In the matter of Regional Manager vs Geetha on 22 November, 2022 presided by THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH state thatThis m.F.A is offered according to article 173 par. 1 law of the midnight against judgment and award of 07.11.2016 MADE IN MVC no. 428/2013 in file ii. Of the additional senior civil judge, judge shivamo shivamo and shivamo rs.5,50,000/- with interest at 9% p.A. From the date of filing of the petition to the date of deposit.
FACTS OF THE CASE
This appeal is filed against the judgment and award dated 7/11/2016, delivered in M.V.C. No. 428/2013, on the file II of the Additional Senior Civil Judge and AMACT-8, Shivamogga (for short “Tribunal”).
The factual matrix of the plaintiffs’ case before the Tribunal is that the deceased, who was about 5 years old, met with an accident on 22.9.201 and succumbed to his injuries due to accidental injuries and hence the suit was filed before the Tribunal. The plaintiffs are the mother and minor brother and sister of the deceased. The plaintiffs, to substantiate their contention, examined one witness as P.W.1 and got the documents marked at Exs.P.1 to 13. On the other hand, the defendant did not lead any evidence, however it was marked by document policy as Ex. R.1. The Tribunal after considering both the oral and documentary evidence placed on record allowed the petition awarding compensation of Rs.5,50,000/- with 9% interest. This appeal is therefore filed by the Insurance Company.
The main contention of the Insurance Company is that the Tribunal committed serious error in considering the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of KISHAN GOPAL AND OTHERS v. LALA AND OTHERS reported in (2014) 1 SCC 244 and further the Tribunal erred in relying on the decision High Court of Karnataka issued in M.F.A. Well 640/2012. Learned counsel would submit that the Tribunal should have considered only the respondent No.1 as a person entitled to compensation and in that view of the matter an amount of Rs.15,000/- should have been deducted from the Rs.30,000/- – determined as notional income of the deceased. Learned counsel submits that the Tribunal erred in awarding a sum of Rs.50,000/- towards the funeral expenses. Learned counsel would submit that the Tribunal committed grave error in awarding interest at 9% per annum in contravention of Section 149(1) of the MoI Act and Section 34 of the CPC. Learned counsel in support of his contention relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of MEENA DEVI v. NUNU CHAND MAHTO @ NEMCHAND MAHTO AND OTHERS reported in 2022 SAR (Civil) 1057 where for the death of a child aged about 12 years the Supreme Court awarded compensation amounting to Rs.5,00,000/- with 7% interest and therefore the learned counsel would submit that interest can be awarded at the rate of 6% per annum.
On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondents submits that the Tribunal did not commit any error in awarding compensation of Rs.5,50,000/-. Learned counsel would contend that the interest allowed at 7% per annum by the Supreme Court was in respect of an accident case of 2003 and that accident happened in 2012 and therefore the judgment passed in 2014 by the Supreme Court allowing 9% interest cannot be reduced .
THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE H.P. SANDESH OBSERVERD THAT:-
After hearing the learned counsel concerned and also after perusing the material available on record and also considering the judgment of Meena Devi (supra), the Supreme Court while dealing with the case of a minor aged about 11 years considered that the multiple of ’15’ is based on the judgments of the Supreme Court in SARLA VERMA AND ANOTHER v. DELHI TRANSPORT CORPORATION AND ANOTHER reported in 2009 SAR (Civ) 592, Kishan Gopal (supra) and KURVAN ANSARI @ KURVAN ALI AND ANOTHER v. SHYAM KISHORE ANOTHER reported in 2021 Spp. SAR (Civ) 776 and earned 7% interest.
On perusal of the available records, this is a claim in respect of an accident of 2012 and in the case of Meena Devi (supra) the accident occurred in 2003. After considering the said fact and the judgment in Sarla Verma’s case (supra), the multiplier has to be applied “ 15″. The Supreme Court in the case of Kurvan Ansari (supra) heard with regard to taking away the fictitious income of the minor deceased to the extent of Rs.25,000/- and in the case of Kishan Gopal (supra) Rs.30,000/-. the notional income of the deceased and finally the Supreme Court recognized the notional income of Rs.30,000/- in the case of Meena Devi (see above).
In view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Meena Devi (supra), the notional income is taken to be Rs.30,000/- inclusive of future prospects and by applying the multiplier of ’15’, the loss of dependency comes to Rs.4,50,000/-. In addition, applicants are entitled to an amount of Rs.50,000. In total, the complainants are entitled to compensation of Rs.5,00,000/-. The Tribunal erred in awarding Rs.50,000/- towards funeral expenses as contended by learned counsel for the petitioner and therefore the same is set aside.
In view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Kishan Gopal (supra), the very contention of the learned counsel for the insurance company that the interest has to be reduced to 6% and therefore the interest is awarded at the rate of 9% per annum cannot be accepted.
In view of the above discussions, I submit the following:
(i) The appeal is allowed in part.
(ii) The impugned judgment and award of the Tribunal dated 07.11.2016 passed in M.V.C.No.428/2013 is modified by reducing the compensation to Rs.5,00,000/-. of Rs.5,50,000/- with interest of 9% per annum from the date of submission of the proposal until deposit.
(iii) The insurance company is directed to pay the compensation amount with interest within six weeks from today.
(iv) It is directed that the amount of the deposit be forwarded to the appropriate tribunal forthwith.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY HARSHA L NALWAR Regional_Manager_vs_Geetha_on_22_November_2022