MOTOR ACCIDENT CLAIM = i) No amount can be deducted towards Provident Fund, Pension and Insurance amount from the actual salary of the victim for calculating compensation. (ii) In the absence of any evidence, the Court suo motu cannot deduct any amount towards income tax from the actual salary of the victim. (iii) On the facts of the present case, the Tribunal and the High Court should have doubled the salary by allowing 100% increase towards the future prospects and (iv) The Tribunal and the High Court failed to ensure payment of just and fair compensation. Reliance was also placed on decisions of this Court which will be discussed later in this judgment.= “whether the salary receivable by the claimant on compassionate appointment comes within the periphery of the Motor Vehicles Act to be termed as “Pecuniary Advantage” liable for deduction.” “Compassionate appointment” can be one of the conditions of service of an employee, if a scheme to that effect is framed by the employer. In case, the employee dies in harness i.e. while in service leaving behind the dependents, one of the dependents may request for compassionate appointment to maintain the family of the deceased employee dies in harness. This cannot be stated to be an advantage receivable by the heirs on account of one’s death and have no correlation with the amount receivable under a statute occasioned on account of accidental death. Compassionate appointment may have nexus with the death of an employee while in service but it is not necessary that it should have a correlation with the accidental death. An employee dies in harness even in normal course, due to illness and to maintain the family of the deceased one of the dependents may be entitled for compassionate appointment but that cannot be termed as “Pecuniary Advantage” that comes under the periphery of Motor Vehicles Act and any amount received on such appointment is not liable for deduction for determination of compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act. ; “whether the income tax is liable to be deducted for determination of compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act” In the case of Sarla Verma & Anr.(Supra), this Court held “generally the actual income of the deceased less income tax should be the starting point for calculating the compensation.” This Court further observed that “where the annual income is in taxable range, the word “actual salary” should be read as “actual salary less tax”. Therefore, it is clear that if the annual income comes within the taxable range income tax is required to be deducted for determination of the actual salary.; He was only 28 years 7 ½ month old at the time of death. In normal course, he would have served the State Government minimum for about 30 years. Even if we do not take into consideration the future prospect of promotion which the deceased was otherwise entitled and the actual pay revisions taken effect from 1st January, 1996 and 1st January, 2006, it cannot be denied that the pay of the deceased would have doubled if he would continued in services of the State till the date of retirement. Hence, this was a fit case in which 100% increase in the future income of the deceased should have been allowed by the Tribunal and the High Court, which they failed to do. = the monthly income of the deceased Sajjan Singh at Rs.9,000 x 2 = Rs.18,000/ per month. From this his personal living expenses, which should be 1/3rd, there being three dependents has to be deducted. Thereby, the ‘actual salary’ will come to Rs.18,000 – Rs.6,000/ = Rs.12,000/ per month or Rs.12,000 x 12 =1,44,000/ per annum. As the deceased was 28 ½ years old at the time of death the multiplier of 17 is applied, which is appropriate to the age of the deceased. The normal compensation would then work out to be Rs.1,44,000/ x 17 =Rs.24,48,000/ to which we add the usual award for loss of consortium and loss of the estate by providing a conventional sum of Rs. 1,00,000/; loss of love and affection for the daughter Rs.2,00,000/, loss of love and affection for the widow and the mother at Rs.1,00,000/ each i.e. Rs.2,00,000/ and funeral expenses of Rs.25,000/. 31. Thus, according to us, in all a sum of Rs.29,73,000/ would be a fair, just and reasonable award in the circumstances of this case. 32. The rate of interest of 12% is allowed from the date of the petition filed before the Tribunal till payment is made. 33. Respondent No.3 is directed to pay the total award with interest minus the amount (if already paid) within three months. The appellant No.2daughter who was aged about 2 years at the time of accident of the deceased has already attained majority; money may be required for her education and marriage. In the circumstances, we direct respondent No.3 to deposit 25% of the due amount in the account of appellant no.1the wife. Out of the rest 75% of the due amount, 35% of the amount be invested in a Nationalized Bank by fixed deposit for a period of one year in the name of the daughterappellant No.2. Out of the rest 40% of the due amount, 20% each be invested in a Nationalized Bank by fixed deposit for a period of one year in the name of the appellant Nos. 1 and 3, the wife and the mother respectively. 34. The award passed by the Tribunal dated 21st June, 2003 and the judgment dated 29th July, 2011 of the Rajasthan High Court stand modified to the extent above. The appeal is allowed with the aforesaid observation and direction. No separate order as to costs.
May 5, 2013 in General
Page 1 Jaipur 075 (Photo credit: Pranay Rao) REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
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