Karnataka HC Enhances the Compensation in the Road Accident Case

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On 20th August 2020, Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice H.T. Narendra Prasad heard the case of The Divisional Controller V. Smt. K.N.Ramya, via video-conferencing. The Court enhanced the compensation amount to the injured and the dependents of the deceased as awarded by the Hon’ble Tribunal.

Facts of the Case

Ramya (Injured) was travelling with Harish (deceased) as pillion riders via motorcycle. They reached near Heggare Bus Stand. The driver of KSRTC bus was driving in a rash and negligent manner. The bus driver dashed against the motorcycle of the deceased who was travelling from the left side. The accident sustained grievous injuries to Ramya. Harish succumbed to the injuries.

The Claims Made by the Injured

The injured claims that the accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the bus driver. The claimant is 29 years old. She was employed in FESTO Company. She used to earn Rs. 33,124/- monthly. She sustains a fracture of numerous bones and other simple injuries. Therefore, she claims compensation to the tune of Rs. 1 Crore.

The dependents of deceased pleaded that the deceased was 39 years old. His monthly salary was Rs. 64,747.20/-. Therefore, the compensation of Rs. 2 Crore along with 10% interest was claimed.

Respondent’s Averments

The respondent pleaded that there was no rash and negligent driving. The age, income and occupation of deceased and injured are denied. the claims of the claimants is exorbitant and excessive.

Tribunal’s Award

The accident took place due to rash and negligent driving of the bus driver. The injured was entitled to compensation of Rs. 13,41,000/- along with interest @ 6% p.a. on Rs. 12,61,000. The dependents of the deceased were entitled to compensation of Rs. 92,12,000/- along with interest @ 6% p.a.

Being aggrieved by the Tribunal’s award, the appeal was filed before the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka.

Arguments of the Petitioner

The learned counsel for the Petitioner argues that no medical certificate for permanent disability was filed by injured. The injured was on leave for a period of one month only. The injured continues in the same job. There was no loss of income. The Tribunal grossly erred in awarding a sum of Rs. 6,76,000/- on account of the loss of future income. A sum of Rs. 50,000/- was also erred under the head of disfigurement and shortening of the leg.

The tribunal ought to have deducted the amount of income tax after addition of an amount towards future prospects. The amount of Rs. 800/-, Rs. 1250/- ad Rs. 21,000/- ought to have deducted from the income of the deceased. The amount of professional tax must also have been deducted by the Tribunal. Therefore, the amount of compensation deserves to be suitably reduced.

Arguments of the Respondent

The learned counsel for the Respondent argues that the compensation was awarded after ascertaining the loss of the earning capacity. The claimant has sustained permanent disability to the extent of 30%. The Tribunal grossly erred in assessing the permanent disability at 10%.

The injured remained absent for a period of 3 to 4 months. Tribunal grossly erred in awarding the amount under the head of loss earning during the period of one month only. The right leg of the claimant is shortened. The compensation deserves to be enhanced suitably. The Tribunal has also reduced a certain amount in lieu of income tax.

The deceased was 39 years old at the time of the accident. 50% of the amount ought to have been added on account of future prospects. The amount of compensation deserves to be enhanced suitably.

Court’s Analysis

The issue arises with regard to the quantum of compensation. The attempt has to be made to elicit as to how a particular percentage of disability has affected the job that the person was doing. The injured has not stated that how her earning capacity is hampered on account of injury. The injured is paid the same salary which she was paid prior to the accident even though she is assigned with some different job.

It is evident that injured have sustained disability. But there is no loss of income. On the other hand, the deceased was 39 years old at the time of the accident. He was employed as the Manager in lee Boy Construction India Ltd. It is evident that his monthly income was Rs. 64,747.20/-. 40% of the amount is required to be added towards future prospects of the deceased. Thus, the monthly income of the deceased is calculated at Rs. 90,647/-.

Court’s Decision

The injured is not entitled to any amount on account of the loss of future income. The injured could not report on her duty for a period of four and a half months. Therefore, the injured claimant is entitled to the following:

  1. Loss of income for the period of treatment i.e. four and a half months to the tune of Rs. 1,48,000/-.
  2. An amount of Rs. 15,000/- is enhanced to Rs. 60,000/- on account of the loss of amenities as she is not able to sit properly.
  3. The amount Rs. 5,000/- is enhanced to Rs. 15,000/- each on account of food, nourishment and attendant charges.
  4. Thus, the injured is entitled to a sum of Rs, 8,45,000/- along with interest @6% from the date of filing of the petition till the date the payment is made.

After a detailed calculation of the decreased income, the Hon’ble High Court held as follows:

  1. The dependent of the deceased is entitled to Rs. 1,02,93,120/-
  2. The dependent of the deceased is entitled to Rs. 40,000/- each on account of the loss of consortium as well as the loss of love and affection.
  3. The dependent of the deceased is entitled to Rs. 30,000/- each on account of the loss of estate and funeral expenses.
  4. Thus, The dependent of the deceased is entitled to Rs. 1,04,43,120/- as the total compensation.

Hence, in view of the preceding analysis, the appeals are disposed of.


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