MAC App. No. 24 of 2015. Case: The Branch Manager, National Insurance Company Limited, Gangtok Branch Vs Pankaj Kumar Balabhai Kapadia and Ors.. Sikkim High Court

Case NumberMAC App. No. 24 of 2015
CounselFor Appellant: Vidya Lama, Advocate and For Respondents: Ajay Rathi, Phurba Diki Sherpa and Pramit Chhetri, Advocates
JudgesMeenakshi Madan Rai, J.
IssueMotor Vehicles Act
Judgement DateMarch 14, 2017
CourtSikkim High Court


Meenakshi Madan Rai, J.

1. Contending that the Learned Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, North Sikkim, at Mangan (for short "Learned Claims Tribunal"), was in error in granting compensation to the tune of Rs. 40,05,500/- (Rupees forty lakhs five thousand and five hundred) only, in MACT Case No. 13 of 2014, the instant Appeal assails the Award of the Learned Claims Tribunal on the following grounds;

(i) That, there is no proof of rash and negligent driving on the part of the driver of the vehicle, as the Learned Magisterial Court in G.R. Case No. 40 of 2014 discharged the driver of the vehicle in accident finding no prima facie case to make out rash and negligent driving.

(ii) That, the multiplier adopted was based on the age of the deceased when it ought to have been that of the Claimants-Respondents No. 1 and 2 (the father-in-law and mother-in-law of the deceased).

(iii) That, the income of the deceased was calculated as 1/3rd of the income of her deceased husband and future prospects @ 50% was added to the loss of dependency which is erroneous.

2. Resisting the grounds put forth by the Appellant, Learned Counsel for the Respondents No. 1 to 3 argued that the income of the deceased was calculated at 1/3rd of the income of her deceased husband as per Schedule 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Once loss of dependency is calculated, as a corollary, there would be loss of future prospects as well and therefore, calculations made thereof does not tantamount to an error on the part of the Learned Claims Tribunal. It was next contended that the finding in a Criminal Court has no bearing before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal where it would suffice to prove that there is a preponderance of probability, while in a Criminal matter the standard of proof is to establish the case "beyond reasonable doubt". The multiplier adopted is based on the age of the deceased and cannot be said to be incorrect as the Hon'ble Apex Court in Amrit Bhanu Shali and Others vs. National Insurance Company Limited and Others (2012) 11 SCC 738 has held as follows;

15. The selection of multiplier is based on the age of the deceased and not on the basis of the age of the dependent. There may be a number of dependents of the deceased whose age may be different and, therefore, the age of the dependents has no nexus with the computation of compensation.

Hence, the Appeal be dismissed.

3. I have heard the submissions of Learned Counsel at length and given careful consideration to the same. I have also carefully perused the impugned Judgment and the records of the case.

4. Briefly narrated the facts are that, the victim along with her family comprising of her husband, daughter, son, sister-in-law, brother-in-law and few other family members had travelled to Yumthang...

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