This appeal has been filed before the Honorable Supreme Court pursuing to increment in the compensation awarded by the Motor Accidental Claims Tribunal to the appellant. The appellant herein met with an accident causing a serious injury to the appellant, and it was submitted that the appellant sustained the fracture on both the legs leaving serious strokes on the inner bones and caused fractious injury to the left radius. The appellant herein was admitted for long-term treatment in hospital from 1st of October, 1991 to 16th June, 1992. The appellant filed a petition against the respondent in the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, the tribunal order dated 20th July 2002 passed an awards paying compensation to the then petitioner of Rs. 94,700/- with an interest of 9% P.A from the date of the award decree to any further date till realization. The tribunal calculated the income based on the document provided at Rs. 891/- which was later rounded off to Rs. 900/- The Tribunal then deducted one-third from the amount assuming the allocation of such resources towards the personal expenditure. The Tribunal took the cognizance of the disability percentage, as shown in the disability certificate provided by the appellant for the certainty of the disability suffered that was at 45%.
The tribunal took the percentage mentioned in the disability percentage for calculating the future loss of the then petitioner, and after applying the multiplier method by 17, the Tribunal derived at the compensation of Rs. 55,080/-. The appellant then filed the suit in the High Court appealing for revising the compensation with sustainable increment, but the High Court passed an order dated 31ST January 2007 dismissing the appeal of the appellant providing the rationale that the disability certificate provided by the appellant would not be relied on and so the compensation awarded by the Tribunal stands in affirmation. As per the general principle goes the relief that is to be calculated in the accidental claims can be pecuniary damages also known as special damages, expense relating to the treatment and hospitalization and any other expenditure required to be made by the petitioner for any injury relating to the same accident. The major cause to be calculated is the loss of earning or present and future which needs to be calculated carefully for the purpose accumulating the heads that are generally applicable for claims for providing the legal benefits of the petitioner. The appellant unsatisfied by the impugned order passed by the High Court filed an appeal in the Supreme Court for receiving justifiable amount with the rationale under which such amount will be bifurcated and emphasize on the future income and loss was the prayer submitted by the appellant while filing the appeal in the Supreme Court.
- Whether the rationale provided by the High Court valid?
- Whether the compensation calculated by the Motor Accidental Claims Tribunal fair? Or can it be more than that?
The Supreme Court, in its observation, stated that it was decided and understood by the court that all the injuries caused by accident to the appellant have not resulted in the loss of earning capacity. The court further agrees that it is not possible for any medical specialist to affix or to calculate the loss of earning capacity of the person sustaining injuries, a medical officer will only calculate the disability percentage of the appellant and the court is duty-bound to calculate the loss of earning of any person. The court is the only judge to set a precise percentage to calculate the compensation as there is no one size fits all type of compensation given are to be calculated. The court further considers the reluctance of the surgeon and medical officer for making appearing in the court of law for providing the oral evidence proving the legal disability as the many reasons can be agreed to such as; the entire day has to be allotted to make such appearances many a time the location of the court is way far away from the office area resulting in hardship.
This court rely on the argument made by the learned counsel and agreed upon the tribunal that such compensation that was calculated on the basis of the disability certificate provided by the doctors was absolute as the certificate of disability was provided by the District Hospital in the Uttar Pradesh, setting aside the credibility of the certificate by the High Court seems invalid and will not be taken any cognizance of the same. The Court observes that though the certificate provides the disability percentage at 45%, the Tribunal missed on the facts that such disability is calculated only in concern with the left limb that does not in way stop or effects in major to the work of the appellant where he works as a cheese vendor. Thus impeding the workflow does not mean that the loss of earning can be considered in entirety. The court further assessing the situation suggest that the disability of the body should be calculated at 25%, and the loss of earning an income should be calculated at 20%. The Court also agrees upon the calculation of per annum income of the appellant at INR 18,000/- and applying the multiplier of 18 the compensation to be calculated.
The Supreme Court allowing the appeal in part stated that the income would be calculated as the guidelines provided by this court and set aside the order of the Hon'ble High Court it was decided that such compensation would be increased by INR 20,000/- and referring the above principle allows the appeal and matter relating to the subject stands disposed.