The Supreme Court recently ruled in a motor vehicle accident case where the claimant
sustained injuries and filed a claim petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The
claim petition was initially allowed in part by the Tribunal, awarding a total compensation of
Rs. 2, 36,812 under various heads.
However, the claimant appealed the decision before the High Court, which upheld the
Tribunal’s award. Unsatisfied with the compensation granted, the claimant subsequently
approached the Supreme Court seeking enhanced compensation.
During the proceedings, the claimant argued that the Tribunal erred in awarding significantly
less compensation compared to the evidence on record. They contended that the Tribunal
incorrectly assessed their income at Rs. 3,000 per month, disregarding their sworn statement
that they were a 24-year-old graduate working as a Marketing Executive earning Rs. 8,000
per month. The claimant also highlighted that the Tribunal neglected to consider the
permanent physical disability of 48% as per medical evidence.
The respondent, representing the insurer, supported the judgments of the High Court and the
Tribunal, seeking the dismissal of the appeal.
After careful examination of the case, the Supreme Court found that the compensation
awarded for “pain and suffering” was on the lower side. Considering that the claimant had
been hospitalized for ten days and received continuous treatment, the Court awarded
additional compensation of Rs. 50,000 under this head.
Regarding the claimant’s income, the Court concluded that the Tribunal and the High Court
erred in construing the claimant’s income at Rs. 3,000 per month instead of Rs. 8,000 per
month. Taking into account the claimant’s salary certificate, the Court modified the
compensation for loss of future income accordingly.
Furthermore, the Court acknowledged the claimant’s permanent disability of 75% and its
impact on their marriage prospects. In recognition of this loss, the Court awarded an
additional sum of Rs. 50,000 as compensation for the loss of marriage prospects.
Based on these considerations, the Supreme Court modified the award granted by the
Tribunal and affirmed by the High Court. The claimant was entitled to a total compensation
of Rs. 15, 94,812, along with interest at a rate of 6% per annum from the date of filing the
petition until payment or deposit. The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., as the first respondent,
was directed to deposit the awarded amount within six weeks from the date of receipt of the
This ruling by the Supreme Court highlights the importance of fair and adequate
compensation in motor vehicle accident cases, taking into account the nature of injuries,
income loss, and other relevant factors in determining appropriate compensation for the