The Rajasthan High Court enhanced the award under Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and ruled that money cannot substitute a life lost but an effort has to be made for grant of just compensation.
The deceased was going on his Motorcycle. At about 5:30 PM, when he reached near Village Udera, Police Station Fatehpur Sikri, a rash and negligent motorcycle came from ahead, dashed and caused the death of Ramgopal, during treatment.
Advocate Chelsi Gangwal, appearing for the appellants, contended that there was overwhelming unrebutted evidence of the wife of the deceased Asha, the father of the deceased Pradhan Singh and a businessman dealing with AC etc. who was examined as Lalit Kumar that the deceased had monthly earning of Rs.12,000/-.
The single judge bench of Justice Birendra Kumar stated that it is a well-accepted norm that money cannot substitute a life lost but an effort has to be made for grant of just compensation having uniformity in approach. There has to be a balance between the two extremes, that is, a windfall and the pittance, a bonanza and the modicum.
The court added that there is no hesitation to accept that the claim of the income of the deceased as Rs.12,000/- per month was proved by the unrebutted evidence on the record and in absence of any contrary evidence, the said amount should not have been reduced only for the reason that there was no documentary evidence in proof of the income.
The court said that the total payable amount minus already paid would be payable by the Insurer within three months to the claimants along with interest of 9% per annum, failing which the aforesaid interest would be payable till the realization of the whole due amount.
The court allowed the appeal and held that the Tribunal was required to decide “just compensation” without being swayed away by the quantum of claim made by the claimants.
Case title: Asha W/o Late Shri Ramavatar @ Ramgopal and Ors. v/s Naresh Kumar S/o Shiv Charan and Ors.
Citation: S.B. Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 2616/2012