MADURAI: The Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) has awarded a compensation of `63.61 lakh to an accident victim’s wife and children.
A college professor K Ramasamy (46) had died in a road accident in July 2006 in Sivakasi and five years later the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal there awarded a compensation of `58.89 lakh together with 7.5% annual interest to his wife Tamilarasai and her two sons.
The Tribunal arrived at the quantum of compensation on the basis of the age of the deceased and his the last drawn salary of `29,320 besides taking into account the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations that were implemented from January 1, 2006.
As per this his salary worked out to `49,710 as on the date of accident.
Questioning the correctness of the award, the New India Assurance Company filed an appeal arguing that the Tribunal ought not to have taken the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations into account or added 30% towards future salary prospects of the victim. The insurance company also claimed that the victim was drunk at the time of the accident.
A bench comprising Justices R Ramasubramanian and V M Velumani heard the appeal.
Rejecting the contention, Justice V Ramasubramanian, who headed the bench said: “This is wholly frivolous, in view of the fact that the deceased was a pillion rider and the accident had occurred at about 9.30 am while the deceased,working as a professor, was going to the college. Therefore, we have no hesitation in rejecting the attack of the appellant to the finding on liability.”
The Sixth Pay Commission recommendations of March, 2008, were implemented only in 2009 three years after the professor’s death. “But, they were implemented with retrospective effect from January 1, 2006.
Therefore, the wife and children of the deceased would have received the arrears arising out of such revision for the period from January 1, 2006 up to the date of the accident,” the order reasoned.
Adding that the standardization of addition to income for future prospects shall help in achieving certainty in arriving at appropriate compensation, the judges said: “We approve the method that an addition of 50% of actual salary be made to the actual salary income of the deceased towards future prospects where the deceased had a permanent job and was below 40 years and the addition should be only 30% if the age of the deceased was 40 to 50 years and no addition should be made where the age of the deceased is more than 50 years.”
Hence the judges, by changing the multiplier adopted by the Tribunal from 12 to 13, modified the award and directed the insurance company to pay `63,61,907 with 7.5% annual interest towards compensation. The money shall be shared by the three family members in equal proportions.