Supreme Court of India
Anil Kumar vs Branch Manager, National … on 31 August, 2018Author: J Abhay Sapre           REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL No.4398 OF 2016 Anil Kumar         ….Appellant(s) VERSUS Branch Manager, National  Insurance Company Ltd. & Anr.      …Respondent(s) J U D G M E N T Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.

1. This   appeal  is filed by  the claimant against the final judgment and order dated 19.03.2015 passed by the   High   Court   of   Karnataka   Bench   at   Dharwad   in Misc. First Appeal No. 24385 of 2011(MV) whereby the High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the claimant (appellant   herein)   and   affirmed   the   judgment   and Signature Not Verified award   dated   12.04.2011   passed   by   the   Member,
Digitally signed by
ANITA MALHOTRA MACT­II, Bellary in M.V.C. No.711 of 2010.
Date: 2018.08.31
16:12:54 IST
Reason:

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2. Few   relevant   facts   need   to   be   mentioned hereinbelow to appreciate the question involved in the appeal.

3. The appellant was working as a cleaner in a lorry bearing   Regn.   No.AP­21/V­4682   belonging   to respondent No.2 herein.   At the relevant time, it was insured   with   respondent   No.1.     On   05.12.2004,   at about   1.00   p.m.   near   VGM   Factory,   Belgal   Road, Bellary,   when   the  appellant  was standing  in  front   of the   abovementioned   lorry   for   the   purpose   of   loading iron   ore,   the   driver   of   the   lorry   moved   the   vehicle without   giving   any   signal   or   horn   and   dashed   it against   him.     As   a   result   of   which,   the   appellant sustained facture of both pelvic bones with rapture of urethra   and   abdomen   injuries   and   other   grievous injuries   all   over   his   body.     The   appellant   was   then taken   to   VIMS   Hospital,   Bellary   for   the   medical treatment.   The   appellant   claimed   to   have   spent   a substantial sum towards his medical treatment.   Due 2
to   the   aforementioned   injuries   sustained   by   the appellant, he has become permanently disabled to do the work which he was doing before the accident. At the time of accident, the appellant was 25 years of age and earning Rs.4000/­ per month.   

4. The   appellant   filed   a   claim   petition   bearing M.V.C. No.711 of 2010 before the MACT­II at Bellary under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and claimed  compensation  from  the  respondents.   It was contested   by   the   respondents.     By   award   dated 12.04.2011, the Tribunal partly allowed the appellant’s claim petition.  It was held that the monthly income of the   appellant­claimant   was   Rs.4000/­,   that   the accident occurred due to sole negligence of the driver of   offending   vehicle,   that   the   appellant   sustained partial but permanent disability in the whole body to the   extent   of   25%   and   that   the   age  of   the   appellant was  25  years on the date of accident.   The Tribunal then   applied   the   multiplier   of   18   and   accordingly 3
awarded a sum of Rs.2,16,000/­ towards loss of future income,   Rs.75,000/­   towards   pain   and   sufferings, Rs.25,000/­   towards   medical   expenses,   Rs.15,000/­ towards   future   medical   expenses   and   Rs.12,000/­ towards loss of income during laid up period.   So far as the liability was concerned, the Tribunal held that the   policy   was   a   package   policy   equivalent   to comprehensive policy, which covers the risk of cleaner also. 

5. The   Tribunal   accordingly   awarded   a   total compensation   of   Rs.3,43,000/­   with   interest   payable at the rate of 8% p.a. from the date of claim petition till payment against the respondents jointly and severally. 6.     Being   aggrieved   by   the   award   passed   by   the Tribunal,   the   appellant­Claimant   filed   M.F.A. No.24385   of   2011(MV)   for   enhancement   of   the compensation   before   the   High   Court.   The   Insurance Company (respondent No.1 herein) also felt aggrieved and   filed   M.F.A.   No.23729   of   2011   (MV)   before   the 4
High Court for setting aside the award passed by the Tribunal.

7.     The   High   Court,   by   order   dated   19.03.2015, dismissed both the appeals.

8.  Aggrieved by the impugned order, the appellant­ claimant has filed this appeal by way of special leave in   this   Court.     So   far   as   the   Insurance   Company­ respondent   No.1   herein   is   concerned,   they   have   not filed any appeal against the impugned order. 9. The   short   question,   which   arises   for consideration   in   this   appeal,   is   whether   any   case   is made out on facts/evidence for further enhancement of   the   compensation  awarded  by   the Tribunal  to  the appellant (claimant). 

10. Having heard the learned counsel for the parties and   on   perusal   of   the   record   of   the   case,   we   are inclined   to   allow   the   appeal   in   part   and   accordingly enhance the compensation awarded by the Tribunal to the extent indicated infra.

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11. In our considered opinion, the High Court erred in   dismissing   the   claimant’s   appeal   and   thus committed   an   error   in   not   further   enhancing   the compensation. In other words, the appellant was able to   make   out   a   case   for   further   enhancement   in   the quantum   of   compensation   awarded   by   the   Tribunal and, therefore, he is entitled for enhancement in the award   of   compensation   on   the   grounds   mentioned below.

12. First,   the   appellant   (claimant)   was   a   young unmarried boy of 25 years at the time of accident and did   not   suffer   with any  kind of ailment; Second,  the appellant had sustained fracture of both pelvic bones with   rapture   of   urethra   and   abdomen   injuries   for which   he   underwent   four   operations   and   suffered partial   but   permanent   disability   in   his   body   which reduced   his   movement   capacity   to   a   larger   extent; Third,   the   appellant   due   to   partial   but   permanent disability   also   lost   his   job;     Fourth,   he   spent   a 6
substantial sum for his medical treatment; and lastly, since the appellant is not still able to move freely due to   disabilities   suffered   by   him,   he   is   entitled   to   be suitably   compensated   by   awarding   him   monetary compensation.

13. Learned   counsel   for   the   respondent   (Insurance Company)   urged   that   no   case   for   any   further enhancement   in   the   compensation   is   made   out   and that   the   High   Court   was,   therefore,   justified   in upholding the award of the Tribunal.  14. We   do   not   agree   with   the   submission   urged   by the   learned   counsel   for   respondent   No.1­Insurance Company for the abovementioned reasons given by us. 15. In  the   light   of the  foregoing  discussion  and the grounds mentioned above, which found acceptance to the Tribunal, we are of the considered opinion that the appellant is entitled for a further sum of Rs.5,00,000/­ in lump sum in addition to what has been awarded by the Tribunal, i.e., Rs.3,43,000/­. 7
16. In   other   words,   the   appellant   (claimant)   is   now entitled to claim a total sum of Rs.8,43,000/­ from the respondents   jointly   and   severally   by   way   of compensation   for   the   injuries   sustained,   partial   and permanent   disability   occurred,   medical   expenses incurred and loss occasioned due to injuries sustained by him in the accident.

17. We,   however,   do   not   award   interest   on   the enhanced   sum   of   Rs.5,00,000/­,   which   we   have awarded to the appellant. In this view of the matter, the appellant is entitled to claim interest only on the sum of Rs.3,43,000/­ at the rate of 8 % awarded by the Tribunal.

18. The   appeal   thus   succeeds   and   is   accordingly allowed.   Impugned   order   is   set   aside   and   the   award passed   by   the   Tribunal   is   modified   to   the   extent indicated above.

19. Respondent   No.1   (Insurance   Company)   is directed to deposit the awarded amount, as mentioned 8
above, within three months in the Tribunal to enable the claimant (appellant) to withdraw the awarded sum after making proper verification by the Tribunal.                     
     ……………………………………..J.        [ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE]
                                        ……………………………………….J.               [UDAY UMESH LALIT] New Delhi;
August 31, 2018  9

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