Motor Accident claims: Multiplier should be computed based on age of deceased bachelor, SCAugust 14 2019
The Supreme court has reiterated that in Motor accident claims cases, the multiplier to be applied for determining compensation in case of a bachelor, should be computed based on the age of the deceased.
A Bench of Justices Indu Malhotra and Sanjiv Khanna rendered the decision holding that the issue has already been settled by the Supreme Court in a recent three-judge Bench decision in Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Mandala Yadagari Goud & Ors.
In the current case, the daughter of the Appellant was a student undertaking an Air Hostess Training Program at the Frankfinn Institute, Chandigarh.
She died in an accident when a Tata Ace vehicle collided with the car in which she was travelling. The offending vehicle was insured with the Respondent Insurance Company.
The parents of the deceased (appellants) filed a Claim Petition before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Shimla claiming compensation of Rs. 25,00,000 on the death of their daughter.
The MACT granted compensation of Rs. 10,40,000 to the Appellant Claimants along with interest. In determining the compensation, the MACT applied the Multiplier of 11 on the basis of the age of the mother of the deceased.
Aggrieved, the appellants challenged the MACT order before the Himachal Pradesh High Court which dismissed the appeal. The appellants, therefore, moved the Supreme Court.
The Counsel for the Appellants submitted that the MACT and the High Court applied the wrong Multiplier of 11 by erroneously taking into consideration the age of the mother of the deceased, instead of the age of the deceased. It was submitted that as per the decision in Sarla Verma & Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation & Anr., the Multiplier of 18 ought to have been applied for the deceased who was 20 years old at the time of the accident.
The Counsel for the Insurance Company submitted that the Courts below were justified in applying the Multiplier of 11 which should be as per the age of the mother of the deceased, and not the age of the deceased. Reliance was placed on the Supreme Court’s decision in New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Shanti Pathak & Ors.
The Court held that the issue with respect to whether the Multiplier to be applied in the case of a bachelor, should be computed on the basis of the age of the deceased, or the age of the parents, is no longer res integra.
It noted that the issue was recently settled by a three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court in Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Mandala Yadagari Goud & Ors., wherein it was held that the Multiplier has to be applied on the basis of the age of the deceased.
Thus, the Court ruled that in the present case, since the deceased was 20 years old, a Multiplier of 18 ought to have been applied as per the decision of the Supreme Court in Sarla Verma.
The Court, therefore, allowed the appeal and enhanced the compensation.
[Read Judgment]Multplier motor accident claims compensation supreme court
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