The Supreme Court in a judgment disposing of an appeal arising out of Motor Accident Compensation Claim filed by heirs of a deceased couple observed that Advocates cannot throw away legal rights or enter into arrangements contrary to law. In this case, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal awarded a total sum of Rs 40.71 lakhs for both deceased to the claimants. Partly allowing the appeal filed by Insurance Company, the High Court reversed the addition of future prospects. The claimants filed an appeal before the Apex Court.
Taking into consideration the facts, the Bench further observed that the claims and legal liabilities crystallized at the time of the accident itself, and changes post thereto ought not to ordinarily affect pending proceedings.
The court observed: "It cannot be disputed that at the time of death, there in fact were four dependents of the deceased and not three. The subsequent death of the deceased's dependent mother ought not to be a reason for reduction of motor accident compensation. Claims and legal liabilities crystallise at the time of the accident itself, and changes post thereto ought not to ordinarily affect pending proceedings. Just like how appellant claimants cannot rely upon subsequent increases in minimum wages, the respondent insurer too cannot seek benefit of the subsequent death of a dependent during the pendency of legal proceedings"
The Court allowed the appeal and enhanced the compensation to Rs. 33.20 lakhs.
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