N. Jayasree vs Cholamandalam Ms General … on 25 October, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

N. Jayasree vs Cholamandalam Ms General … on 25 October, 2021

Author: S. Abdul Nazeer

Bench: S. Abdul Nazeer, Krishna Murari

                                                                                 REPORTABLE



                                    IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                     CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                                      CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6451 OF 2021
                                (Arising out of S.L.P. (C.) No. 14558 of 2019)


          N. JAYASREE & ORS.                                                  …APPELLANT(S)
                                                   VERSUS

          CHOLAMANDALAM MS GENERAL
          INSURANCE COMPANY LTD.                                          …RESPONDENT(S)




                                               JUDGMENT

S. ABDUL NAZEER, J.

Leave granted.

2. This appeal is directed against the judgment dated

09.08.2017 passed by the High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam in

MACA No. 1560 of 2013. Through the impugned judgment, the

High Court scaled down the amount of compensation payable to
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
Anita Malhotra
Date: 2021.10.25
17:08:20 IST

the present appellants and thereby modified the award dated
Reason:

1
26.04.2013 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal,

Kottayam (for short ‘MACT’) in OP(MV) No.843 of 2011.

3. The appellants filed the aforesaid claim petition before the

MACT seeking compensation on account of the death of N.

Venugopalan Nair in a motor vehicle accident which occurred on

20.06.2011. Appellant no.1 is the wife of the deceased, appellant

nos. 2 and 3 are his daughters and appellant no.4 is his

mother­in­law.

4. There is no dispute as to the occurrence of the accident and

the liability of the respondent­insurer to pay the compensation. In

view of this admitted position, it is unnecessary to narrate the

factual aspects of the accident.

5. The deceased was aged 52 years at the time of the accident.

The MACT took the annual salary of the deceased as Rs.8,87,148.

To this, the MACT applied a multiplier of ‘11’ and deducted

one­fourth (1/4th) of the income towards his personal expenses for

the purpose of calculation of the compensation under the head of

loss of dependency. A total sum of Rs.73,18,971/­ (Rupees

seventy­three lakhs eighteen thousand nine hundred seventy­one

only) was awarded towards loss of dependency. The MACT awarded
2
a total sum of Rs.74,50,971/­ (Rupees seventy­four lakhs fifty

thousand nine hundred seventy­one only) towards compensation

with interest @ 7.5 per cent per annum from the date of the claim

petition till the date of realization. Thus, the amount awarded to

the appellants is as under:

S.No.   Head of Claim          Amount            Amount        Basis vital details
                               Claimed       (in Awarded   (in in a nut shell
                               rupees)           rupees)
1.      Transportation         5,000/­           4,000/­       In view of the
                                                               transportation
                                                               charges
2.      Funeral expenses       10,000/­      7,000/­           Nominal amount
3.      Damage to clothings    1,500/­       1,000/­           …do……
4.      Loss of dependency     1,06,82,100/­ 73,18,971/­       (8,87,148­
                                                               2,21,787)×11
                                                               =73,18,971/­
5.      Pain and sufferings    10,000/­         15,000/­       In view of the pain
                                                               suffered by the
                                                               victim before his
                                                               death
6.      Loss of     love   and 1,00,000/­       70,000/­       Petitioners      2,3
        affection                                              and 4 have lost
                                                               the     love    and
                                                               affection of the
                                                               victim
7.      Loss of consortium     1,00,000/­       25,000/­       The first petition
                                                               has      lost    the
                                                               companionship of
                                                               her husband
8.      Loss of estate         1,00,000/­    10,000/­          Nominal amount
9.      Loss of expectation of 2,00,000/­    Not allowed       Other         heads
        life                                                   allowed
        TOTAL                  1,12,08,600/­ 74,50,971/­       ……………




                                         3

6. However, the High Court held that appellant no.4 was not a

legal representative of the deceased. Further, the High Court held

that the MACT ought to have applied split multiplier for the

assessment of the dependency compensation. The High Court

fixed monthly income of the deceased as Rs.40,000/­ (Rupees forty

thousand only) and deducted one­third (1/3 rd) of the income

towards his personal expenses. It applied multiplier ‘7’ for

calculating dependency compensation for the post­retiral period

and, for the pre­retirement period, a multiplier of ‘4’ was applied.

Accordingly, the High Court awarded compensation of

Rs.23,65,728/­ (Rupees twenty­three lakhs sixty­five thousand

seven hundred twenty­eight only), towards loss of dependency for

pre­retiral period and a sum of Rs.22,40,000/­ (Rupees twenty­two

lakhs forty thousand only) towards loss of dependency for

post­retiral period. A sum of Rs.1,00,000/­ (Rupees one lakh only)

was awarded towards loss of consortium, Rs.25,000/­ (Rupees

twenty­five thousand only) towards funeral expenses, and

Rs.80,000/­ (Rupees eighty thousand only) towards loss of love

and affection. In total, a sum of Rs.48,39,728/­ (Rupees forty­eight

4
lakhs thirty­nine thousand seven hundred twenty­eight only) was

awarded as compensation by the High Court.

7. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties. Learned

counsel for the appellants submits that the High Court was not

justified precluding appellant no.4 as legal representative of the

deceased. She is the mother­in­law of the deceased and was living

with the deceased and his family members. Therefore, she was

entitled to be treated as a legal representative for the purpose of

determination of compensation. Accordingly, 1/4 th of the income of

the deceased should have been deducted towards his personal

expenses. Further, it was contended that the High Court was not

justified in applying a split multiplier having regard to the

judgment of this Court in Sarla Verma (Smt.) and Ors. vs. Delhi

Transport Corporation and Anr.1 and the subsequent

Constitution Bench judgment of this Court in National Insurance

Company Limited vs. Pranay Sethi and Ors.2. It was also

argued that the deceased was a meritorious person who possessed

the qualification of M.Sc. M.Phil. His monthly salary was

1 (2009) 6 SCC 121

2 (2017) 16 SCC 680
5
Rs.83,831/­ which is evident from the materials on record. The

High Court took his monthly income as Rs.40,000/­ for the

purpose of calculation of loss of dependency without any

justification. In view of the above, the High Court was not justified

in scaling down the amount of compensation awarded by the

MACT.

8. On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent

submits that the deceased was aged 52 years at the time of the

accident. He would not have earned the same monthly income

after his retirement. In view of the same, the High Court applied a

split multiplier for calculating the loss of dependency. It was also

argued that appellant no.4, who is the mother­in­law of the

deceased, cannot be treated as his legal representative. Further, it

was contended that the High Court was justified in taking the

monthly salary of the deceased as Rs.40,000/­ and deducting 1/3 rd

of the income towards the personal expenses, fair compensation

has been awarded towards loss of dependency.

9. In view of the above, the questions for consideration before us

are: (I) whether the High Court was justified in precluding the

mother­in­law of the deceased (appellant no.4) as his legal
6
representative? (II) whether the High Court was justified in

applying a split multiplier? (III) based on the findings on the

preceding questions, what is the amount of compensation that

should be awarded to the appellants?

(I) whether the High Court was justified in precluding the

mother­in­law of the deceased (appellant no.4) as his legal

representative?

10. The provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short, “MV

Act”) gives paramount importance to the concept of ‘just and fair’

compensation. It is a beneficial legislation which has been framed

with the object of providing relief to the victims or their families.

Section 168 of the MV Act deals with the concept of ‘just

compensation’ which ought to be determined on the foundation of

fairness, reasonableness and equitability. Although such

determination can never be arithmetically exact or perfect, an

endeavor should be made by the Court to award just and fair

compensation irrespective of the amount claimed by the

applicant/s. In Sarla Verma1, this Court has laid down as under:

“16. …“Just compensation” is adequate
compensation which is fair and equitable, on
7
the facts and circumstances of the case, to
make good the loss suffered as a result of the
wrong, as far as money can do so, by applying
the well­settled principles relating to award of
compensation. It is not intended to be a
bonanza, largesse or source of profit.”

11. In Sarla Verma1 it was further held that where the deceased

was married, the deduction towards personal and living expenses

of the deceased should be one­third (1/3 rd) where the number of

dependent family members is between 2 and 3, one­fourth (1/4 th)

where the number of dependent family members is between 4 and

6, and one­fifth (1/5th) where the number of dependent family

members exceeds six.

12. In the instant case, the appellants have contended that the

mother­in­law of the deceased was staying with the deceased and

his family members since a long time. Taking into consideration

the number of dependents of the deceased including his

mother­in­law (four in number), the MACT had deducted one

fourth (1/4th) of the income towards his personal expenses.

However, the High Court has held that appellant no.4 being the

mother­in­law of the deceased, cannot be reckoned as a dependent

8
of the deceased. The High Court, therefore, determined the number

of dependents as 3 and accordingly deducted one­third (1/3 rd) of

the income of the deceased towards his personal expenses.

13. Section 166 of the MV Act provides for filing of an application

for compensation. The relevant portion of the said Section is as

under:

“166. Application for compensation. —

(1) An application for compensation arising out
of an accident of the nature specified in
sub­section (1) of section 165 may be made—

(a) by the person who has sustained the injury;
or

(b) by the owner of the property; or

(c) where death has resulted from the accident,
by all or any of the legal representatives of the
deceased; or

(d) by any agent duly authorised by the person
injured or all or any of the legal
representatives of the deceased, as the case
may be:

Provided that where all the legal
representatives of the deceased have not joined
in any such application for compensation, the
application shall be made on behalf of or for
the benefit of all the legal representatives of
the deceased and the legal representatives who
have not so joined, shall be impleaded as
respondents to the application.”

9

14. The MV Act does not define the term ‘legal representative’.

Generally, ‘legal representative’ means a person who in law

represents the estate of the deceased person and includes any

person or persons in whom legal right to receive compensatory

benefit vests. A ‘legal representative’ may also include any person

who intermeddles with the estate of the deceased. Such person

does not necessarily have to be a legal heir. Legal heirs are the

persons who are entitled to inherit the surviving estate of the

deceased. A legal heir may also be a legal representative.

15. Indicatively for the present inquiry, the Kerala Motor Vehicle

Rules, 1989, defines the term ‘legal representative’ as under:

“Legal Representative” means a person who in
law is entitled to inherit the estate of the
deceased if he had left any estate at the time of
his death and also includes any legal heir of
the deceased and the executor or
administrator of the estate of the deceased.”

16. In our view, the term ‘legal representative’ should be given a

wider interpretation for the purpose of Chapter XII of MV Act and it

should not be confined only to mean the spouse, parents and

children of the deceased. As noticed above, MV Act is a benevolent

legislation enacted for the object of providing monetary relief to the
10
victims or their families. Therefore, the MV Act calls for a liberal

and wider interpretation to serve the real purpose underlying the

enactment and fulfil its legislative intent. We are also of the view

that in order to maintain a claim petition, it is sufficient for the

claimant to establish his loss of dependency. Section 166 of the

MV Act makes it clear that every legal representative who suffers

on account of the death of a person in a motor vehicle accident

should have a remedy for realization of compensation.

17. It is settled that percentage of deduction for personal expenses

cannot be governed by a rigid rule or formula of universal

application. It also does not depend upon the basis of relationship

of the claimant with the deceased. In some cases, the father may

have his own income and thus will not be considered as

dependent. Sometimes, brothers and sisters will not be considered

as dependents because they may either be independent or earning

or married or be dependent on the father. The percentage of

deduction for personal expenditure, thus, depends upon the facts

and circumstances of each case.

18. In the instant case, the question for consideration is whether

the fourth appellant would fall under the expression ‘legal
11
representative’ for the purpose of claiming compensation. In

Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation, Ahmedabad vs.

Ramanbhai Prabhatbhai and Anr.3 this Court while considering

the entitlement of the brother of a deceased who died in a motor

vehicle accident to maintain a claim petition under the provisions

of the MV Act, held as under:

“13. We feel that the view taken by the
Gujarat High Court is in consonance with
the principles of justice, equity and good
conscience having regard to the conditions
of the Indian society. Every legal
representative who suffers on account of
the death of a person due to a motor
vehicle accident should have a remedy for
realisation of compensation and that is
provided by Sections 110­A to 110­F of the
Act. These provisions are in consonance with
the principles of law of torts that every injury
must have a remedy. It is for the Motor
Vehicles Accidents Tribunal to determine the
compensation which appears to it to be just as
provided in Section 110­B of the Act and to
specify the person or persons to whom
compensation shall be paid. The determination
of the compensation payable and its
apportionment as required by Section 110­B of
the Act amongst the legal representatives for
whose benefit an application may be filed
under Section 110­A of the Act have to be done
in accordance with well­known principles of

33 (1987) 3 SCC 234
12
law. We should remember that in an Indian
family brothers, sisters and brothers’
children and sometimes foster children live
together and they are dependent upon the
bread­winner of the family and if the
bread­winner is killed on account of a
motor vehicle accident, there is no
justification to deny them compensation
relying upon the provisions of the Fatal
Accidents Act
, 1855 which as we have
already held has been substantially modified
by the provisions contained in the Act in
relation to cases arising out of motor vehicles
accidents. We express our approval of the
decision in Megjibhai Khimji Vira v.
Chaturbhai Taljabhagujri
4 and hold that
the brother of a person who dies in a motor
vehicle accident is entitled to maintain a
petition under Section 110­A of the Act if he is
a legal representative of the deceased.”

19. In Hafizun Begum (Mrs) vs. Mohd. Ikram Heque and Ors.5

it was held that:

“7. …12. As observed by this Court in
Custodian of Branches of Banco National
Ultramarino v. Nalini Bai Naique6
the
definition contained in Section 2(11) CPC is
inclusive in character and its scope is wide, it
is not confined to legal heirs only. Instead, it
stipulates that a person who may or may
not be legal heir, competent to inherit the
4 AIR 1977 Guj 195

5 (2007) 10 SCC 715

6 1989 Supp (2) SCC 275
13
property of the deceased, can represent the
estate of the deceased person. It includes
heirs as well as persons who represent the
estate even without title either as
executors or administrators in possession
of the estate of the deceased. All such
persons would be covered by the expression
‘legal representative’. As observed in Gujarat
SRTC v. Ramanbhai Prabhatbhai3
a legal
representative is one who suffers on account of
death of a person due to a motor vehicle
accident and need not necessarily be a wife,
husband, parent and child.”

20. In Montford Brothers of St. Gabriel and Anr. vs. United

India Insurance and Anr.7 this Court was considering the claim

petition of a charitable society for award of compensation on

account of the death of its member. The appellant­society therein

was a registered charitable society and was running various

institutions as a constituent unit of Catholic church. Its members,

after joining the appellant­society, renounced the world and were

known as ‘brother’. In this case, a ‘brother’ died in a motor vehicle

accident. The claim petition filed by the appellant­society seeking

compensation on account of the death of aforesaid ‘brother’ was

rejected by the High Court on the ground of its maintainability.

7 (2014) 3 SCC 394
14
This Court after examining various provisions of the MV Act held

that the appellant­society was the legal representative of the

deceased ‘brother’. While allowing the claim petition it was

observed as under:

“17. A perusal of the judgment and order of
the Tribunal discloses that although Issue 1
was not pressed and hence decided in favour
of the appellant claimants, while considering
the quantum of compensation for the
claimants, the Tribunal adopted a very
cautious approach and framed a question for
itself as to what should be the criterion for
assessing compensation in such case where
the deceased was a Roman Catholic and joined
the church services after denouncing his
family, and as such having no actual
dependents or earning? For answering this
issue, the Tribunal relied not only upon
judgments of American and English Courts
but also upon Indian judgments for coming to
the conclusion that even a religious order or
an organisation may suffer considerable loss
due to the death of a voluntary worker. The
Tribunal also went on to decide who should be

15
entitled for compensation as legal
representative of the deceased and for that
purpose it relied upon the Full Bench
judgment of Patna High Court in Sudama
Devi v. Jogendra Choudhary8
, which held
that the term “legal representative” is wide
enough to include even “intermeddlers” with
the estate of a deceased. The Tribunal also
referred to some Indian judgments in which it
was held that successors to the trusteeship
and trust property are legal representatives
within the meaning of Section 2(11) of the
Code of Civil Procedure.”

21. Coming to the facts of the present case, the fourth appellant

was the mother­in­law of the deceased. Materials on record clearly

establish that she was residing with the deceased and his family

members. She was dependent on him for her shelter and

maintenance. It is not uncommon in Indian Society for the

mother­in­law to live with her daughter and son­in­law during her

old age and be dependent upon her son­in­law for her

maintenance. Appellant no.4 herein may not be a legal heir of the

8 AIR 1987 Pat 239
16
deceased, but she certainly suffered on account of his death.

Therefore, we have no hesitation to hold that she is a “legal

representative” under Section 166 of the MV Act and is entitled to

maintain a claim petition.

(II) Whether the High Court was justified in applying a split

multiplier?

22. The deceased was aged 52 years at the time of the accident.

He was working as an Assistant Professor and getting a monthly

salary of Rs.83,831/­ (Rupees eighty­three thousand eight hundred

thirty­one only). The evidence on record shows that he was a

meritorious man having the qualifications of M.Sc, M.Phil. He was

a first­class holder in M.Sc. He was a Selection Grade Lecturer in

Mathematics and was a subject expert. He was also included in

the panel of Mahatma Gandhi University and was appointed as

Examiner in the Board of Examiners for CBCCSS Programme in

Mathematics. Subsequently, he was appointed as Deputy

Chairman of the Examiners Board. Evidence on record also shows

that there is acute shortage of lecturers in Mathematics for

appointment in colleges and retired Mathematics Professors are

17
appointed in so many colleges. It is common knowledge that the

teachers, especially Mathematics teachers, are employed even after

their retirement in coaching centers. They may also hold private

tuition classes. This would increase their income manifold after

retirement.

23. In Sarla Verma1, this Court has held that while calculating

the compensation, the courts should take into consideration not

only the actual income at the time of the death but should also

make additions by taking note of future prospects. It was further

held that though the evidence may indicate a different percentage

of increase, it is necessary to standardize the addition to avoid

disparate yardsticks being applied or disparate methods of

calculation being adopted.

24. In Reshma Kumari & Ors. vs. Madan Mohan & Anr.9, a

three­Judge Bench of this Court has approved the judgment in

Sarla Verma1.

9 (2013) 9 SCC 65
18

25. In Pranay Sethi2, this Court has not only approved the

aforesaid observations made in Sarla Verma1 but also held as

under:

“59.3. While determining the income, an
addition of 50% of actual salary to the income
of the deceased towards future prospects,
where the deceased had a permanent job and
was below the age of 40 years, should be
made. The addition should be 30%, if the age
of the deceased was between 40 to 50 years. In
case the deceased was between the age of 50
to 60 years, the addition should be 15%.
Actual salary should be read as actual salary
less tax.

59.4. In case the deceased was self­employed
or on a fixed salary, an addition of 40% of the
established income should be the warrant
where the deceased was below the age of 40
years. An addition of 25% where the deceased
was between the age of 40 to 50 years and
10% where the deceased was between the age
of 50 to 60 years should be regarded as the
necessary method of computation. The
established income means the income minus
the tax component.”

26. In K.R. Madhusudhan and Ors. vs. Administrative Officer

and Anr.10, this Court was considering a case where the High

Court had applied split multiplier for the purpose of calculation of

compensation towards loss of dependency and held as under:

10 (2011) 4 SCC 689
19
“8. In Sarla Verma1 judgment the Court has
held that there should be no addition to
income for future prospects where the age of
the deceased is more than 50 years. The
learned Bench called it a rule of thumb and it
was developed so as to avoid uncertainties in
the outcomes of litigation. However, the Bench
held that a departure can be made in rare and
exceptional cases involving special
circumstances.

9. We are of the opinion that the rule of thumb
evolved in Sarla Verma1 is to be applied to
those cases where there was no concrete
evidence on record of definite rise in income
due to future prospects. Obviously, the said
rule was based on assumption and to avoid
uncertainties and inconsistencies in the
interpretation of different courts, and to
overcome the same.”

27. In Puttamma and Ors. vs. K.L. Narayana Reddy and

Anr.11, this Court was again considering a case where split

multiplier for the purpose of calculation of dependency

compensation was applied. It was held thus:

“32. For determination of compensation in
motor accident claims under Section 166 this
Court always followed multiplier method. As
there were inconsistencies in the selection of a
multiplier, this Court in Sarla Verma1

11 (2013) 15 SCC 45
20
prepared a table for the selection of a
multiplier based on the age group of the
deceased/victim. The 1988 Act, does not
envisage application of a split multiplier.

33. In K.R. Madhusudhan v. Administrative
Officer10
this Court held as follows: (SCC p.
692, paras 14­15)
“14. In the appeal which was filed by the
appellants before the High Court, the High
Court instead of maintaining the amount of
compensation granted by the Tribunal,
reduced the same. In doing so, the High Court
had not given any reason. The High Court
introduced the concept of split multiplier and
departed from the multiplier used by the
Tribunal without disclosing any reason
therefor. The High Court has also not
considered the clear and corroborative
evidence about the prospect of future
increment of the deceased. When the age of the
deceased is between 51 and 55 years the
multiplier is 11, which is specified in the 2nd
column in the Second Schedule to the Motor
Vehicles Act
, and the Tribunal has not
committed any error by accepting the said
multiplier. This Court also fails to appreciate
why the High Court chose to apply the
multiplier of 6.

15. We are, thus, of the opinion that the
judgment of the High Court deserves to be set
aside for it is perverse and clearly contrary to
the evidence on record, for having not
considered the future prospects of the
deceased and also for adopting a split
multiplier method.

21

34. We, therefore, hold that in absence of any
specific reason and evidence on record the
tribunal or the court should not apply split
multiplier in routine course and should apply
multiplier as per decision of this Court in
Sarla Verma1 as affirmed in Reshma
Kumari9.”

28. From the above discussion it is clear that at the time of

calculation of the income, the Court has to consider the actual

income of the deceased and addition should be made to take into

account future prospects. Further, while the evidence in a given

case may indicate a different percentage of increase,

standardization of the addition for future prospects should be

made to avoid different yardsticks being applied or different

methods of calculation being adopted. In Pranay Sethi2, the

Constitution Bench has directed addition of 15% of the salary in

case the deceased was between the age of 50 to 60 years as a

thumb rule, where a deceased had a permanent job. In view of the

above, the High Court was not justified in applying split multiplier

in the instant case.

(III) What is the amount of compensation that should be

awarded to the appellants?

22

29. That takes us to the award of compensation. We have already

noticed that the deceased was working as Assistant Professor at

Devaswom Board Pampa College, Paruamala, and was drawing a

monthly income of Rs.83,381/­ which is clear from his salary

certificate (Ex.A­5) issued by the Principal of Devaswom Board

Pampa College, Paruamala. The salary slip received by the

deceased for the month of May 2011 (Ex.A­6) also shows that his

monthly salary was Rs.83,381/­. These documents have been

marked in evidence through the Principal of the said College who

was examined as PW­1. Thus, annual income of the deceased

comes to Rs.10,00,572/­. This Court in Sarla Verma1 has made it

clear that the Annual Income of the deceased minus the income tax

should be taken into account at the time of his death for the

purpose of calculation of loss of dependency. The deceased had to

pay Rs.1,13,424/­ towards income tax per annum. After deducting

the said amount the actual income of the deceased comes to

Rs.8,87,148/­.

23

30. The deceased was aged 52 years at the time of his death and

had a permanent job. Having regard to the judgment in Pranay

Sethi2, an addition of 15% of his actual salary should be added

towards future prospectus. Therefore, 15% of his actual salary

comes to Rs.1,33,072/­

31. Since the deceased was 52 years at the time of his death, the

applicable multiplier is ‘11’. As we have held that appellant no.4,

the mother­in­law of the deceased is also a dependent and a “legal

representative” under Section 166 of the MV Act, the total number

of dependents left behind by the deceased is four. Hence, 1/4 th of

the income (actual salary + future prospects) should be deducted

towards his personal expenses. Thus, the total compensation

payable towards loss of dependency is as under:

 (1)     (i) Annual Salary                           Rs.10,00,572
         (ii) less Tax                                Rs.1,13,424
         (iii) Actual Salary :                        Rs.8,87,148
 (2)     Future Prospects :15% of                     Rs.1,33,072
         Actual Salary
 (3)     Loss of dependency :                        Rs.84,16,815
         (1) 8,87,148 + (2) 1,33,072
                                  24
         – ¼ i.e. Rs.2,55,055 x 11




32. In Pranay Sethi2, this Court has awarded a total sum of

Rs.70,000/­ (Rupees seventy thousand only) under conventional

heads, namely, loss of estate, loss of consortium and funeral

expenses. It was held that the said sum should be enhanced at the

rate of 10% in every three years. It was held thus:

“59.8. Reasonable figures on conventional
heads, namely, loss of estate, loss of
consortium and funeral expenses should be Rs
15,000, Rs 40,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively.
The aforesaid amounts should be enhanced at
the rate of 10% in every three years.”

33. The judgment in Pranay Sethi2 was rendered in the year

2017. Therefore, the claimants are entitled for 10% enhancement.

Thus, a sum of Rs.16,500/­ each is awarded towards loss of estate

and funeral expenses.

34. A three­Judge Bench of this Court in United India

Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Satinder Kaur @ Satwinder Kaur and

Ors12, after considering Pranay Sethi2, has awarded spousal
12 (2020) SCC Online SC 410 : AIR 2020 SC 3076
25
consortium at the rate of Rs.40,000/­ (Rupees forty thousand only)

and towards loss of parental consortium to each child at the rate of

Rs.40,000/­ (Rupees forty thousand only). The compensation

under these heads also needs to be increased by 10%. Thus, the

spousal consortium is awarded at Rs.44,000/­ (Forty­four

thousand only), and towards parental consortium at the rate of

Rs.44,000/­ each (Total Rs.88,000/­) is awarded to the two

children.

35. Thus, the appellants are entitled to compensation as under:

  (i)      Towards        Loss      of                 Rs.84,16,815/­
           dependency
 (ii)      Loss of Estate                                 Rs.16,500/­
 (iii)     Funeral Expenses                               Rs.16,500/­
 (iv)      Spousal Consortium                             Rs.44,000/­
  (v)      Parental Consortium                            Rs.88,000/­
                      Total                            Rs.85,81,815/­


36. The appellants are also entitled to interest on the said amount

at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of the claim petition

till the date of its realization. The respondent is accordingly

directed to deposit the above amount with accrued interest thereon

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at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of claim petition till

the date of deposit, after deducting amounts, if any, deposited by

the respondent, within eight weeks from today.

37. Resultantly, the appeal is allowed in the aforesaid terms.

Parties are directed to bear their respective costs.

38. Pending applications, if any, shall also stand disposed of.

……………………………………J.

(S. ABDUL NAZEER)

……………………………………J.

(KRISHNA MURARI)
New Delhi;

October 25, 2021.

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