-Report by Manya Sharma
The Supreme Court after considering the arguments of both the counsels and the income of the Defendant, directed an enhanced compensation of Rs.32,82,000/- with an interest rate of 7.5%, to the claimants.
An automobile accident caused the untimely death of the appellant’s wife. The deceased was 25 years old and worked as a homemaker at the time of her death. The Motor Accident Claim Tribunal concluded that the plaintiff was entitled to Rs.19,12,200 in total compensation, including 7.5% interest. Taking into account the Defendant’s monthly income of Rs. 1,500/, the Learned Tribunal found that the loss of dependency was worth Rs. 3,24,000/. The learned Tribunal ordered an additional Rs. 50,000/ for the foetus. The High Court enhanced the amount of compensation to Rs.29,34,000/- under various heads. Feeling aggrieved by the distribution of the amount and the total amount, the aggrieved party went to the Supreme Court.
It was contended that the calculation of the amount under different heads was not proper in the High Court’s judgment. The amount under the head’s loss of dependency was decided to be Rs.6,000/- keeping the income of the deceased in mind but this was not proper as even minimum wages payable to workers was more than that amount and also the prospects of the deceased were not taken into consideration while calculating the amount. It is also contended the High Court miscalculated the amount towards the foetus, the same being Rs.50,000/-, where it should be Rs.40,000/- each towards loss of consortium or loss of love and affection.
The respondents contended that the deceased was only a housewife and therefore the High Court’s calculation of Rs.6,000/- towards loss of dependency was fair. The respondents also fairly conceded that the High Court should have considered the prospects while awarding loss of dependency.
The Court, after hearing the learned counsels of the appellants and the respondents, decided that after considering the income of the deceased, who was a 25 years old housewife, should be at least Rs.7,500/- per month. The position of law on the calculation of the amount under the head of loss of dependency provides that 40% of the income is to be added to prospects. The claimants will be entitled to an amount of Rs. 1 lakh for the loss of the foetus and an amount of Rs.40,000/- each for loss of consortium or loss of love and affection. Therefore, in total, an enhanced compensation of Rs.32,82,000/- with an interest rate of 7.5%, was awarded to the claimants.