Kajal vs Jagdish Chand on 5 February, 2020


Supreme Court of India

Kajal vs Jagdish Chand on 5 February, 2020

Author: L. Nageswara Rao

Bench: L. Nageswara Rao, Deepak Gupta

                                                                        REPORTABLE

                                 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                   CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                         CIVIL APPEAL NO. 735 OF 2020
          (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) No.15504 OF 2019)



         KAJAL                                                         …APPELLANT(S)


                                                  Versus



         JAGDISH CHAND & ORS.                                      …RESPONDENT(S)



                                            JUDGMENT

Deepak Gupta, J.

1. Kajal was a bright young girl. She used to attend school,

play with her friends and lead a normal life like any other child.

Unfortunately, on 18th October, 2007, while Kajal was travelling

on a tractor with her parents, the tractor was hit by a truck

which was driven rashly. In the said accident, Kajal suffered

serious injuries resulting in damage to her brain. This has had
Signature Not Verified

very serious consequences on her. She was examined at the Post
Digitally signed by
CHARANJEET KAUR
Date: 2020.02.05
16:55:13 IST
Reason:

Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,

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Chandigarh (PGI, Chandigarh for short), for assessment of her

disability. According to the said report, because of head injury

Kajal is left with a very low I.Q. and severe weakness in all her

four limbs, suffers from severe hysteria and severe urinary

incontinence. Her disability has been assessed as 100%.

2. Dr. Chhabra (PW­4), who was one of the members of the

Board which issued the disability certificate (Ex.P6) stated that

as per the assessment her I.Q. is less than 20% of a child of her

age and her social age is only of a 9 month old child. This means

that Kajal while lying on the bed will grow up to be an adult with

all the physical and biological attributes which a woman would

get on attaining adulthood, including menstruation etc., but her

mind will remain of a 9 month old child. Basically, she will not

understand what is happening all around her.

3. How does one assess compensation in such a case? No

amount of money can compensate this child for the injuries

suffered by her. She can never be put back in the same position.

However, compensation has to be determined in terms of the

provisions of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short the Act). The

Act requires determination of payment of just compensation and

2
it is the duty of the court to ensure that she is paid compensation

which is just.

4. Kajal through her father filed a claim petition, under the

Act. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT for short)

awarded Rs.11,08,501/­ and held that since there was violation

of the terms of policy the insurance company would pay the

amount but would be entitled to recover the same from the

owner. The High Court enhanced the award amount to

Rs.25,78,501/­ under the following heads:

         Heads                                   High Court
         Age                                     12
         Multiplier                              ­
         Income (taken to be)                    Rs. 15,000/­
         Disability                              100%
         Loss of income and permanent            Rs. 2,70,000/­
         disability compensation
         Pain, suffering loss of amenities       Rs. 3,00,000/­
         Attendant charges                       Rs. 3,20,000/­
                                                 (Rs.2500 for 44
                                                 years)
         Future medical expenses                 Rs. 2,00,000/­
         Loss of marriage prospects              Rs. 3,00,000/­
         Medical                                 Rs. 1,38,501/­
         Treatment

Transportation details / special diet Rs. 50,000/­
Total Rs.25,78,501/­

Aggrieved by the award the claimant is before this Court.

5. The principles with regard to determination of just

compensation contemplated under the Act are well settled.

3
Injuries cause deprivation to the body which entitles the claimant

to claim damages. The damages may vary according to the gravity

of the injuries sustained by the claimant in an accident. On

account of the injuries, the claimant may suffer consequential

losses such as (i) loss of earning; (ii) expenses on treatment which

may include medical expenses, transportation, special diet,

attendant charges etc., (iii) loss or diminution to the pleasures of

life by loss of a particular part of the body, and (iv) loss of future

earning capacity. Damages can be pecuniary as well as non­

pecuniary, but all have to be assessed in Rupees and Paise.

6. It is impossible to equate human suffering and personal

deprivation with money. However, this is what the Act enjoins

upon the courts to do. The court has to make a judicious attempt

to award damages, so as to compensate the claimant for the loss

suffered by the victim. On the one hand, the compensation

should not be assessed very conservatively, but on the other

hand, compensation should also not be assessed in so liberal a

fashion so as to make it a bounty to the claimant. The court while

assessing the compensation should have regard to the degree of

deprivation and the loss caused by such deprivation. Such

compensation is what is termed as just compensation. The

4
compensation or damages assessed for personal injuries should

be substantial to compensate the injured for the deprivation

suffered by the injured throughout his/her life. They should not

be just token damages.

7. There are numerous cases where the principles for grant of

compensation have been enunciated. It would be relevant to

quote pertinent observations from a few.

8. In Phillips v. Western Railway Co.1, Field, J., while

emphasizing that damages must be full and adequate, held thus:

“You cannot put the plaintiff back again into his original
position, but you must bring your reasonable common
sense to bear, and you must always recollect that this is
the only occasion on which compensation can be given.
The plaintiff can never sue again for it. You have,
therefore, now to give him compensation once and for all.
He has done no wrong, he has suffered a wrong at the
hands of the defendants and you must take care to give
him full fair compensation for that which he has
suffered.” Besides, the Tribunals should always
remember that the measures of damages in all these
cases “should be such as to enable even a tortfeasor to
say that he had amply atoned for his misadventure”.

9. In the case of Mediana2, Lord Halsbury held:

“Of course the whole region of inquiry into damages is
one of extreme difficulty. You very often cannot even lay
down any principle upon which you can give damages;

nevertheless, it is remitted to the jury, or those who
stand in place of the jury, to consider what compensation
in money shall be given for what is a wrongful act. Take
the most familiar and ordinary case: how is anybody to
measure pain and suffering in moneys counted? Nobody

1 (1874) 4 QBD 406
2 [1900] AC 113

5
can suggest that you can by any arithmetical calculation
establish what is the exact amount of money which
would represent such a thing as the pain and suffering
which a person has undergone by reason of an accident.
In truth, I think it would be very arguable to say that a
person would be entitled to no damages for such thing.
What manly mind cares about pain and suffering that is
past? But, nevertheless, the law recognizes that as a
topic upon which damages may be given.”

10. The following observations of Lord Morris in his speech in H.

West & Son Ltd. v. Shephard3, are very pertinent:

“Money may be awarded so that something tangible may
be procured to replace something else of the like nature
which has been destroyed or lost. But money cannot
renew a physical frame that has been battered and
shattered. All that Judges and courts can do is to award
sums which must be regarded as giving reasonable
compensation. In the process there must be the
endeavour to secure some uniformity in the general
method of approach. By common assent awards must be
reasonable and must be assessed with moderation.
Furthermore, it is eminently desirable that so far as
possible comparable injuries should be compensated by
comparable awards.”

In the same case Lord Devlin observed that the proper approach

to the problem was to adopt a test as to what contemporary

society would deem to be a fair sum, such as would allow the

wrongdoer to “hold up his head among his neighbours and say

with their approval that he has done the fair thing”, which

should be kept in mind by the court in determining

compensation in personal injury cases.

3 1963 2 WLR 1359

6

11. Lord Denning while speaking for the Court of Appeal in the

case of Ward v. James4, laid down the following three basic

principles to be followed in such like cases:

“Firstly, accessibility: In cases of grave injury, where the
body is wrecked or brain destroyed, it is very difficult to
assess a fair compensation in money, so difficult that the
award must basically be a conventional figure, derived
from experience or from awards in comparable cases.
Secondly, uniformity: There should be some measure of
uniformity in awards so that similar decisions may be
given in similar cases; otherwise there will be great
dissatisfaction in the community and much criticism of
the administration of justice. Thirdly, predictability:
Parties should be able to predict with some measure of
accuracy the sum which is likely to be awarded in a
particular case, for by this means cases can be settled
peaceably and not brought to court, a thing very much to
the public good.”

12. The assessment of damages in personal injury cases raises

great difficulties. It is not easy to convert the physical and

mental loss into monetary terms. There has to be a measure of

calculated guess work and conjecture. An assessment, as best

as can, in the circumstances, should be made.

13. In McGregor’s Treatise on Damages, 14th Edn., para 1157,

referring to heads of damages in personal injury actions states:

“The person physically injured may recover both for his
pecuniary losses and his non­pecuniary losses. Of these
the pecuniary losses themselves comprise two separate
items, viz., the loss of earnings and other gains which the
plaintiff would have made had he not been injured and
the medical and other expenses to which he is put as a

4 (1965) 1 All ER 563

7
result of the injury, and the courts have sub­divided the
non­pecuniary losses into three categories, viz., pain and
suffering, loss of amenities of life and loss of expectation
of life.”

14. In M/s Concord of India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Nirmala

Devi and others5, this Court held:

“2….The determination of the quantum must be liberal,
not niggardly since the law values life and limb in a free
country in generous scales.”

15. In R.D. Hattangadi v. Pest Control (India) Pvt. Ltd.6,

dealing with the different heads of compensation in injury cases

this Court held thus:

“9. Broadly speaking, while fixing the amount of
compensation payable to a victim of an accident, the
damages have to be assessed separately as pecuniary
damages and special damages. Pecuniary damages are
those which the victim has actually incurred and which
are capable of being calculated in terms of money;
whereas non­pecuniary damages are those which are
incapable of being assessed by arithmetical calculations.
In order to appreciate two concepts pecuniary damages
may include expenses incurred by the claimant: (i)
medical attendance; (ii) loss of earning of profit up to the
date of trial; (iii) other material loss. So far as non­
pecuniary damages are concerned, they may include:

(i) damages for mental and physical shock,
pain and suffering already suffered or likely to
be suffered in the future; (ii) damages to
compensate for the loss of amenities of life
which may include a variety of matters, i.e., on
account of injury the claimant may not be able
to walk, run or sit; (iii) damages for loss of
expectation of life, i.e. on account of injury the
normal longevity of the person concerned is
shortened; (iv) inconvenience, hardship,

5 1980 ACJ 55 (SC)
6 (1995) 1 SCC 551

8
discomfort, disappointment, frustration and
mental stress in life.”

16. In Raj Kumar v. Ajay Kumar and Others7, this Court laid

down the heads under which compensation is to be awarded for

personal injuries.

“6. The heads under which compensation is awarded in
personal injury cases are the following:

Pecuniary damages (Special damages)

(i)Expenses relating to treatment, hospitalization,
medicines, transportation, nourishing food, and
miscellaneous expenditure.

(ii) Loss of earnings (and other gains) which the
injured would have made had he not been
injured, comprising:

(a) Loss of earning during the period of
treatment;

(b) Loss of future earnings on account of
permanent disability.

(iii) Future medical expenses.

Non­pecuniary damages (General damages)

(iv) Damages for pain, suffering and trauma as a
consequence of the injuries.

(v) Loss of amenities (and/or loss of prospects of
marriage).

(vi) Loss of expectation of life (shortening of
normal longevity).

In routine personal injury cases, compensation will be
awarded only under heads (i), (ii) (a) and (iv). It is only in
serious cases of injury, where there is specific medical
evidence corroborating the evidence of the claimant,
that compensation will be granted under any of the
heads (ii)(b), (iii), (v) and (vi) relating to loss of future
earnings on account of permanent disability, future
medical expenses, loss of amenities (and/or loss of
prospects of marriage) and loss of expectation of life.”

7 (2011) 1 SCC 343

9

17. In K. Suresh v. New India Assurance Company Ltd.

and Ors.8, this Court held as follows :

“2…There cannot be actual compensation for anguish of
the heart or for mental tribulations. The
quintessentiality lies in the pragmatic computation of the
loss sustained which has to be in the realm of realistic
approximation. Therefore, Section 168 of the Motor
Vehicles Act, 1988 (for brevity ‘the Act’) stipulates that
there should be grant of “just compensation”. Thus, it
becomes a challenge for a court of law to determine “just
compensation” which is neither a bonanza nor a windfall,
and simultaneously, should not be a pittance.”

18. Applying the aforesaid principles, we now proceed to assess

the compensation.

Expenses relating to treatment, hospitalization, medicines,
transportation etc.

19. The High Court under the two heads of medical treatment

and transport has awarded Rs.1,88,501/­. Out of this an

amount of Rs.1,38,501/­ is the actual expense incurred on the

treatment of Kajal. One must remember that amongst people

who are not Government employees and belong to the poorer

strata of society, bills are not retained. Some of the bills have

been excluded by the courts below only on the ground that the

name of the patient is not written on the bill. There is no

dispute with regard to the long period of treatment and
8 (2012) 12 SCC 274

10
hospitalisation of this young girl. Immediately after the accident

on 18.10.2007, she was admitted at a hospital in Karnal. From

there, she was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where she

remained admitted from 21.10.2007 till 12.11.2007 and,

thereafter, she was again admitted in the hospital from

12.11.2007 till 08.12.2007. She was in the hospital for almost

51 days, and both Dr. Sameer Aggarwal (PW­3) from the hospital

at Karnal and Dr. Rajesh Chhabra (PW­4), from PGI,

Chandigarh, have supported this. Limiting the amount only to

the bills which have been paid in the name of the claimant only,

would not be reasonable. Therefore, the amount payable for

actual medical expenses is increased from Rs.1,38,501/­ to

Rs.2,00,000/­. The amount awarded for transportation at

Rs.50,000/­ is reasonable. Therefore, under this head we award

Rs.2,50,000/­.

Loss of earnings

20. Both the courts below have held that since the girl was a

young child of 12 years only notional income of Rs.15,000/­ per

annum can be taken into consideration. We do not think this is

a proper way of assessing the future loss of income. This young

girl after studying could have worked and would have earned

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much more than Rs.15,000/­ per annum. Each case has to be

decided on its own evidence but taking notional income to be

Rs.15,000/­ per annum is not at all justified. The appellant has

placed before us material to show that the minimum wages

payable to a skilled workman is Rs.4846/­ per month. In our

opinion this would be the minimum amount which she would

have earned on becoming a major. Adding 40% for the future

prospects, it works to be Rs.6784.40/­ per month, i.e.,

81,412.80 per annum. Applying the multiplier of 18 it works out

to Rs.14,65,430.40, which is rounded off to Rs.14,66,000/­

21. Though the claimant would have been entitled to separate

attendant charges for the period during which she was

hospitalised, we are refraining from awarding the same because

we are going to award her attendant charges for life. At the

same time, we are clearly of the view that the tortfeasor cannot

take benefit of the gratuitous service rendered by the family

members. When this small girl was taken to PGI, Chandigarh,

or was in her village, 2­3 family members must have

accompanied her. Even if we are not paying them the attendant

charges they must be paid for loss of their wages and the

amount they would have spent in hospital for food etc. These

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family members left their work in the village to attend to this

little girl in the hospital at Karnal or Chandigarh. In the hospital

the claimant would have had at least two attendants, and taking

the cost of each at Rs.500/­ per day for 51 days, we award her

Rs.51,000/­.

Attendant charges

22. The attendant charges have been awarded by the High

Court @ Rs.2,500/­ per month for 44 years, which works out to

Rs.13,20,000/­. Unfortunately, this system is not a proper

system. Multiplier system is used to balance out various factors.

When compensation is awarded in lump sum, various factors are

taken into consideration. When compensation is paid in lump

sum, this Court has always followed the multiplier system. The

multiplier system should be followed not only for determining

the compensation on account of loss of income but also for

determining the attendant charges etc. This system was

recognised by this Court in Gobald Motor Service Ltd. v.

R.M.K. Veluswami9. The multiplier system factors in the

inflation rate, the rate of interest payable on the lump sum

9 AIR 1962 SC 1

13
award, the longevity of the claimant, and also other issues such

as the uncertainties of life. Out of all the various alternative

methods, the multiplier method has been recognised as the most

realistic and reasonable method. It ensures better justice

between the parties and thus results in award of ‘just

compensation’ within the meaning of the Act.

23. It would be apposite at this stage to refer to the observation

of Lord Reid in Taylor v. O’Connor10:

“Damages to make good the loss of dependency over a
period of years must be awarded as a lump sum and that
sum is generally calculated by applying a multiplier to
the amount of one year’s dependency. That is a perfectly
good method in the ordinary case but it conceals the fact
that there are two quite separate matters involved, the
present value of the series of future payments, and the
discounting of that present value to allow for the fact that
for one reason or another the person receiving the
damages might never have enjoyed the whole of the
benefit of the dependency. It is quite unnecessary in the
ordinary case to deal with these matters separately.
Judges and counsel have a wealth of experience which is
an adequate guide to the selection of the multiplier and
any expert evidence is rightly discouraged. But in a case
where the facts are special, I think, that these matters
must have separate consideration if even rough justice is
to be done and expert evidence may be valuable or even
almost essential. The special factor in the present case is
the incidence of Income Tax and, it may be, surtax.”

24. This Court has reaffirmed the multiplier method in various

cases like Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Subhagwati

10 1971 AC 115

14
and Ors.11, U.P. State Road Transport Corporation and Ors.

v. Trilok Chandra and Ors.12, Sandeep Khanduja v. Atul

Dande and Ors.13. This Court has also recognised that

Schedule II of the Act can be used as a guide for the multiplier to

be applied in each case. Keeping the claimant’s age in mind, the

multiplier in this case should be 18 as opposed to 44 taken by

the High Court.

25. Having held so, we are clearly of the view that the basic

amount taken for determining attendant charges is very much

on the lower side. We must remember that this little girl is

severely suffering from incontinence meaning that she does not

have control over her bodily functions like passing urine and

faeces. As she grows older, she will not be able to handle her

periods. She requires an attendant virtually 24 hours a day.

She requires an attendant who though may not be medically

trained but must be capable of handling a child who is bed

ridden. She would require an attendant who would ensure that

she does not suffer from bed sores. The claimant has placed

before us a notification of the State of Haryana of the year 2010,

11 1966 ACJ 57
12 (1996) 4 SCC 362
13 (2017) 3 SCC 351

15
wherein the wages for skilled labourer is Rs.4846/­ per month.

We, therefore, assess the cost of one attendant at Rs.5,000/­

and she will require two attendants which works out to

Rs.10,000/­ per month, which comes to Rs.1,20,000/­ per

annum, and using the multiplier of 18 it works out to

Rs.21,60,000/­ for attendant charges for her entire life. This

takes care of all the pecuniary damages.

Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenities

26. Coming to the non­pecuniary damages under the head of

pain, suffering, loss of amenities, the High Court has awarded

this girl only Rs.3,00,000/­. In Mallikarjun v. Divisional

Manager, The National Insurance Company Limited and

Ors.14, this Court while dealing with the issue of award under

this head held that it should be at least Rs.6,00,000/­, if the

disability is more than 90%. As far as the present case is

concerned, in addition to the 100% physical disability the young

girl is suffering from severe incontinence, she is suffering from

severe hysteria and above all she is left with a brain of a nine

month old child. This is a case where departure has to be made

14 2013 (10) SCALE 668

16
from the normal rule and the pain and suffering suffered by this

child is such that no amount of compensation can compensate.

27. One factor which must be kept in mind while assessing the

compensation in a case like the present one is that the claim can

be awarded only once. The claimant cannot come back to court

for enhancement of award at a later stage praying that

something extra has been spent. Therefore, the courts or the

tribunals assessing the compensation in a case of 100%

disability, especially where there is mental disability also, should

take a liberal view of the matter when awarding compensation.

While awarding this amount we are not only taking the physical

disability but also the mental disability and various other

factors. This child will remain bed­ridden for life. Her mental

age will be that of a nine month old child. Effectively, while her

body grows, she will remain a small baby. We are dealing with a

girl who will physically become a woman but will mentally

remain a 9 month old child. This girl will miss out playing with

her friends. She cannot communicate; she cannot enjoy the

pleasures of life; she cannot even be amused by watching

cartoons or films; she will miss out the fun of childhood, the

excitement of youth; the pleasures of a marital life; she cannot

17
have children who she can love let alone grandchildren. She will

have no pleasure. Her’s is a vegetable existence. Therefore, we

feel in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case even

after taking a very conservative view of the matter an amount

payable for the pain and suffering of this child should be at least

Rs.15,00,000/­.

Loss of marriage prospects

28. The Tribunal has awarded Rs.3,00,000/­ for loss of

marriage prospects. We see no reason to interfere with this

finding.

Future medical treatment

29. The claimant has been awarded only Rs.2,00,000/­ under

this head. This amount is a pittance. Keeping in view the

nature of her injuries and the fact that she is bed­ridden this

child is bound to suffer from a lot of medical problems. True it

is that there is no evidence in this regard but there can hardly

be such evidence. She may require special mattress which will

have to be changed frequently. In future as this girl grows, she

may face many other medical issues because of the injuries

suffered in the accident. Keeping in view her young age and

18
assuming she would live another 50­60 years, it would not be

unjust to award her Rs.5,00,000/­ for future medical expenses.

How the compensation should be invested?

30. The tribunal while awarding the compensation had stated

that the amount payable to the share of Kajal would be kept in a

Fixed Deposit till she attains the age of 18 years. The High

Court while enhancing the amount of compensation has directed

that the enhanced amount be paid to the appellant within 45

days. This is totally contrary to the guidelines laid down by this

Court in General Manager, Kerala State Road Transport

Corporation, Trivandrum v. Susamma Thomas and Ors.15,

wherein it has been held clearly that the amount payable to the

minors should not be normally released. The guidelines in this

case were as follows :

“17….(i) The Claims Tribunal should, in the case of minors,
invariably order the amount of compensation awarded to
the minor be invested in long term fixed deposits at least
till the date of the minor attaining majority. The expenses
incurred by the guardian or next friend may, however, be
allowed to be withdrawn;

(ii) In the case of illiterate claimants also the Claims Tribunal
should follow the procedure set out in (i) above, but if
lump sum payment is required for effecting purchases of
any movable or immovable property such as, agricultural
implements, rickshaw, etc., to earn a living, the Tribunal
may consider such a request after making sure that the
15 (1994) 2 SCC 176

19
amount is actually spent for the purpose and the demand
is not a ruse to withdraw money;

(iii) In the case of semi­literate persons the Tribunal should
ordinarily resort to the procedure set out at (i) above
unless it is satisfied, for reasons to be stated in writing,
that the whole or part of the amount is required for
expanding and existing business or for purchasing some
property as mentioned in (ii) above for earning his
livelihood, in which case the Tribunal will ensure that the
amount is invested for the purpose for which it is
demanded and paid;

(iv) In the case of literate persons also the Tribunal may
resort to the procedure indicated in (i) above, subject to
the relaxation set out in (ii) and (iii) above, if having regard
to the age, fiscal background and strata of society to
which the claimant belongs and such other
considerations, the Tribunal in the larger interest of the
claimant and with a view to ensuring the safety of the
compensation awarded to him thinks it necessary to do
order;

(v) In the case of widows the Claims Tribunal should
invariably follow the procedure set out in (i) above;

(vi) In personal injury cases if further treatment is necessary
the Claims Tribunal on being satisfied about the same,
which shall be recorded in writing, permit withdrawal of
such amount as is necessary for incurring the expenses
for such treatment;

(vii) In all cases in which investment in long term fixed
deposits is made it should be on condition that the Bank
will not permit any loan or advance on the fixed deposit
and interest on the amount invested is paid monthly
directly to the claimant or his guardian, as the case may
be;

(viii) In all cases Tribunal should grant to the claimants
liberty to apply for withdrawal in case of an emergency. To
meet with such a contingency, if the amount awarded is
substantial, the Claims Tribunal may invest it in more
than one Fixed Deposit so that if need be one such F.D.R.
can be liquidated….”

These guidelines protect the rights of the minors, claimants who

are under some disability and also widows and illiterate person

who may be deprived of the compensation paid to them in lump

20
sum by unscrupulous elements. These victims may not be able

to invest their monies properly and in such cases the MACT as

well the High courts must ensure that investments are made in

nationalised banks to get a high rate of interest. The interest in

most cases is sufficient to cover the monthly expenses. In

special cases, for reasons to be given in writing, the MACT or the

trial court may release such amount as is required. We reiterate

these guidelines and direct that they should be followed by all

the tribunals and High Courts to ensure that the money of the

victims is not frittered away.

Interest

31. The High Court enhanced the amount of compensation by

Rs.14,70,000/­ and awarded interest @ 7.5% per annum but

directed that the interest of 7.5% shall be paid only from the

date of filing of the appeal. This is also incorrect. We are

constrained to observe that the High Court was not right in

awarding interest on the enhanced amount only from the date of

filing of the appeal. Section 171 of the Act reads as follows :

“171. Award of interest where any claim is allowed.—
Where any Claims Tribunal allows a claim for
compensation made under this Act, such Tribunal may
direct that in addition to the amount of compensation

21
simple interest shall also be paid at such rate and from
such date not earlier than the date of making the claim
as it may specify in this behalf.”

Normally interest should be granted from the date of filing of the

petition and if in appeal enhancement is made the interest

should again be from the date of filing of the petition. It is only if

the appeal is filed after an inordinate delay by the claimants, or

the decision of the case has been delayed on account of

negligence of the claimant, in such exceptional cases the interest

may be awarded from a later date. However, while doing so, the

tribunals/High Courts must give reasons why interest is not

being paid from the date of filing of the petition. Therefore, we

direct that the entire amount of compensation including the

amount enhanced by us shall carry an interest of 7.5% per

annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till

payment/deposit of the amount.

Relief

32. In view of the above, we award a sum of Rs.62,27,000/­

to the claimant under the following heads :

      S.No                    Heads                       Amount
      .

                                   22
     (i)     Expenses relating to treatment,      Rs. 2,50,000/­
             hospitalisation            and
             transportation

     (ii)    Loss  of      earnings     (family   Rs.   51,000/­
             members)

     (iii)   Loss of future earnings              Rs.14,66,000/
                                                  ­
     (iv)    Attendant charges                    Rs.21,60,000/­

     (v)     Pain, suffering, loss of amenities   Rs.15,00,000/­

     (vi)    Loss of Marriage prospects           Rs. 3,00,000/­

     (vii)   Future medical treatment             Rs. 5,00,000/­



This amount shall carry an interest @7.5% p.a. from the date of

filing of the claim petition till payment/deposit of the amount.

Obviously, the insurance company shall be entitled to adjust the

amount already paid. Further, the insurance company shall

also be entitled to recover the amount from the owner in terms of

the award of the MACT, which has not been challenged either

before the High Court or us.

33. We are aware that the amount awarded by us is more than

the amount claimed. However, it is well settled law that in

motor accident claim petitions, the Court must award just

compensation and, in case, the just compensation is more than

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the amount claimed, that must be awarded especially where the

claimant is a minor.

34. The insurance company shall deposit the enhanced amount

before the MACT in terms of the judgment after deducting the

amount already paid by the insurance company within a period

of 3 months from today. The MACT shall keep the entire

amount in a fixed deposit in a nationalised bank, for a period of

5 years, giving highest rate of interest. The interest payable on

this amount shall be released on quarterly basis to the father of

the child. This amount shall be spent for paying the attendants

and for the care of the child alone. Even after 5 years since this

child for all intents and purpose shall remain a person under a

disability, the MACT shall keep renewing the amount on these

terms. We, however, further direct that in case the parents or

the guardian moves an application for release of some amount to

meet some special medical expenses, then MACT may consider

release of the same.

35. The appeal is disposed of in the aforesaid terms. No order

as to costs. Pending application(s), if any, also stand(s)

disposed of.

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……………………………..J.

(L. Nageswara Rao)

……………………………..J.

(Deepak Gupta)

New Delhi
February 05, 2020

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