Fixing notional income at Rs.15,000 per annum for a family’s non-earning members not justified, rules Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court in the case of Roop Lal and Anr. v/s Suresh Kumar Yadav And 2 Ors. ruled that fixing notional income at Rs.15,000 per annum for a family’s non-earning members is not justified.

A claim petition was filed before the Tribunal by the claimants-appellants with the averments that claimant-appellant, Roop Lal was walking with his son on Kakvan Road. At that time, a truck who was being driven very rashly and negligently by its driver, hit the son of the appellant from behind due to which he fell on the road and the front wheel of the truck ran over him. Appellant’s son sustained fatal injuries and died on the spot. The deceased was a child aged about 7 years.  

Mr. Mohd. Naushad Siddiqui, counsel appearing for the appellants assailed the Tribunal’s award of  Rs.1,80,000/- to the appellants-claimants who are deceased’s father and mother respectively. He contended that the deceased was a brilliant student and he had a very bright future. This aspect is not considered by the Tribunal. He further submitted that the notional income of the deceased is taken Rs.15,000/- per annum by the Tribunal. It is next submitted that the Tribunal has held that the contribution of the deceased towards his family was only assumed as 1/2 of his income and in this way the Tribunal has awarded only 1/2 of his income as compensation, which is not just and proper.

The Insurance Company contended that the compensation awarded by the Tribunal is just and proper and the judgment and award passed by Tribunal also does not suffer from any such infirmity or illegality which may call for any interference by this court. 

The division bench of Justice Ajai Tyagi and Justice Kaushal Jayendra Thaker noted that the accident is not in dispute. The issue of negligence has been decided in favour of the appellants. The Insurance Company has not challenged the liability imposed on it by the Tribunal. The only issue to be decided is the quantum of compensation. 

The court said that the notional income of the deceased must be assumed Rs.25,000/- per annum as he was non-earning member and decided the total compensation including other expenses. 

The court modified the judgment of the tribunal and directed the respondent-Insurance Company to deposit the amount within a period of 8 weeks from today with interest at the rate of 7.5% from the date of filing of the claim petition till the amount is deposited. The amount already deposited will be deducted from the amount to be deposited. 

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