The courts are not justified in reducing the compensation without assigning any reason: Supreme court of India

An appeal is a valuable right of the appellant and at the stage of an appeal, all questions of fact and law decided by the Tribunal are open for reconsideration. Therefore, the appellate court is required to address all the questions before it and decide the case by giving reasons. Such an observation was made by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India before Hon’ble Justice S. ABDUL NAZEER Hon’ble Justice KRISHNA MURARI in the matter of RASMITA BISWAL & ORS. vs DIVISIONAL MANAGER, NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY [CIVIL APPEAL NO. 7549 of 2021]

The facts of the case were that the husband of the claimant, Manoj Kumar Biswal, died in a motor vehicle accident. The Motor Vehicle Accident Tribunal held the accident occurred due to the negligence and rash driving of the offending truck and held an award of Rs .12,90,064/- along with interest at the rate of 6% per annum. Aggrieved by the quantum of the award both the claimant and the insurer appealed before the High Court. The High Court set aside the award and remitted the matter back to the Tribunal for fresh disposal. The Tribunal once again considered the matter and awarded total compensation of Rs.22,60,000/-. Aggrieved, the insurer once again appeal before the High Court and the high court reduced the said award from Rs.22,60,000/- to Rs.17,00,000/-. with interest at the rate of 7.5% per year from the date of the claim petition till the date of realization. Aggrieved by such a reduction in the compensation award the claimant had filed the instant appeal.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that “the High Court, without assigning any reason whatsoever, has modified the award of the Tribunal and has awarded a compensation of Rs.17,00,000/-

Additionally, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that the monthly income of the deceased, as assessed by the Tribunal at the rate of Rs.15,000/- per month, is just and proper. It is also established that the deceased was 33 years at the time of his death. Therefore, the application of a multiplier of ‘16’ by the Tribunal is also proper. The annual salary of the deceased comes to Rs.1,80,000/- which has to be multiplied by ‘16’ which becomes Rs.28,80,000/- Further, an addition of 40% of the established income should be awarded where the deceased was below the age of 40 years as held in the case of Pranay Sethi  (2017) 16 SCC 680 by the constitutional bench.

Finally, Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed the appeal and enhanced the compensation to Rs. 31,01,000/-. Furthermore, the Hon’ble Supreme Court suggested the formation of Motor Vehicle Appellate Tribunals for speedy disposal of the appeals concerning payment of compensation to the victims of road accidents.

Click Here To Read The Judgment

Judgment Reviewed by: Rohan Kumar Thakur

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