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Motor Accident compensation for ‘loss of future prospects’ may be awarded even if disability not result of Amputation: Karnataka High Court.

A division bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice P Krishna Bhat sitting at Dharwad  in the case of NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED v. ABDUL S/O MEHABOOB TAHASILDAR, and C/W matter.

Facts 

The claimant suffered grievous injuries when he was returning to Hubballi from Kerur in KSRTC Bus in 2019, which collided against a hardly visible lorry, which was parked partly by the side of the road and partly on the tar portion.

The Tribunal allowed his claim petition in part and awarded a compensation of Rs.5,23,000/- with interest, with liability to pay the same, apportioned in the ratio of 70:30 between respondent Nos.1 & 2 (public bus department) on the one side and respondent Nos.3 and 4 (offending driver and insurance company) on the other.

The insurer of the offending lorry filed an appeal challenging the order of the tribunal. Even the claimant filed an appeal seeking enhancement of the compensation award.

Orders and judgements 

The bench observed that the claimant was running a tailoring business, which undeniably requires an “able body” and more particularly a “fully functional pair of lower limbs”. Thus, it was of the opinion that it would be unrealistic and almost nihilistic on the part of the Tribunal to ignore the philosophy of the Constitution of India in the process of their decision making which sets great store by the dignity of human-being.

“The “life” as encapsulated in the Indian Constitution does not merely view human life as a conglomeration or an assemblage or the cobbling together of the individual constituent parts but as an integrated core which has a purpose, content and dignity. Any disability, therefore, to any limb of the body which has a role to play in the functional-economic sense indubitably causes its effect on the whole body warranting curial intervention in its reparative and recompensing role.” make no such distinction in regard to applicability of ‘loss of future prospects’ to cases of physical disability resulting in loss of earning capacity from injuries with amputation of the limbs and without amputation of the limbs.””This component of ‘loss of future prospects’ is a forensic tool forged by the Supreme Court to off-set the adverse effect of imponderable vagaries of inflation on the assessment of loss of future earnings. To link this component only to disability arising from amputation of limbs defies logic and has no sanction of law.“

The claimant is entitled to total compensation of Rs.6,11,000/- as against Rs.5,23,000/- awarded by the learned Tribunal. The total compensation will carry interest @ 9% per annum with effect from 26.07.2016 i.e., the date of closure of the evidence as against the date of claim petition awarded by the Tribunal.”

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Judgement reviewed by- Mohammed Shoaib

Click here to view the judgement 

 

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