Compensation can be awarded only for loss of consortium and not for loss of love and affection: Telangana High Court

The amounts for loss of consortium shall be awarded to parents as ‘filial consortium’ for the loss of their grown-up children, to compensate their agony, love and affection, care and companionship of deceased children as upheld by the High Court of Telangana through the learned bench led by Justice N. Tukaramji in the case of Polkampally Chalapathi Rao, Ranga Reddy Dist Anr vs Guru Nanak Edunl Socy, Ranga Reddy Dist Anr. (M.A.C.M.A. No.852 of 2015).

The brief facts of the case are that the appellant’s son Sandeep was studying B.Tech. (final year) in Gurunanak Engineering College, Ibrahimpatnam, he went to college on 07.11.2012 to attend campus selections. At about 05:00 p.m., while Sandeep / deceased was standing along with his friends to board the college bus, an APSRTC Bus driven by its driver in a rash and negligent manner came from behind, struck him. As a result, he was crushed between two buses. Immediately, the injured was shifted to Ankita Hospital, Ibrahimpatnam for treatment. There, the Doctors declared that the petitioner’s son is ‘brought dead’. Thereafter, the appellants / petitioners filed the petition, claiming compensation. The Tribunal after due enquiry passed the order by granting Rs.40,50,000/- towards loss of dependency, Rs.5,000/- towards transportation expenses; Rs.2,000/- for damage to clothing; Rs.25,000/- for funeral expenses; and Rs.1,00,000/- under loss of love and affection, in total Rs.41,82,000/- with interest at 7% per annum, and both the respondents were jointly and severally liable to pay compensation. Aggrieved by the quantum of amount awarded, the appellants / petitioners filed the present Appeal, contending that the Tribunal erred in properly assessing the material in computing compensation. Further, pleaded that the Salary Certificate issued is for Rs.3,49,416/- per annum, but the Tribunal has taken only Rs.3,00,000/-. Hence, the Tribunal without any basis erroneously deducted the amounts from the annual salary and it effected the quantum of compensation. On the other hand, the counsel for 2nd respondent / insurer submitted that the Tribunal by considering the material on record, generously determined the monthly income of the deceased, and awarded fair compensation, therefore, the impugned order may be confirmed.

On perusal of the facts and arguments, the Hon’ble Court held, “In the present case, on the date of accident, the age of Sandeep / deceased is 20 years, therefore, 40% of the annual income, i.e., Rs.1,40,000/- (40% of 3,50,000/-) shall be added towards future prospects of income. Thus, the annual earnings of Sandeep / deceased including future prospects would be Rs.4,90,000/-.As the deceased was a bachelor, as per the authority of Sarla Verma & Ors Vs Delhi Transport Corp. & Anr , 50% is to be deducted towards personal expenses from the annual earnings, i.e., Rs.4,90,000 / 2 = Rs.2,45,000/-. The remaining amount is the annual contribution of the deceased to the family. 14. As the age of the deceased is 20 years, the relevant multiplier as per Sarla Verma is 18. If the annual contribution of the deceased is multiplied with the relevant multiplier 18, it comes to Rs.44,10,000/- (Rs.2,45,000/- x 18). This amount shall be awarded towards loss of dependency. 15. In addition, the petitioners are also entitled to compensation under conventional heads as per Pranay Sethi. Accordingly, 1 (2017) 16 SCC 860 2 ACJ 2013 Page 1409 NTR,J macma_852_2015 ::5:: Rs.15,000/- for loss of estate; Rs.15,000/- for funeral expenses is awarded. In the above terms, the awarded compensation to the appellants / petitioners is modified.”

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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