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APPEAL FOR JUSTICE: SEEKING FAIR COMPENSATION FOR FATAL MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT

-Report by Harshit Yadav

This is an appeal filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 against the award passed by the Presiding Officer, MACT, North West District, Rohini Courts, Delhi in MACT No. 50797/2016. The case involves the death of Naresh due to injuries suffered in a motor vehicular accident that occurred on 08.05.2014 in front of the NDPL office, inside Shiv Vihar Road, Karala road, Delhi. Naresh was driving his engine-fitted rickshaw thela when a Tata Tempo, which was being driven by its driver in a rash and negligent manner, hit the rickshaw thela with great force. Due to the impact, Naresh fell and sustained grievous injuries which resulted in his death. An FIR was registered at PS Kanjhawala. The main issues involved in this appeal are whether the compensation awarded towards “loss of consortium” is justified and proper and whether the compensation awarded towards “loss of love and affection” would be payable or not.

FACTS

The case involves the death of Naresh, who died as a result of injuries suffered in a motor vehicular accident on 08.05.2014. Naresh was driving his engine-fitted rickshaw thela when suddenly a Tata Tempo bearing registration no. HR-46D-0998, which was being driven by its driver in a rash and negligent manner, hit the rickshaw thela of the deceased with great force. Due to the impact, Naresh fell and sustained grievous injuries which resulted in his death. The main issues involved in this appeal are whether the compensation awarded by the learned Tribunal towards “loss of consortium” is justified and proper and whether the compensation awarded towards “loss of love and affection” would be payable or not. The appellant’s counsel argued that the compensation towards the non-pecuniary heads shall be Rs. 70,000/- only in a lump sum and that the rate of interest awarded by the learned Tribunal is on the higher side and should be reduced to 6% per annum. The Tribunal had awarded a sum of Rs. 2,00,000/- towards loss of consortium and Rs. 2,50,000/- towards loss of love and affection to the respondents.

ISSUES RAISED

a) Whether the compensation awarded by the learned Tribunal towards “loss of consortium” is justified and proper?

b) Whether the compensation awarded towards “loss of love and affection” would be payable or not?

CONTENTIONS

The appellant argues that the learned Tribunal has erroneously awarded compensation towards loss of consortium and loss of love and affection. They contend that as per recent judgments and prevailing law, compensation towards loss of love and affection should not have been awarded. Furthermore, the compensation awarded towards the loss of consortium is excessive, and only the widow of the deceased is entitled to such compensation. The appellant also contends that the rate of interest awarded is on the higher side and should be reduced.

The respondent argues that the compensation awarded by the learned Tribunal towards loss of consortium and loss of love and affection is justified and proper. They contend that as per settled law, compensation towards loss of consortium should be awarded to all the claimants, including the children of the deceased. Furthermore, compensation towards loss of love and affection is also payable as per recent judgments. The respondent also contends that the rate of interest awarded is appropriate and should not be reduced.

JUDGEMENT

Based on the facts presented, the appeal was filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 against an award passed by the Presiding Officer, MACT, North West District, Rohini Courts, Delhi in MACT No. 50797/2016. The appeal sought to challenge the compensation awarded towards “loss of consortium” and “loss of love and affection.”

The accident occurred on May 8, 2014, in front of the NDPL office on Shiv Vihar Road, Karala road, Delhi, where the deceased was driving his engine-fitted rickshaw thela. A Tata Tempo, driven by the offending vehicle’s driver in a rash and negligent manner, hit the rickshaw thela, resulting in the deceased falling and sustaining grievous injuries, leading to his death. An FIR was registered at PS Kanjhawala under sections 279/304A IPC.

After hearing the counsel for the appellant and reviewing the award, the court found that the compensation awarded towards “loss of consortium” was justified and proper, as per the settled law that all claimants are entitled to compensation under this head. However, regarding the compensation awarded towards “loss of love and affection,” the court referred to the judgment of National Insurance Co Ltd. vs. Pranay Sethi & Ors. and reduced the compensation to Rs. 70,000/- only in a lump sum to be payable only to the widow of the deceased. The court also reduced the rate of interest from 9% to 6% per annum.

Therefore, the court dismissed the appeal in part, reduced the compensation awarded towards “loss of love and affection” to Rs. 70,000/- payable only to the widow of the deceased, and reduced the rate of interest to 6% per annum.

READ FULL JUDGEMENT: https://bit.ly/42OTwbY

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