Civil Appeal No. 8632 of 2014 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21666 of 2013), Civil Appeal No. 8633 of 2014 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21670 of 2013) and Civil Appeal No. 8634 of 2014 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21671 of 2013). Case: Kumari Kiran Vs Sajjan Singh. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberCivil Appeal No. 8632 of 2014 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21666 of 2013), Civil Appeal No. 8633 of 2014 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21670 of 2013) and Civil Appeal No. 8634 of 2014 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 21671 of 2013)
CounselFor Appellant: Awadhesh Kumar Singh, Abhinav Kislay and R.D. Upadhyay, Advs. and For Respondents: Suman Bagga and Chander Shekhar Ashri, Advs.
JudgesV. Gopala Gowda and A.K. Goel, JJ.
IssueMotor Vehicles Act, 1988; Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 279, 337, 338
Judgement DateSeptember 11, 2014
CourtSupreme Court (India)


V. Gopala Gowda, J.

1. Leave granted in all the special leave petitions.

2. These appeals have been filed by the Appellants against the common judgment and order dated 06.11.2012 passed in Misc. Application Nos. 2575 of 2010, 2574 of 2010 and 2579 of 2010 by the High Court of Judicature of Madhya Pradesh, Principal Bench at Jabalpur, urging various grounds. Civil Appeals arising out of SLP(c) Nos. 21666 of 2013 and 21670 of 2013 have been filed by Kumari Kiran and Master Sachin respectively, through their father Harinarayan as they are minors, while Civil Appeal arising out of SLP(c) No. 21671 of 2013 has been filed by the Appellant Harinarayan.

3. The necessary relevant facts are stated as under:

On 04.06.2009, Kumari Kiran and her brother Master Sachin (the pillion riders, hereinafter referred to as the Appellant-minors) were going on a motor cycle to their village Shujalpur from Bhopal with their father Harinarayan, (rider of the motor cycle, hereinafter referred to as the Appellant-father). While on their way, a tractor bearing No. MP13K1981 driven by Sajjan Singh (Respondent No. 1), collided with the motor cycle on which the Appellants were riding. Due to the impact of this collision the Appellants fell down and sustained grievous injuries. After medical examination, it was concluded that all the three Appellants had fractured their femur, tibia and fibula bones on their right leg and had to undergo an operation at National Hospital Bhopal where a rod and a ring were implanted on each one of their right leg. Upon further medical examination, it was found that the right leg of all the three Appellants had become one inch shorter due to the injuries caused to them in the accident. Therefore, the Appellant-minor daughter and the Appellant-father were determined with 30% permanent disability and the Appellant-minor-son was determined with 20% permanent disability by the doctor who had treated them.

4. A First Information Report was lodged in Mandi Shujalpur Police Station against the driver (Respondent No. 1) of the offending tractor Under Sections 279, 337, and 338 of the Indian Penal Code (in short 'Indian Penal Code').

5. The Appellants filed a claim petitions before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Bhopal. The Tribunal after considering the facts, evidence produced on record and the circumstances of the case, apportioned contributory negligence at 50% on the part of the Appellant-father who was riding the motorcycle on which the Appellant-minors were the pillion riders and 50% on the driver of the offending tractor.

6. The Tribunal vide its award dated 19.03.2010 ascertained the compensation due to the Appellants as per the calculations stated in the table below:

The Tribunal awarded an interest at the rate of 6% p.a. on the total compensation.

7. Being aggrieved by the common award passed by the Tribunal, the Appellants filed M.A. Nos. 2575 of 2010, 2574 of 2010 and 2579 of 2010 before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Jabalpur. After considering the facts, evidence on record and circumstances of the case, the High Court held that the Appellant-minors who were the pillion riders cannot be held for contributory negligence as apportioned by the Tribunal even if their Appellant-father who was the motorcyclist was at fault. Therefore, the High Court set aside the deduction arising out of the contributory negligence from the compensation determined towards the permanent disability for the Appellant-minors. The High Court also reduced the contributory negligence on the part of Appellant-father (motorcyclist) from 50% to 25%. Further, the High Court enhanced the compensation of the Appellant-minor daughter by Rs. 30,000/-, the Appellant-minor-son by Rs. 25,000/- and the Appellant-father by Rs. 65,000/- (Rs. 30,000/- lump sum and Rs. 35,000/- towards medical expenses) to be paid with an interest @ Rs. 7.5% per annum vide its impugned judgment and order dated 06.11.2012. Aggrieved by the impugned judgment and order, the Appellants filed these appeals.

8. It was contended by Mr. Awadesh Kumar Singh, the learned Counsel for the Appellants that:

(i) The compensation awarded to the Appellants under the heads of loss of future income was inadequate by taking notional income as only Rs. 15,000/- per annum for the Appellant-minors and Rs. 18,000/- per annum for the Appellant-father;

(ii) No compensation has been awarded towards the medical attendants who attended the Appellants to take care of them for a period of 3 months treatment after the accident;

(iii) Compensation for permanent disability should have been awarded after considering the enormity of suffering, pain and agony loss of enjoyment of life of the Appellants by relying on the principle laid down by this Court in Subulaxmi v. M.D., Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and Anr. (2012) 10 SCC 177 in which, this Court has held thus:

5. At the outset, it is requisite to be stated that the facts as have been adumbrated are not in dispute. Therefore, first we shall advert to the issue whether the High Court was justified in awarding compensation on a singular head relating to permanent disability and loss of future earning. In K. Suresh v. New India Assurance Co. Limited and Anr. 2012 (10) SCALE 516, after referring to Ramesh Chandra v. Randhir Singh (1990) 3 SCC 723 and B. Kothandapani v. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Limited (2011) 6 SCC 420, this Court expressed the view that compensation can be granted towards permanent...

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