'Accident tribunal can arrive at more compensation amount'
Madurai: Madras High Court bench has ruled that Motor vehicles Accident Compensation Tribunal can arrive at more amount than that claimed by an accident victim after studying the evidence and assessing just compensation.
Justices N Paul Vasantha Kumar and P Devadoss gave the ruling while partly allowing an appeal by the Managing Director of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, Kanyakumari (Madurai Division).
The bench noted that the doctor who tested victim S Yobu, assessed his disability at 60 per cent, but the tribunal determined it at 100 per cent, which may not be correct.
For the victim, a motor mechanic in the Gulf,who lost his hands in the accident, the medical assessement of 60 per cent was not acceptable. "We determine his disability at 80 Per cent" the Judges said.
They noted the claimant was a qualified mechanic and for such persons their hands were tools to operate their trade. If hands are lost, the tools are lost,the judges said.
The Bench which reduced the compensation by Rs 13,000, as per the percentage of disability, however agreed with the tribunal which took his monthly income at Rs 10,000 a month, though he worked in Oman where he earned Rs 15,000 a month.
They did not disturb the multiplier "17" used by the tribunal and compensation awarded under other heads, including loss of marriage prospects, attendant charges, property damage, pain and suffering and awarded Rs 22.26 lakh against the tribunal award of Rs 22.39 lakh.
The Judges said the compensation should be paid with 7.5 per cent interest within four weeks and directed the victim to pay his additional court fee within three weeks.
The victim said he lost his hands and became permanently disabled after the bike in which he was travelling as pillon was hit by a bus and claimed Rs 10 lakh as compensation. Later he revised it upward to Rs 30 lakh.
"Sometimes in the claim petitions, the victims claim astronomical figures. Sometimes without really knowing their sufferings, they claim lesser amount. It is the statutory duty of the claim tribunal to award just compensation," the court said.
The appellant said the bus driver was not responsible for the accident in 1997 and had only reported about it.
But police closed the complaint given by the driver as mistake of fact and registered that given by the victim.
The appellant said the doctor certified disability at 60 per cent, but the tribunal raised it to 100 per cent. The claimant in the beginning claimed less amount, but the tribunal awarded him more. Both cannot be done.