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SC: Rs 2 Crore Compensation Granted To Dependents Of Motor Accident Victim

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court granted compensation of over Rs 2 crore to the dependents of a motor accident victim and set aside the Madras High Court order which ordered to grant Rs 57 lakh to the deceased’s family.


A bench of justices Surya Kant and V Ramasubramanian set aside an order of the Madurai Bench of Madras HC order which reduced the compensation granted to appellants from Rs 4,29,37,700 to Rs 57,90,000. On October 6 Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Tribunal in Tiruchirappalli granted compensation of Rs 4,29,37,700 to the appellant but Madras HC on June 30, 2017, had already reduced it to 57,90,000.


The dependents have challenged the Madras HC order in the Supreme Court.


S. Kumareshan, the deceased was a resident of Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, who died in a collision between two cars in a stretch of road between Sethathupatti and Soriampattti.


The Deceased, who was 31 years at the time of death, was an income tax assessee.


He was a businessman who held diverse interests in arenas such as jewellery, textiles, exports and transport and also drew income from his agricultural lands and leased out the real estate.

He was survived by his wife, two minor children and parents who have been stated to be dependent on him.


The High Court, however, disagreed with the approach of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal with respect to the computation of compensation, primarily under the head of ‘loss of income’.


It emphasised that the deceased had transferred his interest in some of the partnership firms in favour of his minor children before his death.


Meanwhile, the SC did not agree with high court findings on the computation of compensation and directed to give Rs 2,27,12,400 amount with the interest at the rate of 7.5 per cent per annum.


“At the outset, it is pertinent to reiterate the concept of ‘just’ compensation under Section 168 of the Act,” the top court said.


“It is a settled proposition, now through a catena of decisions including the one rendered by the Constitution Bench in Pranay Sethi that the compensation must be fair, reasonable and equitable,” the court said.


“Further, the determination of quantum is a fact dependent exercise which must be liberal and not parsimonious,” it added emphasising that the compensation is a “more comprehensive” form of pecuniary relief which involves a broadbased approach unlike damages as noted by this court in Yadava Kumar v Divisional Manager, National Insurance Co. Ltd, it said. 

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