2013(1) ALL MR 712
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY(NAGPUR BENCH)
M.N. GILANI, J.
The New India Assurance Company Ltd.Vs.Vandana Wd/O. Pradip Ramteke & Ors.
First Appeal No. 64 of 2006
17th September, 2012
Petitioner Counsel: Mr. M.B. Joshi
Respondent Counsel: Mr. A.W. Paunikar
Motor Vehicles Act (1988), Ss.166, 168, 173 - Compensation - Quantum of - Widow of deceased was given compassionate appointment in the service, by the company where deceased was serving - Not a ground to reduce quantum of compensation payable to her.
A.P.S.R.T.C Vs. G. Jana Bai & others, 2001(43) ACC 716 [Para 4,7]
Kanika Hazarika & others Vs. Sreeam Barthakur & others, 2003 ACJ 159 (Gau) [Para 5,7]
United India Insurance Co. Ltd Vs. Bindu & others, 2007(57) ACC 688 [Para 6,7]
National Insurance Company Ltd Vs. Manju Bala and others, 2008(119) FLR 181 [Para 7]
- This appeal arises out of the judgment and award dated 23.8.2008 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Chandrapur in M.A.C.P. No.123/2001, whereby the claimants were awarded compensation of Rs.11,81,000/- on account of death of one Pradip Ramteke occurred in a motor vehicular accident on 7.8.2001 involving truck bearing No. MH -31-1809 insured with the appellant. While the deceased was riding bicycle he was knocked down by the truck and caused his death. He left behind him widow, three minor children and his mother. The learned Tribunal, after considering the income of the deceased worked out the loss of dependency at Rs.73,200/- p.a. and by applying multiplier of 16, having regard to the age of the deceased, awarded amount of Rs.11,81,000/-.
2. Mr. Joshi, the learned counsel for the appellant raised only issue regarding quantum of compensation. According to him the widow of deceased is given compassionate employment by the employer i.e. Western Coalfields and in that view of the matter, the loss of dependency could not be Rs.73,200/- as arrived at by the learned Tribunal.
3. The evidence was led to the effect that the deceased was employed in W.C.L. and was drawing monthly salary of Rs.10,195/-. The learned Tribunal considering various deductions held that the carry-home salary of the deceased was Rs.9475/-. After deducting one-third amount towards his personal and living expences, the learned Tribunal held that the loss of dependency per month comes to Rs.6100/-. The learned Tribunal rightly applied multiplier of 16. The only point which requires consideration is whether there ought to have been deduction on account of the widow getting compassionate employment.
4. The learned counsel for the respondent relied upon various decisions to support his contention that factor like widow of the deceased getting employment on compassionate ground has nothing to do with the compensation to be awarded on account of death of the deceased. In case of A.P.S.R.T.C...vs..G. Jana Bai & others reported in 2001(43) ACC 716 similar issue was before the Division Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. It was observed that:
"It must be remembered that though the wife of the deceased has secured employment on compassionate grounds, her employment has nothing to do with the compensation to be awarded to the claimants as a result of the death of the deceased due to the rash and negligent driving of the driver of the appellant's bus. Merely because the wife was provided with employment, it would not dis-entitle the claimants to claim just and reasonable compensation for the death of the deceased."
5. In case of Kanika Hazarika & others ..vs.. Sreeam Barthakur & others reported, 2003 ACJ 159 (Gau), the compensation was claimed by widow and mother of the deceased. The deceased was working in the State Bank. While explaining the nexus between the compassionate employment given to the widow of the deceased and the liability of the insurer and insured, it was held that:
"There is no dispute at the Bar that the claimant Kanika Hazarika was given an employment in the bank by the employer of the deceased and the said bank is not a wrongdoer and it was in n o way connected with the accident. Now, the question is whether the employment of the claimant is in any way correlated to the accidental death for which the compensation is awarded. The claimant could have been provided with a job under the Die-in-harness Scheme irrespective of the fact that the deceased had died as a result of a vehicular accident or otherwise even natural death. That was the benefit provided, to the employee by the employer and thus, it is in no way related to the accidental death of the deceased."
6. Similar view has been taken in case of United India Insurance Co. Ltd ..vs.. Bindu & others reported in 2007(57) ACC 688 by the Division Bench of Kerla High Court. While dealing with the issue of loss of dependency vis-a-vis a widow getting employment under Compassionate Scheme, the Court held that merely because wife got employment under Compassionate Scheme, the compensation is not liable to be reduced. The court was prompted to take such a view for the reason that had there been natural death of the husband, still the widow would have been entitled to employment under Compassionate Scheme.
7. In case of National Insurance Company Ltd ..vs.. Manju Bala and others reported in 2008(119) FLR 181, referring to the decisions in cases of Kanika Hazarika & others ..vs.. Sreeam Barthakur [Supra], United India Insurance Co. Ltd ..vs.. Bindu & others [Supra] and A.P.S.R.T.C...vs.. G. Jana Bai & others [supra] it was held that where a wife gets employment under Compassionate Scheme, the compensation payable is not liable to be reduced.
8. The aforesaid being the legal position, the submission of Mr. Joshi, that the learned Tribunal while fixing quantum of compensation failed to consider the fact that the widow got the employment on compassionate ground on the establishment of W.C.L., is devoid of force. In that view of the matter, the appeal lacks merit.
Appeal is dismissed. No order as to costs.