The single bench of Justice S Chattopadhyay gave the verdict in MAC App. 11 of 2021. The court revised the compensation awarded by the MAC tribunal for an accident.
Mr Asutosh Das the insurer died in an accident leaving behind three sons and three daughters. His wife and children filed a claim petition before the MAC Tribunal West Tripura Judicial District at Agartala for compensation to the tune of Rs.25 lakhs. The tribunal held the compensation payable at Rs.27,76,160 with 9% annual interest. The National Insurance appealed to the high court.
Arguments of the Appellant
The appellant argued that the tribunal had deducted 1/5th of the income of the
Deceased for personal and living expenses as the number of dependants exceeded six. The counsel of the appellant pointed out with the help of a survival certificate that both the sons of the deceased were above 30 and his daughters were married. So only his wife was dependent on him. Relying upon the judgement in Sarla Verma and Ors. vs. Delhi Transport Corporation and Anr. ( (2009) 6 SCC 121), he argued that ⅓ rd of the income should have been deducted. Also, he argued that the eldest son of the deceased was 37. So the claim that the deceased was 59 at the time of his death was wrong. He argued that the deceased was above 60. So citing the verdict in National Insurance Company vs. Pranay Sethi ((2017) 16 SCC 680 ) the 15% increase in his income for prospects calculated by the tribunal was wrong. Also, the counsel argued the annual income should have been accessed deducting 10% for the income tax. He also cited the case New India Assurance Company Ltd. Vs. Somwati and Ors ((2020) 2 TLR SC 162) and argued parental consortium can only be given in premature death of a parent for the loss of parental aid. But married daughters and sons of the deceased cannot be entitled to it.
Arguments of the Respondent
Mr.S.Bhattacharjee the counsel for the respondent argued that the appellants did not deny that the respondents were dependent on the deceased in the tribunal. So they cannot take the plea in appeal. Also, his age was established through documentary evidence. So it can not be claimed he was above sixty years of age. He further argued the income of the deceased was not in the taxable range. The counsel also demanded a parental consortium for the respondents which was rejected by the tribunal.
Analysis of the Court
The court held that the daughters of the deceased being married would not be considered as dependents for the deduction of personal and living expenses. But the sons of the appellant were not engaged in gainful employment and were dependent on their father. So they would be counted as dependents. So the total number of dependents would be four and there should be a 1/4th deduction instead of 1/5th. But all children would be entitled to compensation as legal representatives. As the income of the appellant was not in the taxable range the contention of the appellant regarding income tax deduction was rejected. Also, it was established that the appellant was 59 years of age. So the deduction of 15% for prospects was in accordance with the Pranay Sethi case. The court observed that parental consortium is granted to minors in case of loss of parents for the loss of aid, protection, affection, etc. Hence the respondents were not eligible for it.
The court revised the compensation granted by the tribunal and gave a compensation of ₹26,07,034 at the interest rate decided by the tribunal.
Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgments from the Court. Follow us on Google News, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.