
xxxx
Para 21:         For the reasons discussed above, in our view, under the M.V. Act,
there is no restriction that Tribunal/Court cannot award compensation amount
exceeding the claimed amount. The function of the Tribunal/Court is to award
'Just' compensation which is reasonable on the basis of evidence produced on
record. Further, in such cases there is no question of claim becoming time
barred or it cannot be contended that by enhancing the claim there would be
change of cause of action. It is also to be stated that as provided under Sub-
section (4) to Section 166, even report submitted to the Claims Tribunal under
Sub-section (6) of Section 158 can be treated as an application for compensation
under the M.V. Act. If required, in appropriate cases, Court may permit
amendment to the Claim Petition.
        The above decision was followed by our High Court in the case of New India
Assurance Company Limited, Chittoor vs. Palagari Hassan (2 Supra). 
9)      So from the above decision of Hon'ble Apex Court it is clear that when the
evidence on record is sufficient to pass compensation in excess of what is
claimed, the Tribunal can award such compensation.  For granting such excess 
amount, there is no need of driving the party to file amendment petition.  It is
only in cases where there is no evidence on record and party seeks for amendment
of the claim petition to claim higher compensation, the Court may permit such
amendment and allow to raise additional issue and give an opportunity to the
parties to produce relevant evidence.
10)     Coming to the case on hand, the award would show that the Tribunal basing
on the evidence on record held that the claimant in fact is entitled to
Rs.2,88,000/-.  However the Tribunal pruned the said amount to Rs.2,00,000/-
since the claim of the appellant was only Rs.2,00,000/-.  Therefore, in view of
the above decision, I see no merits in the contention of the respondent that the
appellant should necessarily file an amendment petition.
11)     I also see no force in the other contention of the respondent that
multiplier '15' instead of '16' should be applied following the decision
reported in Smt. Sarla Verma vs. Delhi Transport Corporation3.  It must be said
that the award was passed in the year 2003 following the Second Schedule of the
Motor Vehicles Act.  The aforesaid decision was rendered subsequently.  So in my
view, it is not apt to reduce the multiplier at this juncture.
12)     In the result, this appeal is allowed and the compensation is enhanced to
Rs.2,88,000/- from Rs.2,00,000/- with costs and simple interest at 9% p.a from
the date of O.P till the date of realization.   Respondents are directed to
deposit the enhanced compensation amount within one month from the date of this 
judgment, failing which execution can be taken out against them.
        Miscellaneous applications if any pending in this appeal, shall stand
closed.
__________________________  
U. DURGA PRASAD RAO, J    
Date: 23.01.2014

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