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UMA DEVI & ORS v RAMESHWAR LAL & ORS - CMA Case No. 503 of 2007 [2007] RD-RJ 745 (6 February 2007)



Uma Devi & Ors. Vs. Rameshwar Lal & Ors.

Date of Order :: 6th February 2007.


Mr. Pradeep Choudhary, for the appellants. ...


For awarding compensation to the wife, minor children and the parents of the vehicular accident victim Bhanwar

Lal, about 30 years in age and said to be working as a driver, the

Tribunal has not accepted the assertion of the claimants about the income of the deceased at Rs.5,000/- per month for want of any cogent corroborative evidence and has put an estimate on his income at Rs.3,500/- per month; and after deducting one- third therefrom, has taken the dependency of the claimants at

Rs.28,000/- per annum and with application of multiplier of 18, has assessed pecuniary loss at Rs.5,04,000/-. The Tribunal has further allowed Rs.20,000/- to the wife of the deceased towards loss of consortium and Rs.10,000/- each to the children and parents towards non-pecuniary loss and another Rs.5,000/- towards funeral expenses. In this manner, the Tribunal has assessed total loss for the claimants at Rs.5,79,000/- and after adjustment of Rs.50,000/- received under No Fault Liability has allowed interest on the remaining amount of Rs.5,29,000/- at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of filing of the claim application. By way of this appeal, the claimants seek enhancement over the amount so awarded.

Learned counsel Mr. Pradeep Choudhary appearing for the appellants has strenuously contended that the Tribunal has seriously erred in : (i) putting a lower side estimate on the income of the deceased only at Rs.3,500/- per month though there is no rebuttal of the assertion of the claimants about the income of the deceased at Rs.5,000/- per month; (ii) deducting one-third from such lower side estimated income towards personal expenditure of the deceased without considering that the deceased was a driver of heavy vehicle and for the very nature of his job, he was getting separate allowances for his own personal expenditure. Learned counsel has read over the statement of claimant No.1 Uma Devi, examined as AW-1 before the Tribunal.

Having examined the impugned award and having given a thoughtful consideration to the submissions made by the learned counsel for the appellants, this Court is clearly of opinion that this appeal for enhancement does not merit admission.

The Tribunal cannot be said to have erred in putting a reasonable estimate on the income of the deceased, said to be working as a driver, at Rs.3,500/- per month. For supporting the assertion as made by the claimants on the income of the deceased, it was definitely required of them to have produced some cogent corroborative evidence. From the statement of

AW-1 Uma Devi (wife of deceased) as read over by the learned counsel for the appellants, it is nowhere borne out that the deceased was contributing entire of his income to the dependents and was not required to spend anything on his person. It is borne out from her statement that her father-in-law, i.e. father of the deceased claimant No.6 has got separate agricultural land available with him. Thus, the parents of the deceased cannot be said to be totally dependent on him. On an overall view of the matter, deduction of one-third on the personal expenditure of the deceased from the estimated income cannot be said to be an estimate on the wrong side.

Moreover, though the age of the deceased has been shown at 30 years, the Tribunal has proceeded to apply maximum side multiplier of 18 to assess pecuniary loss at

Rs.5,04,000/- and has further proceeded to allow rather higher amount towards non-pecuniary loss to the claimants and has not restricted even on the rate of interest and has allowed the same at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of filing of the claim application.

In the ultimate analysis, the award as made by the

Tribunal in favour of the claimants cannot be said to be too low or inadequate so as to warrant interference in appeal.

The appeal fails and is, therefore, dismissed summarily.



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