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The future prospects as awarded by the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal shall be taken at 50% instead of 40%: Delhi High Court

The award under the head of ‘Loss of Love and Affection’ shall be deleted, however, a sum of money shall be awarded under the head ‘Loss of Consortium’ as held by the High Court of Delhi through the learned bench lead by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva in the case of Suman Devi and Anr. v. Mahesh Arora and Anr. (MAC.APP. 46/2021)

The brief facts of the case are that the claim petition has been filed by the parents of the deceased. The deceased along with certain other persons was coming from Chandigarh to Delhi in a car. The car was being driven at a very high speed in a rash and negligent manner. Due to high speed, the driver of the offending vehicle lost control because of which the car hit against an electric pole and overturned. Deceased was grievously injured and died on the way to the hospital. By the impugned award, claim petition has been allowed and compensation awarded. There is no appeal filed by the insurance company impugning the award on merits. Claimants have filed the subject appeal seeking enhancement of compensation.

Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the tribunal has erred in the application of the judgment of the Supreme Court in National Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680. He submits that deceased was in a permanent employment and accordingly, the compensation could have been awarded by taking into account future prospects at 50% and not at 40% as done by the tribunal.

Learned counsel appearing for the insurance company submitted that tribunal has erred in awarding a sum of Rs. One lakh  under the head of compensation for ‘Loss of Love and Affection’. He submitted that compensation was awardable only under the head of ‘Loss of Consortium’ and that also at the rate of Rs. 40,000/- per claimant in terms of judgment of Supreme Court in United India Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Satinder Kaur @ Satwinder Kaur 2020 SCC Online SC 410.

After hearing the learned counsel for respective parties at length, Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held, “The impugned award to the said extent requires a modification. It is directed that the future prospects as awarded by the tribunal shall be taken at 50% instead of 40%. However, a sum of Rs. 80,000/- shall be awarded under the head ‘Loss of Consortium’. The appeal is accordingly allowed and the award modified in the above terms. The matter is remitted to the tribunal to re-compute the amount in terms of the directions contained herein.

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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