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Motor Accident Claim- Fixing 15K As Notional Income Per Annum For Non-Earning Member Is Unreasonable: Allahabad HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
15 Jan 2022 3:13 PM GMT
Motor Accident Claim- Fixing 15K As Notional Income Per Annum For Non-Earning Member Is Unreasonable: Allahabad HC
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Referring to a Supreme Court's Judgment delivered in 2021, the Allahabad High Court has observed that fixing notional income at Rs.15,000/- per annum for a family's non-earning members is not just and reasonable.The Bench of Justice Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Ajai Tyagi was hearing an appeal filed by the parents of a 7-year-old deceased boy, seeking enhancement of...

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Referring to a Supreme Court's Judgment delivered in 2021, the Allahabad High Court has observed that fixing notional income at Rs.15,000/- per annum for a family's non-earning members is not just and reasonable.

The Bench of Justice Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Ajai Tyagi was hearing an appeal filed by the parents of a 7-year-old deceased boy, seeking enhancement of quantum, against Motor Accident Claims Tribunal's order awarding Rs.1,80,000 as compensation with interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum.

The matter in brief 

In March 2018, claimant Roop Lal was walking with his son and at that time, a truck, being driven very rashly and negligently by its driver, hit the son of the appellant from behind due to which he fell on the road and front wheel of the truck ran over him.

The 7-year-old boy sustained fatal injuries and died on the spot. Thereafter, in the Motor Accident Claim, filed by the appellant/claimant, a sum of Rs.1,80,000 as compensation was awarded. Feeling aggrieved by the same, the father moved to High Court.

The accident was not in dispute. The issue of negligence had been decided in favor of the appellants/claimant and the Insurance Company did not challenge the liability imposed on it by the Tribunal. The only issue left to be decided was the quantum of compensation.

Court's observations

At the outste, the Court referred to the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Kurvan Ansari alias Kurvan Ali & Anr. v. Shyam Kishore Murmu & Anr. LL 2021 SC 655 wherein the Court had decided the controversy and settled the law in the case of the death of a child.

"In this case, the Hon'ble Apex Court has stated that in spite of repeated directions, Scheduled-II of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is not yet amended. Therefore, fixing notional income of Rs.15,000/- per annum for non-earning members is not just and reasonable," the Court observed.

It may further be noted that the Apex Court in the Kurvan Ansari case had further observed that in view of the judgments in the cases of Puttamma and others Vs. K.L. Narayana Reddy and another, 2014 (1) TAC 926 and Kishan Gopal and another v. Lala and others, 2013 (4) TAC 5, it is a fit case to increase the notional income by taking into account the inflation, devaluation of the rupees and cost of living.

"With the aforesaid observations, the Hon'ble Apex Court took the notional income of the deceased at Rs.25,000/- per annum, hence we are of the considered view that notional income of the deceased must be assumed Rs.25,000/- per annum as he was non-earning member," the High Court finally held as it enhanced the compensation to Rs. 4,70,000 with interest at the rate of 7.5% from the date of filing of the claim petition till the amount is deposited.

The respondent-Insurance Company has been directed to deposit the amount within a period of 08 weeks from today with interest at the rate of 7.5% from the date of filing of the claim petition till the amount is deposited.

Case title - Roop Lal and Anr v. Suresh Kumar Yadav and 2 Ors.
Case citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 13

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