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Age, expected earning loss & extent of injury suffered by the petitioner are the prime considerations to assess the compensation: The High Court of Jammu &Kashmir and Ladakh

Taking in account the age of the petitioner as 13 and the expected earning as Rs.6,000/- per month the multiplier of 18 can be taken for assessing the compensation on account of loss of earning which comes to (6000 x 12 x 18) Rs.12,96,000/-.. The aforesaid has been established by the High Court of Jammu &Kashmir and Ladakh while adjudicating the case of Ajay Kumar v. State of J&K and others [OWP No. 306/2012] which was decided upon by a single judge bench comprising Justice Puneet Gupta on 24th November 2021.

It is averred in the petition that in the month of March-April 2009, the father of the petitioner was engaged as labourer by respondent No.3 for construction of the office building of District Soil Conservation Officer, Sambal, Udhampur and just above the entrance/gate of the said building, there existed an 11 KV High Tension double circuit line. Since there was a grave threat to lives of all labourers including their family members accompanying them, the labourers objected to respondent No.3 of construction but respondent No.3 did not pay any heed to the same and constructed the premises. when the petitioner was just sitting below the said 11 KV High Tension wire a high flash occurred in the said wire and petitioner came into its contact, as a result, he suffered a severe shock in his body causing severe burn injuries including his right arm, chest and legs. Due to the severity of the said shock, the right shoulder of the petitioner was disarticulated. All the fingers of the feet of the petitioner also got damaged and as per the certificate of disability issued by the Chief Medical Officer, Udhampur, the petitioner is suffering from 90% permanent physical disability. The present Writ Petition filed by the petitioner-Ajay Kumar through his father under Article 226 of the Constitution of India read with Section 103 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir seeks direction to the respondents to compensate the petitioner to the tune of Rs.20 lakhs on account of 90% physical disability suffered by him due to the negligence of the respondents.

The court perused the facts and arguments presented. It was of the opinion that “The court can infuse some guess work while assessing the future earning of the petitioner had the petitioner not suffered disarticulation of right arm. Taking in account the age of the petitioner as 13 and the expected earning as Rs.6,000/- per month the multiplier of 18 can be taken for assessing the compensation on account of loss of earning which comes to (6000 x 12 x 18) Rs.12,96,000/-. The court further awards Rs.7 lacs as lump sum on account of the pain and suffering, loss of amenities and the expenses on medical treatment. The total amount to which the petitioner is held entitled to comes to Rs.19,96,000/- rounding to Rs.20,00,000-/- The petitioner is also held entitled to interest @ 6% per annum from the respondents on the aforesaid amount from the date of filing of the writ petition till its realization. The court trusts that the respondents keeping in view the disability suffered by the victim shall not cause any delay in making the payment to the petitioner. The petition is disposed of.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Aryan Bajaj

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