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While computing the insurance claim to be paid, it is necessary to account for the income of the deceased as equal to the minimum wages of the state in which the deceased was working instead of the state of residency: The High Court of Delhi

The Delhi High Court is of the view that in the absence of any documentary proof of income with respect to the occupation and income of the deceased, the Claims Tribunal ought to have taken the minimum wages of the State in which the deceased worked as the income of the deceased. The aforementioned was established by this court in the case of United Lindia Insurance Co Ltd v. Shakuntala & Ors [MAC.APP. 135/2020 & CM APPL. 8821/2020] which was decided by a single judge bench comprising Justice J.R. Midha on 18th June 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows. An accident occurred in 2016 which took the life of Arjun, a 20 year old boy who worked as a vegetable seller in Delhi ad earned an amount of Rs. 12000 per month. Taking into account this income, the claims tribunal recognized a total compensation of Rs. 20,24,400 to be awarded. The petitioner herein has challenged this award.

The arguments presented by the counsel for appellant at the time of hearing contended that at the time of the hearing that minimum wages of Rs.6,814.81 as applicable in U.P. at the relevant time be taken into consideration to compute the compensation as the deceased was resident of U.P. Learned counsel for respondents No.1 and 2 urged at the time of hearing that the deceased was working at Delhi and therefore, the minimum wages of Rs.9,724/- per month of Delhi be taken into consideration.

After considering the facts and arguments presented by both the parties, the court was of the opinion that “in the absence of any documentary proof of income with respect to the occupation and income of the deceased, the Claims Tribunal ought to have taken the minimum wages of Delhi as the income of the deceased. In the present case, the minimum wages of Delhi at the relevant time were Rs.9,724/- per month which is taken as the income of the deceased instead of Rs.12,000/- per month taken by the Claims Tribunal.”

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