New Delhi, Sept. 17: The Supreme Court today awarded a compensation of around Rs 19 lakh to a youth who lost his speech and was incapacitated in a road accident, rejecting the insurance company’s plea that the amount was too high.
“At times, it is not possible to award compensation strictly in accordance with the law laid down, as in a particular case it may not be just. We are hesitant to say that it is a reality of life that at times, life of an injured or sick person becomes more miserable for the person and for the family members than death,” the court said today.
Passing the judgment, it added: “The total amount awarded was Rs 18,75,800 which, in our opinion, is not too much. The said amount should be awarded to the appellants.”
The amount was awarded by the motor accidents claims tribunal. But the compensation was reduced to Rs 12.45 lakh by Andhra Pradesh High Court, which passed the impugned order on an appeal filed by the United India Insurance Co. Ltd.
The company had claimed that the compensation amount passed by the tribunal was too high as Rajanala Ravi Krishna, the 17-year-old youth who was hit by a truck in July 2000, was a student and not an earning member of the family.
Krishna’s father R. Venkata Ramana had moved a petition against the high court order, following which the Supreme Court bench of Justices A.R. Dave and Dipak Misra passed the judgment today.
Under motor accident claims, an earning member of a family gets a higher compensation as against a victim who does not earn. But in this case, the youth was incapacitated and lost his voice with doctors saying the chances of improvement were slim.
Krishna’s parents had sought Rs 20.07 lakh as compensation.
Upholding the father’s appeal today, the apex court said medical records clearly indicated that the youth suffered 80 per cent disability and the neurologist assigned by the tribunal had stated that the chances of improvement in the health of Krishna were slim.
“We find that the condition of Rajanala Ravi Krishna has become very pathetic after the accident. Evidence adduced by the neurologist and others also reveal that Rajanala Ravi Krishna will not be in a position to speak for life and will not be in a position to do anything except breathe unless a miracle happens,” the apex court said passing the order.
The court also said the youth would require a person to take his care every day and ensure that the accident victim is given food, a bath and other daily needs.
“Looking at the fact that Rajanala Ravi Krishna will have to remain dependant for his whole life and looking at the observations made by the tribunal, in our opinion, his life is very miserable and there would be substantial financial burden on the appellants,” the bench said while restoring the amount awarded by the tribunal.