Accident compensation should be pragmatic and realistic:SC

SC said there cannot be actual compensation for mental tribulations for victims of accident and it should be based on some pragmatic computation.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that there cannot be actual compensation for anguish and mental tribulations for victims of motor accident and it should be based on some pragmatic computation and realistic approach.
"There cannot be actual compensation for anguish of the heart or for mental tribulations.It quintessentially lies in the pragmatic computation of the loss sustained which has to be in the realm of realistic approximation," the apex court said.

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra also said a person is to be compensated not only for the physical injury, but also for the loss which he suffered as a result of such injury.

"He is to be compensated for his inability to lead a full life, his inability to enjoy those normal amenities which he would have enjoyed but for the injuries, and his inability to earn as much as he used to earn or could have earned," said Justice Misra writing the judgement for the bench.

The bench gave the ruling while partly allowing the appeal of road mishap victim K Suresh against a Madras High Court order which had reduced his compensation of Rs 25 lakh, awarded by the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, to Rs 9.78 lakh. It had also reduced the interest to 7.5 percent per annum from 9 percent granted by the tribunal.

The apex court enhanced the amount to Rs 13,48,000.

Citing its earlier rulings, the apex court said it becomes a challenge for courts to determine "just compensation" which it said "is neither a bonanza nor a windfall, and simultaneously, should not be a pittance.

"To elaborate, neither the tribunal nor a court can take a flight in fancy and award an exorbitant sum, for the concept of conventional sum, fall of money value and reasonableness are to be kept in view," the bench said.


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