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Determination of just compensation cannot be equated to be a bonanza: Bombay High Court

A decision that the determination of just compensation cannot be equated to be a bonanza was pronounced by the Bombay High Court through Justice Shrikant D. Kulkarni in the case of Akshay v. Kailas Vitthalrao Shinde (FIRST APPEAL NO. 2342 OF 2018)

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The Appellant was working as a cleaner on the appellant’s car, which had been punctured on a highway and was thus stopped on the side of the road. When the appellant was changing the tyre, a truck drove recklessly and negligently and hit the Tata Tempo car, which was halted, causing the accident. The appellant was transported to the hospital for treatment as a result of the above. It was claimed that the appellant’s right leg was crushed and had to be amputated. Furthermore, his left leg was severely wounded. As a result, the vehicle’s owner filed an FIR against the truck driver.

The appellant filed an injury claim under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, seeking compensation in the amount of Rs 60 lakhs. Despite the fact that the claim was partially approved. Dissatisfied with the verdict, the current appeal was sought to increase compensation.

JUDGEMENT:

The High Court stated that it is the tribunal’s and the Court’s statutory responsibility to give “just compensation.” Furthermore, the Bench stated that the term “just compensation” clearly implies the application of fair and equitable standards as well as a reasonable attitude on the part of the Tribunals and courts. The tribunal’s and the Court’s reasonableness must be on a vast peripheral field. 

Also, the Court stated that the impact of amputation on the appellant/earning claimant’s capacity required careful consideration. According to the Court, the goal of compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act is to fully and sufficiently return the aggrieved to their pre-accident condition.

As a result, the tribunal made a mistake in recognizing the claimant’s lifelong impairment at 45 per cent although it was a case of 100 per cent loss of earning capacity due to limb amputation. As a result, the compensation had to be re-evaluated. The High Court ruled that respondents must pay the increased sum of compensation jointly and severally, plus interest at the rate of 7%.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY REETI SHETTY

Click here to view judgement

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