Ramesh Versus Karan Singh & Anr.

Ramesh Versus Karan Singh & Anr.

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.  6365 OF 2022
Ramesh        ...Appellant(s)
Versus
Karan Singh & Anr.    …Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. The application for deleting the name of respondent No. 2
herein   is   allowed   at   the   risk   and   responsibility   of   the
appellant herein.
2. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment and order dated 16.07.2019 passed by the High
Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh in FAO No. 83
of 2002, by which, the High Court has partly allowed the
said appeal preferred by the appellant herein – injured –
claimant and has enhanced the amount of compensation
to   Rs.   14,82,000/­   only,   the   original   claimant   has
preferred the present appeal.
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3. In a vehicular accident which occurred on 02.01.1997, the
appellant – original claimant sustained multiple injuries.
There was an amputation of right upper limb below elbow
at   upper   l/3rd  of   fore­arm.   During   the   prolonged
hospitalization,   the   injured   –   claimant   was   required   to
undergo   five   operations.   At   the   time   of   accident,   the
appellant was getting USD 1000 as a salary in Merchant
Navy where he was employed at Belgium excluding free
food, accommodation, and free air ticket. The appellant
approached the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (for short
“Tribunal”) claiming Rs. 1,02,00,000/­ for compensation
under different heads. The Tribunal awarded a total sum
of   Rs.   6,68,000/­   under   different   heads   including   the
expenses covering medicine, treatment, special diet, pain,
shock   and   suffering   and   future   loss   of   income.   While
awarding future economic loss, the Tribunal determined
and considered the income of the injured at Rs. 3,500/­
per month. In the appeal preferred by the claimant, by the
impugned   judgment   and   order   the   High   Court   has
enhanced   the   amount   of   compensation   from   Rs.
6,68,000/­   to   Rs.   14,82,000/­.   While   awarding   future
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economic loss, the High Court has though considered the
income   of   the   injured   at   Rs.   36,000/­   per   month   in
Merchant Navy, Belgium, but has actually considered the
loss of income at 50% of the same on the ground that in
Merchant Navy, usually the job is for six months in a year
and that as per the medical evidence, the injuries have
resulted in 70% disability qua right arm. The High Court
has awarded Rs. 25,000/­ towards pain and suffering and
Rs.   10,000/­   for   special   diet   and   Rs.   5,000/­   for
transportation. Thus, the High Court has determined and
awarded   a   total   sum   of   Rs.   14,82,000/­   towards
compensation along with 7.5% per annum interest from
the date of filing of claim petition till realization. 
3.1 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and
order   passed   by   the   High   Court   in   determining   and
awarding only Rs. 14,82,000/­ towards compensation, the
original   claimant   –   injured   has   preferred   the   present
appeal. 
4. We have heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respective parties at length. 
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5. By  the   impugned   judgment   and   order,   the   High   Court
while awarding the future economic loss has considered
the loss of income at Rs. 18,000/­ per month. However, it
is required to be noted that the appellant was serving as
Merchant Navy and his salary at the relevant time was
USD 1000. His right hand below elbow was amputated
resulting in 70% disability qua right arm. The High Court
has observed that the claimant can still earn something.
However, it is required to be noted that the claimant will
not be able to do any work in Merchant Navy. The High
Court also observed that in Merchant Navy, usually the job
is   for   six   months   in   a   year.   The   said   observation   is
absolutely without any basis. No evidence is led on behalf
of the respondents on the aforesaid. It cannot be said that
the claimant would do nothing for rest of six months. The
High   Court   has   also   not   considered   the   future   rise   in
income. Under the circumstances and in the facts and
circumstances of the case, the High Court ought to have
awarded the future economic loss considering the loss of
income at least at Rs. 30,000/­ per month. Therefore, the
total loss comes to Rs. 57,60,000/­ (30000x12x16). 
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5.1 The High Court has awarded Rs. 25,000/­ only towards
pain, shock, and suffering. However, it is required to be
noted that the right hand below elbow of the claimant was
amputated.   During   prolonged   hospitalization,   he   was
operated five times. Looking to the serious injuries, the
claimant was required to be shifted to Medical College and
Hospital   at   Rohtak   and   thereafter   to   Jaipur   Golden
Hospital,   New   Delhi,   where   he   was   remained   admitted
from 03.01.1997 to 21.01.1997. Therefore, considering the
five operations, prolonged hospitalization, and suffering,
we are of the opinion that the amount of Rs. 25,000/­
awarded by the High Court under the head of pain, shock,
and suffering can be said to be on a lower side. In the facts
and circumstances of the case, narrated hereinabove, we
are of the opinion that the claimant shall be entitled to at
least Rs. 4,00,000/­ towards pain, shock, and suffering.
The impugned judgment and order passed by the High
Court is to be modified accordingly.   
6. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the
present appeal succeeds in part. The impugned judgment
and order passed by the High Court is modified and it is
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ordered that the appellant herein – injured – claimant shall
be entitled to a total sum of Rs. 62,35,000/­ with 7.5%
interest per annum from the date of filing of the claim
petition till realization. 
7. The   present   appeal   is   partly   allowed   to   the   aforesaid
extent. The enhanced amount of compensation is to be
deposited by the respondents with the learned Tribunal
within a period of eight weeks from today and on such
deposit   the   same   be   paid   to   the   original   claimant   –
appellant herein by account payee cheque. No costs.  
………………………………….J.
[M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 [KRISHNA MURARI]
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