Sarup Singh @ Ram Sarup Versus HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Ltd. and Ors.

Sarup Singh @ Ram Sarup Versus HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Ltd. and Ors.

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 7283-7284 OF 2022
(@ SLP (C) Nos. 31198-31199/2017)
Sarup Singh @ Ram Sarup …Appellant(s)
Versus
HDFC Ergo General Insurance
Company Ltd. and Ors. …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 passed by the High Court reducing the amount of
compensation from Rs. 20,64,000/- as awarded by the learned Motor
Accident Claims Tribunal (hereinafter referred to as the “Tribunal”) to
Rs.11,34,136/- alongwith interest @ 6% p.a., the original claimants
have preferred the present appeals.
2. The deceased at the time of accident was of 28 years of age.
The original claimants – wife of the deceased, minor daughter, father
and sister of the deceased filed the claim petition before the Tribunal.
The learned Tribunal considered the notional income of the deceased
at Rs. 10,000/- per month and thereafter adding 30% towards the
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future prospect and thereafter deducting 1/4th towards the personal
expense of the deceased, awarded Rs. 19,89,000/- under the head
loss of dependency. The learned Tribunal also awarded Rs. 25,000/-
towards loss of consortium or loss of love and affection and Rs.
50,000/- under the conventional head (funeral expenses and loss of
estate). Thus, the learned Tribunal awarded a total sum of
Rs.20,64,000/- with interest @ 9% p.a. towards the compensation for
the death of the deceased.
3. In an appeal preferred by the insurance company, the High Court
has reduced the amount of compensation to Rs. 11,34,136/- by
considering the notional income @ Rs. 6,500/- per month and
thereafter deducting 1/3rd towards the personal expense of the
deceased and determined/awarded Rs. 8,84,136/- under the head loss
of dependency. The High Court has also awarded a further sum of Rs.
1,00,000/- towards loss of consortium and Rs. 1,00,000/- towards loss
of love and affection for the child and Rs. 50,000/- for loss of estate.
However, the High Court has also reduced the rate of interest from 9%
p.a. to 6% p.a. The impugned judgment and order passed by the High
Court is the subject matter of the present appeal.
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4. Having heard the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
respective parties and having gone through the impugned judgment
and order passed by the High Court, we are of the opinion that the
amount awarded by the High Court can be said to be on lower side.
While awarding the loss of dependency, the High Court has not
awarded/considered the future prospects at all. As per the decision of
this Court in the case of National Insurance Company Limited Vs.
Pranay Sethi and Ors., (2017) 16 SCC 680, there shall be 40% rise
towards future prospects. Therefore, even if we consider the notional
income @ Rs. 6,500/- per month as determined by the High Court and
adding 40% towards future prospects and deducting 1/3rd towards
personal expense of the deceased and by applying the multiple of 17,
the claimant shall be entitled to Rs. 12,37,790/- under the head loss of
dependency. Considering the decision of this Court in the case of
Pranay Sethi and Ors. (supra) and the recent decision of this Court in
the case of Janabai and Ors. Vs. I.C.I.C.I. Lombard General
Insurance Company Ltd., 2022 ACJ 2003, the claimant shall also be
entitled to Rs. 40,000/- towards parental consortium for minor child;
Rs. 40,000/- towards spousal consortium for wife and Rs. 40,000/-
towards filial consortium for the father of the deceased. Thus, the
claimants shall be entitled to Rs. 1,20,000/- under the head loss of
consortium. The claimants shall also be entitled to Rs. 30,000/- under
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the conventional head (funeral expense and loss of estate). The High
Court has also erred in reducing the interest from 9% p.a. to 6% p.a.
Considering the fact that the deceased died in the year 2012, the
claimants shall be entitled to the interest @ 7.5% p.a. Thus, the
claimants shall be entitled to Rs. 13,87,790/- with interest @ 7.5% p.a.
5. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the
present appeals are allowed in part. The impugned judgment and
order passed by the High Court is modified and it is held and directed
that the appellants shall be entitled to a total sum of Rs. 13,78,790/-
with interest @ 7.5% p.a. from the date of filing of the claim petition till
realization towards the compensation for the death of the deceased.
Present appeals are accordingly allowed to the aforesaid extent.
However, in the facts and circumstances of the case, there shall be no
order as to costs.
………………………………….J.
 [M.R. SHAH]
NEW DELHI; ………………………………….J.
OCTOBER 17, 2022. [C.T. RAVIKUMAR]
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