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SUMAN GURJAR & ORS. versus HEMANT KUMAR & ORS.

High Court of Rajasthan

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SUMAN GURJAR & ORS. v HEMANT KUMAR & ORS. - CMA Case No. 100 of 2007 [2007] RD-RJ 1667 (4 April 2007)

S.B. CIVIL MISC. APPEAL NO.100/2007.

(Suman Gurjar & Ors. Vs. Hemant Kumar & Ors.)

Date of Order :: 4th April 2007.

HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE DINESH MAHESHWARI

Mr. Sandeep Sarupariya, for the appellants. .....

Having heard learned counsel for the claimant- appellants and having perused the impugned award dated 24.01.2006 made by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal,

Bhilwara in Claim Case No.546/2004, this Court is satisfied that the instant appeal for enhancement of the amount of compensation remains bereft of substance and does not merit admission.

For quantification of compensation to be awarded to the wife, two minor children and parents of the vehicular accident victim Bhanwar Lal Gurjar, about 27-28 years of age, the

Tribunal has noticed the submissions of the claimants about the deceased earning Rs.8,500/- per month in dairy business and in agriculture and by way of interest income. The Tribunal has referred to the income tax return (Ex.8) and supporting computations filed by the claimants stating annual income of the deceased in the year 2002-03 at Rs.84,125/- but has found with reference to the statements of NAW-2 Ram Lal Sharma, an employee in the Income-tax Department at Bhilwara that the said return at alleged serial number.21708 was not received in their office on 17.09.2003; and on the said number a return of one Mukesh Gurjar was received on 19.09.2003.

The Tribunal has also noticed that the claimants have not produced supporting accounts in relation to the income of the deceased and have not filed his previous tax returns.

In the circumstances of the case, disbelieving the assertion on monthly income of the deceased at Rs.8,500/-, the Tribunal has taken his monthly income at Rs.2,400/- and deducting one-third wherefrom and with application of multiplier of 18, has assessed pecuniary loss at Rs.3,45,600/-; and allowing Rs.5,000/- towards funeral expenses and

Rs.20,000/- towards non-pecuniary loss has awarded compensation in the sum of Rs.3,70,600/-. The Tribunal has allowed interest @ 6% per annum after adjustment of the amount of Rs.50,000/- received under interim award.

The Tribunal has not committed any error in rejecting the case set up by the claimants with reference to the alleged income tax return (Ex.8). In the first place, such tax return and accompanying computations could not have been taken directly in proof of the income of the deceased particularly when no supporting evidence in the form of accounts has been adduced. Moreover, the documents produced by the claimants, of whatever evidentiary value, stand effectively rebutted when an employee of the Income-tax Department has specifically pointed out that such return was never received in their office. Then, the disputed return and its supporting computations have their own shortcomings. An amount of

Rs.5,168/- has been computed as tax payable but no date of payment of such tax has been stated nor the copy of deposit challan has been filed. The claimants stated the deceased earning from agriculture too but no component of agricultural income is shown in the computation. The claimants produced one Chhotu Lal as AW-2 who though suggested having worked for three years on the dairy of the deceased without any documentary proof but also deposed that the deceased was having four-five cows and now the father of the deceased was engaged in milk vending. The trading and profit & loss account as attached to the alleged tax return Ex.8 on the contrary, states only about purchase and sale transactions, that is of trading business only. No any expenditure on the cattle is shown. It appears that prior to the disputed one, no tax return was filed as it has been stated that permanent account number was not allotted. The suggestion as put forward by the claimants on the income of the deceased does not inspire confidence and rather the claimants appear to be not forthright in their submissions while claiming compensation.

Claim for compensation is considered for the victim and sufferers of vehicular accident; and it inheres in the process that the conduct of the claimants is not blameworthy. The conduct of the claimants in this case, in placing concocted evidence in relation to the income of deceased, could only meet with disapproval.

Then, if at all the deceased was earning from dairy business, a part of the business income retaining itself to the claimants cannot be ignored; and in the present case, the claimants' witness AW-2 Chhotulal has in fact deposed to that effect.

Although the conduct of the claimants does not inspire confidence, the Tribunal has yet taken a compassionate view of the matter and has assessed the loss on the basis of the income of the deceased at Rs.2,400/- per month and has applied maximum side multiplier of 18.

In the ultimate analysis, the award amount cannot be said to be too low or inadequate than that of just compensation; and there appears no scope, nor any justification, for upward revision in this appeal.

The appeal fails and is, therefore, dismissed summarily.

(DINESH MAHESHWARI), J.

Mohan/


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Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

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