Velayudhan Versus National Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr.

Velayudhan Versus National Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr.  

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 6164 OF 2022
Velayudhan       …Appellant(s)
Versus
National Insurance Co. Ltd. & Anr.        …Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
M.R. SHAH, J.
1. Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment and order dated 23.10.2018 passed by the High
Court of Kerala at Ernakulam in MACA No. 2601/2008, by
which, the High Court has partly allowed the said appeal
and enhanced the total amount of compensation to Rs.
8,24,800/­, the original claimant has preferred the present
appeal. 
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2. In   a   vehicular   accident,   the   appellant   herein   –   original
claimant sustained very serious injuries resulting into 68%
permanent disability (the High Court assessed the same as
100%).   The   appellant   sustained   head   injury   with   right
temporal   contusion   with   SDH   and   brain   stem   injury,
fracture   multiple   metatarsal   bones,   fracture   medial
malleolus left foot, pneumothorax left with fracture ribs left
side, lacerated wound occipital scalp, contusion left upper
arm mid outer side with limited movement of upper limb,
burns injury left leg antero medially mid part lacerated
wound leg mid anteriorly with adjacent abrasion, lacerated
wound between little toe and fourth toe, edema left foot
dorsal   side   multiple   bodily   injuries.   The   claimant   filed
claim   petition   before   the   learned   Tribunal   towards
compensation.   The   learned   Tribunal   awarded   the
compensation under different heads as under: ­
Head Amount claimed  Amount awarded 
Loss of earning Rs. 45,000/­ Rs. 16,000/­
Expense   for
transportation
Rs. 20,000/­ Rs. 5,000/­
Extra
nourishment
Rs. 10,000/­ Rs. 4,000/­
2
Damages   to
clothing
Rs. 0/­ Rs. 5,00/­
Damages   to
motorcycle
Rs. 4,000/­ Rs. 3,850/­
Expense   for
treatment
Rs. 50,000/­ Rs. 80,450/­
Expense   for
personal
assistance
Rs. 1,00,000/­ Rs. 1,00,000/­
Compensation   for
pain and suffering
Rs. 1,50,000/­ Rs. 50,000/­
Compensation   for
permanent
disability
Rs. 2,00,000/­ Rs. 2,44,800/­
Compensation   for
loss of amenities
Rs. 0/­ Rs. 25,000/­
The   learned   Tribunal   assessed   the   income   of   the
claimant   at   Rs.   2,000/­   per   month   and   accordingly,
awarded actual economic loss as well as future economic
loss. The learned Tribunal awarded Rs. 50,000/­ towards
pain and suffering. In the appeal, the High Court though
assessed the permanent disability at 100% for working out
of   the   compensation,   enhanced   the   amount   of
compensation   with   respect   to   the   future   economic   loss
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considering the income of the injured – claimant at Rs.
3,000/­ per month. The High Court did not enhance the
amount of compensation under other heads.  
2.1 Feeling   aggrieved   and   dissatisfied   with   the   impugned
judgment   and   order   of   the   High   Court,   the   original
claimant – injured has preferred the present appeal. 
3. We have heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
appellant. At the outset, it is required to be noted that in
the vehicular accident the appellant sustained very serious
injuries referred to hereinabove and suffered trauma and
suffering.   The   learned   Tribunal   and   the   High   Court
assessed and awarded Rs. 50,000/­ only towards pain and
suffering. Considering the serious injuries suffered by the
appellant – claimant and prolonged hospitalisation and the
pain and suffering and trauma suffered by the appellant
due to the accident, we are of the opinion that the amount
of Rs. 50,000/­ awarded towards pain and suffering can be
said to on a lower side. We are of the opinion that in the
facts and circumstances of the case and looking to the
serious injuries, prolonged hospitalisation and the pain,
shock and suffering and trauma, which might have been
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suffered by the appellant – claimant, it would be just and
proper to award Rs. 4,00,000/­ under the head of pain,
shock, and suffering. 
  
4. Similarly, the High Court has erred in awarding the future
economic loss treating the income of the claimant at Rs.
3,000/­ per month only. The claimant was working as a
Mason.   The   permanent   disability  assessed   by   the   High
Court   is   at   100%.   Therefore,   even   considering   the
minimum wages payable to the Mason and the future rise
in income, the claimant shall be entitled to the economic
loss past as well as future considering the income of the
claimant at Rs. 5,000/­ per month. Looking to the age of
the claimant that was 40 years, multiplier of 15 is required
to be applied. 
5. In view of the above, the present appeal is allowed. The
impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court is
modified awarding Rs. 24,000/­ towards loss of earing; Rs.
9,00,000/­ towards future economic loss (instead of Rs.
5,40,000/­   as   awarded   by   the   High   Court)   and   Rs.
4,00,000/­ towards pain, shock, and suffering. Thus, the
claimant shall be entitled to a total sum of Rs. 15,42,800/­
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with 7.5% interest per annum from the date of the claim
petition,   till   satisfaction.   The   respondent   –   Insurance
Company is directed to pay/deposit the enhanced amount
of compensation as per the present judgment and order
within a period of eight weeks from the date of receipt of a
copy of this judgment. The present appeal is partly allowed
to the aforesaid extent. No costs.   
………………………………….J.
[M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
SEPTEMBER 07, 2022 [KRISHNA MURARI]
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