Relief enhanced for deceased professor's family
16 May, 2014 01:01 PM
In a setback to an insurance company, the Madurai bench of the Madras high court has enhanced the award amount in addition to the one awarded by the motor accidents claim tribunal in Sivakasi. The company had filed an against the tribunal, which had passed orders on April 11, 2011 awarding Rs 58.89 lakh with 7.5% interest to the claimants of the case.

Now, according to the high court bench judgment the amount has been enhanced as Rs.63.61 lakh.

On July 10, 2006 one
K Ramasamy (46) died in a road accident, while he was riding pillion on a motorcycle. He left behind three dependents - his wife Tamilarasi and two sons Naveen Kishore and Jayanth Kishore. Both sons were minors at the time of their father's death.

Three years after the accident, the three dependants filed a claim petition before the motor accidents claim tribunal, Sivakasi in 2009.

After two years hearing, the tribunal on April 11, 2011 fixed an award of Rs 58.89 lakh after it considered the deceased's age, monthly salary, VI pay commission's recommendation, his minor sons' status etc and directed the New India Assurance Company, Sivakasi to pay the compensation amount with interest at 7.5% per annum to the dependants.

Questioning the correctness of the award, the insurance company was on appeal.

During hearing, the insurance company questioned the quantum as well as the liability to pay compensation. It had contended that the deceased was under the influence of alcohol.

After hearing the concerned sides, the division bench comprising justices V Ramasubramanian and V M Velumani delivered judgment on April 29.

Justice Ramasubramanian who wrote the judgment said that the insurance company's ground pertaining to the liability appeared to be very weak and feeble.

"It is wholly frivolous, in view of the fact that the deceased was a pillion rider and the accident had occurred at about 9.30am while the deceased, working as a professor, was going to the college. Therefore, we have no hesitation in rejecting the attack of the appellant to the finding on liability," the judge said.

Besides, once the age of the deceased is conceded to be 46, the multiplier to be adopted in arriving compensation is 13 as per the Supreme Court decision in Sarala Varma case and not 12 which the tribunal had used to fix the compensation. Therefore, the court holds that the tribunal ought to have applied the multiplier of 13, the judgment said.

Accordingly, the appellant should pay a total amount of Rs 63.61 lakh towards compensation to the three dependants together with interest at 7.5% per annum.
Source : The Times Of India

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