Supreme Court Raises Compensation Bar in 2007 Accident Case

In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court of India has significantly increased the compensation awarded to the family of an Assistant Engineer who tragically lost his life in a road accident back in October 2007. The case, known as Civil Appeal No(s). 7195-7196/2022, saw appellants Tulsa Parmeshwari and others seeking a revision of the compensation initially granted by the High Court. The deceased, employed with the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED), was 48 years old at the time of the accident.

Key Legal Issues

The core legal concern revolved around the accurate assessment of the deceased’s salary at the time of the accident and the subsequent adjustment of compensation. Initially, the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) had considered the last salary certificate reflecting the implementation of the 6th Pay Commission, later verified by the respondent-State’s counsel.

Court’s Verdict

Justices A.S. Bopanna and Sanjay Kumar of the Supreme Court meticulously analyzed the salary details and future prospects of the deceased. They determined the deceased’s monthly income as Rs. 29,393, factoring in future prospects and personal expenses. Ultimately, they ruled that the High Court’s awarded compensation of Rs. 25,86,287 was insufficient, enhancing the ‘loss of dependency’ to Rs. 34,34,020.

Crucial Observations

The Supreme Court made notable observations, including recalculating the deceased’s salary, factoring future prospects, and accounting for loss of dependency. Additionally, they awarded Rs. 70,000 under ‘conventional heads’, bringing the total enhancement to Rs. 9,22,733.

Representation and Conclusion

The appellants, represented by a team of lawyers, and the respondents, represented by various legal counsels, were parties in the case. The Supreme Court’s decision to increase compensation underscores its commitment to ensuring fair redressal for victims of road accidents. The enhanced compensation, along with an interest of 6% per annum, is a significant relief for the deceased’s family, demonstrating the judiciary’s resolve in delivering justice.

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About the Author: Payal Singh