High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Gunjari Devi & Anr v. Balwinder Singh & Ors - FAO-4527-2005  RD-P&H 6329 (31 August 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH
DATE OF DECISION: 17.7.2006.
Gunjari Devi and another
Balwinder Singh and others
CORAM:- Hon'ble Mr. Justice Uma Nath Singh.
Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.D.Anand.
Present: Mr.Amit Jaiswal, Advocate,
for the appellants
UMA NATH SINGH, J.
This FAO arises out of an award dated 2.6.2005 passed by learned Presiding Officer, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Ambala, in MACT Petition No.50 of 23.1.2004, awarding a sum of Rs.3,94,000/- in death case of a Military Sepoy of 25 years, who was unmarried at the time of accident.
It appears that on the date of accident, i.e., 20.11.2003, deceased Trilok Nath Gupta was going towards Railway Station, Ambala Cantt., from his Army Unit, on his new Motorcycle (without number but applied for). It also appears that he was driving the vehicle on his left hand side at a moderate speed. Another Sepoy Bharat Kumar was a pillion rider.
At about 8.00 pm, when they reached near the GPO, Ambala Cantt., offending vehicle, Tata Sumo Jeep (PB-10-AT/2040), suddenly appeared from the opposite side, being driven rashly and negligently. It also appears that the said offending vehicle struck against the motorcycle on its wrong side. As a result, both the motorcyclists fell down and suffered multiple FAO No.4527 of 2005 2
injuries. They were immediately shifted to Military Hospital, Ambala Cantt., however, the deceased, Trilok Nath Gupta, succumbed to the said injuries two days thereafter on 22.11.2003. Accordingly, an FIR (No.411 under Sections 279, 337 and 304-A IPC) was registered against respondent No.1, the driver of the offending vehicle, on 21.11.2003, at Police Station, Ambala Cantt. Admittedly, the deceased was a bachelor army Sepoy of 25 years at the time of accident and was earning a gross salary of Rs.6086/- per month, besides other benefits. Sepoy Bharat Kumar (PW2), who was a pillion rider, has appeared on behalf of the claimants and has stated that the deceased was employed as a Driver MT in Indian Army. The salary certificate (Ex.P-2) of the deceased was placed on record. The claimants, being the parents, stated their age to be 50 years and 52 years. The Tribunal after considering the age of the claimants and the deceased so also the fact that the claimants have three other living sons has assessed the dependency at Rs.4000/- per month, after deducting only 1/3rd from the gross salary
towards the personal expenses. Thus, the annual dependency has come to Rs.48,000/- and the total amount has been worked out to Rs.3,84,000/-.
Additionally, Rs.10,000/- has been awarded towards funeral expenses and the last rites. Thus, the total awarded compensation amount has been assessed at Rs.3,94,000/-.
Filing of this appeal is barred by 7 days' delay and the application for condonation of delay does not contain any sufficient cause to condone the delay. Learned counsel for the appellants submitted that the multiplier applied by the Tribunal appears to be on lower side and the deceased was a young Sepoy of 25 years at the time of accident. The Tribunal has also erred in calculating the age group of the parents.
FAO No.4527 of 2005 3
We have carefully considered the appeal on merits and we have noticed that the factors like age of the deceased, the claimants having three other sons and also their age group, have been rightly taken into consideration by the Tribunal. Besides, during the arguments, learned counsel could not point out as to whether the claimants have also received any ex-gratia payment or financial assistance from the Department of the deceased, as, admittedly, he suffered the accident during the course of employment. We have also noticed that the Tribunal has rather taken a lenient view in deducting only 1/3rd
from the gross salary towards the
personal expenditure of the deceased. Admittedly, the deceased was a bachelor and in such a case, 50% of the earning is deducted towards the personal expenses. Further, the dependency has been assessed on the gross salary and not on the carry home salary. Hence, we do not find any ground for enhancement of the compensation amount.
Thus, this appeal is dismissed on the ground of delay as well as on merits.
( UMA NATH SINGH )
July 17, 2006 ( S.D.ANAND )
FAO No.4527 of 2005 4
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