Delhi high Court dismissed the appeal by National Insurance Co. Ltd. challenging the compensation.

Title: National Insurance Co. Ltd. vs Chitra & Ors.

Date of decision: 13.07.2023

+ MAC.APP. 1056/2016



Delhi high Court dismissed the appeal by National Insurance Co. Ltd. challenging the compensation granted by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, in MACT Case No.402/2010, titled Chitra v. Mufid Khan & Ors.

Facts of the case

The first respondent in this case submitted the aforementioned Claim Petition, claiming that she, her husband, Dharmender, and daughter, Dristi, were travelling back from the home of a relative on October 31, 2010, at around 9:25 p.m., in a two-wheel scooter with the registration number DL 6ST 7734. An HR 55H 5499-registered truck rear-ended the motorcycle. The accident-related injuries to respondent no. 1 were severe, and a 60% impairment with regard to the right lower limb was determined as a result. In actuality, she had her right leg amputated below the knee.

Based on the aforementioned fact, the learned Tribunal determined in the impugned award that the respondent no. 1 in this case suffered injuries in the collision as a result of the truck’s driver’s reckless and careless operation. Regarding the amount of the compensation due to respondent No. 1, the learned Tribunal determined that she had not been able to establish that she was a contributing member of the family. Therefore, in order to determine the income loss, the learned Tribunal granted the compensation using graduate minimum wages. Regarding the respondent number 1’s age, it is undisputed that he or she was 26 years old when the accident occurred.  On the question of disability, the learned Tribunal considered 60% of the disability to the whole body for the purpose of calculation of the future loss of income/gratuitous services. It is challenging this head of compensation that the present appeal has been filed.

Analysis of the court

The learned Tribunal’s conclusion that the first respondent, who worked at home, had her right leg amputated below the knee is uncontested. Therefore, such harm would have serious repercussions for a homemaker, especially given the stratum to which respondent No. 1 belongs. It would undoubtedly hinder her capacity to do her housework, hence the contested award, which assigns her a 60% overall impairment, cannot be faulted.

Hon’ble High Court before arriving at the conclusion refers to several judicial precedents as, Arun Kumar Agrawal v. National Insurance Co. Ltd., (2010) 9 SCC 218(refer para 62-63), Jitendra Khimshankar Trivedi v. Kasam Daud Kumbhar, (2015) 4 SCC 237 (refer 10), Raj Kumar v. Ajay Kumar, (2011) 1 SCC 343(refer para 9-14 and para 19).

The Supreme Court has reemphasized that “what is to be seen as emphasised by decision after decision, is the impact of the injury upon the income generating capacity of the victim” in Sidaram v. Divisional Manager, United India Insurance Co. Ltd., (2023) 3 SCC 439. There cannot be a simple formula for blindly using maths to determine the severity of the loss of a limb (a leg or an arm) in connection to the victim’s job, vocation, or company.

Applying the aforementioned guidelines to the facts of the current case, the respondent no. 1’s contribution to the household cannot be questioned just because she was a housewife. She made her own unique contributions to the home. She would be expected to perform physical housekeeping as a homemaker in addition to providing emotional support and other types of assistance to the family members. Her capacity to conduct the strenuous physical task she would have been undertaking otherwise would be seriously hampered by losing her leg. I do not believe that the fact that respondent No. 1 was given money for the installation of an artificial limb justifies reducing the functional impairment.

Particularly in light of the social strata to which respondent no. 1 belongs, where she is expected to physically conduct all housework, respondent no. 1 would not be able to discharge the duties of a homemaker in a proper manner. Her impairment would undoubtedly limit her capacity to carry out these tasks.

The first respondent, CM Appl. No. 7812/2023, has submitted her medical records and prescription, dated 14.02.2023, from NKS Super Specialty Hospital, which recommends changing the prosthesis. It is obvious that the responder no. 1 continues to experience the effects of the accident.

therefore, find no merits in the present appeal. The same is accordingly dismissed.

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Written By – Shreyanshu Gupta

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