Once it is established that the deceased was not unemployed and he was engaged in the business of vulcanization, without there being any documentary proof about his income, his income will be determined as notional income. Such an observation was made by the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court before Hon’ble Justice V.M. DESHPANDE in the matter of Smt. Sahana Khatoon & Ors vs The New India Assurance Co. Ltd & Anr[FIRST APPEAL NO.647/2009] on 28.10.2021.
The facts of the case involved a motor vehicle accident which happened on the night of 20.07.2003 which the deceased was returning home after closing his shop. The appellant approached the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal by filing a petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act claiming the monthly income of the deceased between Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 15,000/- and thus an aggregate compensation of Rs. 5,00,000/- along with interest @ 12% per annum from the date of accident i.e. 20.07.2003 till its realization. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in view of the facts of the income of the deceased granted a compensation of Rs. .1,89,500/- inclusive of no fault liability amount of Rs.50,000/- along with interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of filing of petition i.e. 09.02.2004 till its realization with proportionate costs. Aggrieved by the present compensation the appellant preferred this appeal.
The Hon’ble High Court observed that the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal errored in calculating the monthly income of the deceased @Rs. 50/- per day and has determined it on the very lower side. The Hon’ble High Court further stated that “Once it is established that the deceased was not unemployed and he was engaged in the business of vulcanization, without there being any documentary proof about his income, his monthly income will have to be determined as notional income.” Thus, in view of the Hon’ble High Court, it is safe to assume the monthly income of the deceased @ Rs. 5000/-
Additionally, the Hon’ble High Court observed that the Tribunal did not award any amount on account of future prospects to which the claimants are entitled in the light of the Apex Court decision in National Insurance Company Ltd. Vs. Pranay Sethi and Ors. [(2017) 16 SCC 680]. Therefore, taking into consideration the age of the deceased, they are entitled to 25% toward future prospects.
Finally, the Hon’ble High Court allowed the appeal granting compensation of Rs. 10,51,500/- plus the amount already granted by the Tribunal an interest @ 7.5% from the date of filing of the petition i.e. from 09.02.2004 till its actual realization.
Judgment Reviewed by: Rohan Kumar Thakur