2017(1) Law Herald (P&H) 787 : 2017 LawHerald.Org 725

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA

Before

The Hon’ble Mrs. Justice Anita Chaudhry

FAQ No.5655 of 2013 (O&M)

Rajneesh Rattan & Ors.

v.

Baljinder Singh & Ors.

Decided on 21/02/2017

For the Appellants:                                      Mr. Ankur Gupta, Advocate.

For the Respondent No.1:                                already ex parte.

For the Respondent No.2:                                Ms. Aarti, Advocate for Mr. Rajiv Kataria, Advocate.

For the Respondent No.3-insurance company:            Mr. Gopal Mittal, Advocate.

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, S.166–Accident-Future ProspectsDeceased was a
teacher-She was neither self-employed nor she was on minimum wages,
therefore, an addition of 50% should have been made for future prospects-The
issue before the Larger Bench is only with respect to those persons who are self-
employed or were getting minimum wages.                                                   (Para 5)

CASES CITED:

  1. Nisha & Ors. v. Sita Devi & Ors. PLR Vol.CLXXXV (2017-1) 408. (Para 3)

2    Manjit Kaur & Ors. v. Alia Dutta & Ors., PLR Vol. CLXXXV-(2017-1) 152. (Para 3)

JUDGMENT

Mrs. Anita Chaudhry, J.: -This is the claimants’ appeal seeking enhancement in the compensation allowed to them by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Ludhiana vide award dated 02.07.2013.

  1. Gurveer Kaur, aged 25 years met with an accident on 25.02.2011, when she was going to
    pick her daughter from her school. Atipper driven by respondent no.1 came from behind and
    hit the motorcycle of the deceased. Gurveer Kaur was a teacher in Doraha Public School,
    Doraha, District Ludhiana. Her monthly income was stated to be Rs.15.000/-. The Tribunal
    relied upon Ex.A7 and noted that the pay scale was Rs. 6400 – 200 -10640/- and the starting
    salary was Rs.6,400/- per month basic plus allowances. It noted that Gurveer Kaur had
    worked in the school only for ten days and 10 days’ salary was disbursed to the husband after
    her death. The Tribunal rejected the letter to show that her salary was to be raised to
    Rs.15.000/- per month w.e.f. 01.04.2011. The income was taken as Rs.9,000/- per month and
    1/3rd was deducted as personal expenses and the dependency was calculated at Rs.72,000/

– per annum. Applying the multiplier of 17, the compensation was calculated at Rs.12,24,0007 -. An addition of Rs.5,000/- was made for loss of consortium and a sum of Rs.5,000/- was added as funeral expenses, raising the total to Rs.12,34,000/-.

  1. The submission on behalf of the appellants is that the school had advertised the post of P.G.T.
    Teacher in the month of January, 2011 and Gurveer Kaur had applied for the post and was given
    an appointment in February, 2011 and another letter was issued on 14.02.2011 and her salary
    would have been raised to Rs.15.000/- per month w.e.f. 1.04.2011 and that salary should have
    been taken to calculate. It was urged that the Court should have awarded some amount for
    future prospects and very little amount had been awarded for loss of consortium and funeral
    expenses and the multiplier of 18 should have been applied instead of 17. Reliance was placed
    upon Nisha and others Vs. Sita Devi and others PLR Vol.CLXXXV (2017-1) 408 and Man/if
    Kaur and others Vs. Alia Dutta and others
    PLR Vol. CLXXXV-(2017-1) 152.
  2. On the other hand, the submission was that no amount towards future prospects could have
    been added and the matter was pending before a Larger Bench of the Apex Court. It was
    urged that the letter on the face of it appears to be procured with a view to raise the income. It
    was urged that in the appointment letter Ex.A7 it clearly states that the appointment was on
    probation for a year, which could be extended by another year and the starting salary was
    mentioned as Rs.6,400/- per month + basic allowances and there was no reason for the
    school to issue another letter in addition to say that the salary would be increased with a
    quantum jump to Rs.15.000/- after one and a half month. It was urged that the letter is given
    number ‘2-A1, which shows that it has been procured subsequently.
  3. The date of birth of Gurveer Kaur is available on the record and was 15.03.1985. The accident
    took place on 25.02.2011. Therefore, the multiplier of 18 would be applicable instead of 17.
    Gurveer Kaur had been appointed on probation basis for a year and her basic salary was
    6,400/- per month. The Tribunal added the allowances and the income was taken as
    Rs.9,000/- per month. Though there is no material to show how the amount was added to the
    basic salary. The Tribunal assumed the total income to be Rs.9,000/- per month on the basis of
    the salary paid for 12 days. The claimants were expected to bring some evidence to show the
    amount paid on other heads. I would allow only Rs.2,000/- for the miscellaneous heads, which
    would make the total income to be Rs.8,400/- per month. The deceased was a teacher. She was
    not self-employed nor she was on minimum wages, therefore, an addition of 50% should have
    been made for future prospects. The issue before the Larger Bench is only with respect to those
    persons who are self-employed or were getting minimum wages. If an addition of 50% is made,
    the income would be Rs.12,600/- per month. After deducting 1 /3 towards personal expenses, the
    amount available for the family would be Rs.8,400/- per month. The annual contribution would
    come to Rs.1,00,800/-. After applying the multiplier of 18, the compensation wold come to
    Rs.18,14,400/-. To this, a sum of Rs.1 lac is added for loss of consortium, a sum of Rs.1 lac is
    added for loss of love and affection for the child, a sum of Rs.20,000/- is added for loss of estate
    (Rs.5,000/- already allowed by the Tribunal) and a sum of Rs.20,000/- is added for funeral
    expenses (Rs.5,000/- already allowed by the Tribunal). The total compensation thus payable
    would be Rs. 18,14,400 + 100000 + 100000 + 20000 + 20000 = Rs.20,54,400/-. The Tribunal
    had allowed Rs.12,34,OOO/-, which would be deducted and the amount would be paid after
    deducting income tax and in the same ratio to the claimants as ordered by the Tribunal and
    interest at the same rate from the date of filing of the appeal i.e. 24.10.2013 till realization. The
    amount of the minor would be deposited in the fixed deposit till the minor attains majority.
  4. The appeal is partly allowed.