Motor Vehicles Act; Sumathikutty Vs. N. Manoj [Kerala High Court, 01-09-2011]

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Ss. 163A, 166 & 168 – Identification of the multiplier with reference to the deceased alone can be done only in a case where the claimants are younger to the deceased and not in a case where the claimants are elder to the deceased and the claimants have only a shorter term of life expectancy/dependency than the expected life span of the deceased.

# Multiplier

# 2011 (4) KLT 304 : 2011 (4) KLJ 176 : 2011 (4) KHC 60

IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

R. BASANT AND M.C. HARI RANI, JJ.

Dated this the 1st day of September, 2011

M.A.C.A. No. 307 of 2011

For Petitioner: K.B. Arunkumar; For Respondents: K.B. Ramanand, R. Ajith Kumar

J U D G M E N T

Basant, J.

# Is the age of the dependent claimant irrelevant in a claim under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act?

Does the decision in

# Sarla Verma v. Delhi Transport Corporation, (2009) 6 SCC 121

followed by

# P.S. Somanathan v. District Insurance Officer, (2011) 3 SCC 566

dispense with the requirement under settled law that the lower multiplier has to be taken into reckoning when different multipliers exist considering the age of the victim/deceased and dependent/claimant in a fatal accident? How are Tribunals to identify the multiplier in such cases under

# Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act

(the Act hereinafter) in future? These questions are raised before us in this appeal by Sri. K.B. Arunkumar, the learned counsel for the appellant.

2. To the vitally relevant facts first. The appellant/claimant is a woman, aged 61 years. She claimed compensation for the loss suffered by her on account of the death of her son Jayan @ Jayesh Kumar in a motor accident which took place on 11.06.2008. She preferred to stake the claim under Section 166 of the Act. A total amount of Rs.7 lakhs was claimed. She had staked the claim along with claimants 2 and 3, children of the appellant and siblings of the deceased.

3. The Tribunal by the impugned award came to the conclusion that only the appellant/mother is entitled to compensation. It was further held that only an amount of Rs.1,53,000/- is payable as compensation as per the details given in para.9, which we extract below:

Sl.No. Heads of award Amount awarded
1. Transportation expenses Rs.2,000.00
2. Compensation for mental shock and agony Rs.5,000.00
3. Loss of dependency Rs.1,26,000.00(3000 x 12 x 7 x ½)
4. Loss of love and affection Rs.15,000.00
5. Funeral expenses Rs.5,000.00
Total Rs.1,53,000.00

4. The learned counsel for the appellant/claimant/mother claims to be aggrieved by the impugned award. The other claimants have accepted the award and have not preferred any appeal. We have heard the learned counsel for the appellant and the learned counsel for the insurance company. The learned counsel for the appellant assails the impugned award on the following grounds.

i) The Tribunal erred grossly in taking into consideration the multiplier applicable to the appellant and not the multiplier applicable to the deceased.

ii) At any rate, the quantum of compensation could not have been below the amount payable under Section 163A of the Act.

# Ground No.(i)

5. Detailed arguments have been advanced on this aspect. The learned counsel for the appellant Sri Arunkumar contends that whatever may have been the law earlier, after the decision in Sarla Verma (supra), loss of dependency in a case of death is to be ascertained by taking into reckoning the multiplier relevant to the deceased. It is his contention that the multiplier relevant to the claimant is not in any way relevant in the computation of compensation for loss of dependency after the dictum in Sarla Verma (supra). The learned counsel takes us to the decision in Sarla Verma (supra) in detail to contend that there has been a change of law after. Sarla Verma (supra) and now even in a case under Section 166 of the Act, the multiplier has to be ascertained in a case of death by taking into consideration the age of the deceased only. The multiplier applicable to the claimant is no more relevant, contends the counsel.

6. In support of this contention, the learned counsel for the appellant takes us through the decision in Sarla Verma (supra) in complete detail. The learned counsel wants us to consider specifically the observations in paragraphs 18 and 19 of Sarla Verma (supra). We extract the same below:

“18. Basically only three facts need to be established by the claimants for assessing compensation in the case of death.

(a) age of the deceased;

(b) income of the deceased; and the

(c) the number of dependents.

The issues to be determined by the Tribunal to arrive at the loss of dependency are:

(i) additions/deductions to be made for arriving at the income;

(ii) the deduction to be made towards the personal living expenses of the deceased; and

(iii) the multiplier to be applied with reference to the age of the deceased.

If these determinants are standardized, there will be uniformity and consistency in the decisions. There will be lesser need for detailed evidence. It will also be easier for the insurance companies to settle accident claims without delay.

19. To have uniformity and consistency, Tribunals should determine compensation in cases of death, by the following well settled steps:

Step 1 (Ascertaining the multiplicand)The income of the deceased per annum should be determined. Out of the said income a deduction should be made in regard to the amount which the deceased would have spent on himself by way of personal and living expenses. The balance, which is considered to be the contribution to the dependent family, constitutes the multiplicand.

Step 2 (Ascertaining the multiplier)Having regard to the age of the deceased and period of active career, the appropriate multiplier should be selected. This does not mean ascertain the number of years he would have lived or worked but for the accident. Having regard to several imponderables in life and economic factors, a table of multipliers with reference to the age has been identified by this Court. The multiplier should be chosen from the said table with reference to the age of the deceased.

Step 3 (Actual calculation)The annual contribution to the family (multiplicand) when multiplied by such multiplier gives the ‘loss of dependency’ to the family.”

7. The learned counsel contends that the learned Judges in Sarla Verma (supra) perceived the absolute confusion that was occupying the field in the computation of compensation by the Tribunals. To bring in sanity in the computation of compensation and to standardize the methods adopted, the learned Judges have given this prescription in paragraphs 18 and 19 of Sarla Verma (supra). There has been change of law and all Tribunals are expected to follow the precise methods/steps given in meticulous detail in paragraphs 18 and 19 of Sarla Verma (supra). The learned counsel points out that going by the observations in paragraphs 18 and 19, there is no scope for ascertainment of the multiplier with reference to the age of any one other than the deceased.

8. The learned counsel for the appellant then contends that a later decision of the Supreme Court in Somanathan (supra) also confirms that this is the method to be followed by the Tribunals. In that decision, the Tribunal had reckoned 16 as the multiplier taking into account the age of the deceased. The High Court in appeal had held that only 5, which is the multiplier appropriate to the age of the claimant/mother, can be taken into consideration. The Supreme Court had disagreed with the High Court and had taken the view that the High Court must have computed the compensation adopting the multiplier relevant to the age of the deceased, the son of the claimant/mother.

9. Under Section 168 of the Motor Vehicles Act, the mandate to the Tribunals is to ensure that just compensation is made available to the victims. In a case of death, the dependents are the claimants. The Tribunals have to ascertain the quantum of compensation with commitment to the primary mandate under Section 168 of the M.V. Act. ‘Just compensation’ has to be ascertained. Just compensation is the compensation for loss suffered by the claimant/dependent. Therefore the loss suffered by the claimant has got to be ascertained. To ascertain the amount payable, the multiplier-multiplicand method is pressed into service. It is well settled that the quantum of compensation payable to a dependent/claimant must be sufficient to discharge the duty to ensure that such claimant is not put to loss and gets the amount which such claimant would otherwise have received if the death of the deceased had not taken place.

10. Under the English law, two methods of calculation of compensation used to be adopted. First is known as the Davies Method propounded by their Lordships in

# Davies v. Powell Duffryn Associated Collieries Ltd., 1942 AC 601

and the Nance method propounded in

# Nance v. British Columbia Electric Rly. Co. Ltd., 1951 AC 601

It is now well settled after

# K.S.R.T.C. v. Susamma Thomas, 1994 (1) KLT 67

that Courts in India are to follow the Davies method. The rationale of the Davies Method has been correctly ascertained by their Lordships in Susamma Thomas (supra). The soul, basis, logic or rationale underlying the multiplicand method is seen summarized by the Supreme Court in para.8 in the following words.

“The matter of arriving at the damages is to ascertain the net income of the deceased available for the support of himself and his dependants, and to deduct therefrom such part of his income as the deceased was accustomed to spend upon himself, as regards both self-maintenance and pleasure, and to ascertain what part of his net income the deceased was accustomed to spend for the benefit of the dependants. Then that should be capitalized by multiplying it by a figure representing the proper number of year’s purchase.”

“The multiplier method involves the ascertainment of the loss of dependency or the multiplicand having regard to the circumstances of the case and capitalizing the multiplicand by an appropriate multiplier. The choice of the multiplier is determined by the age of the deceased (or that of the claimants whichever is higher) and by the calculation as to what capital sum, if invested at a rate of interest appropriate to a stable economy, would yield the multiplicand by way of annual interest. In ascertaining this, regard should also be had to the fact that ultimately the capital sum should also be consumed up over the period for which the dependency is expected to last.”

(emphasis supplied)

In Susamma Thomas (supra) it has clearly been observed that “usually in English Courts the operative multiplier rarely exceeds 16 as the maximum. This will come down “accordingly as the age of the deceased person or that of the dependents whichever is higher goes up.”

11. Following the Davies Method recognized and accepted in Susan Thomas there cannot be a semblance of doubt that while choosing the multiplier, the court has to identify the multiplier applicable to the deceased as also the multiplier applicable to the claimant (youngest of the claimants where there are more claimants than one). Only the lesser multiplier (that is applicable to the older of the two) alone can be taken into reckoning while ascertaining the amount using the multiplier multiplicand method. We have no hesitation to agree that such identification of the multiplier would cater to the ends of justice. It has been repeated in many precedents that compensation cannot be a wind fall or bonanza. If an 80 year old dependent claimant were to be awarded compensation adopting the multiplier applicable to a much younger deceased, the endeavour is certainly not likely to result in justice. The 80 year old claimant then is likely to receive much higher amounts – out of all proportion to the actual loss that such claimant is likely to suffer in terms of dependency for the lesser number of years ahead of such claimant.

12. The decision in Davies (Supra) and Susamma Thomas (supra) leaves no trace of doubt in our mind about the method to be followed. To put it differently, it is well settled that the multiplier applicable to the older of the two – claimant or deceased, alone can be accepted while employing the multiplier multiplicand method.

13. A three Judge Bench was later called upon to consider the dictum in Susamma Thomas (supra). The three Judge Bench in

# U.P.S.R.T.C. v. Thrilokchandra, 1996 (2) KLT 218

had occasion to consider this. In paragraph 12 of the judgment, the three Judge Bench with approval referred to the observations in Susamma Thomas (supra).

14. The three Judge Bench later while pointing out the alleged inadequacies in the newly introduced Second Schedule of the Act proceeded to observe the general principle relating to computation of compensation by adopting the multiplier multiplicand method in the following words.

“Besides the selection of multiplier cannot in all cases be solely dependent on the age of the deceased. For example, if the deceased, a bachelor dies at the age of 45 and his dependents are his parents, age of the parents would also be relevant in the choice of the multiplier.”

15. It will be appropriate to note that in many later decisions of the Supreme Court, this principle recognized and followed by the three Judge Bench in Trilok Chandra (supra) has been followed by two Judge Benches of the Supreme Court. In

# T.N.S.T.C. v. Rajapriya, 2005 (2) KLT 848 (SC)

the court specifically observed that the choice of the multiplier was to be determined by the age of the deceased (or that of the claimant whichever is higher) and by the calculation as to what the capital sum if invested at a rate of interest appropriate to a stable economy would yield by way of annual interest. It was further observed that in accepting this, regard must also be had to the fact that ultimately the capital sum would also be consumed up over the period for which the dependency was expected to last.

16. Still later in

# United India Insurance Co. v. Bindu, (2009) 3 SCC 705

the Supreme Court reiterated that the choice of the multiplier was to be determined by the age of the deceased (or that of the claimant whichever is higher) and by the calculation of a capital sum which if invested at the rate of interest appropriate to a stable economy would yield by way of annual interest the amount of dependency – ensuring that the capital sum will also be used up by the end of the expected period of dependency.

17. We do not think it necessary to refer to other decisions of the Supreme Court in which this principle – that the lower multiplier applicable to the older person has to be pressed into service while computing the compensation by employment of the multiplier multiplicand method is reiterated.

18. It is in this context and at this juncture that a two Judge Bench of the Supreme Court proceeded to elaborately consider the principles relating to computation of compensation in Sarla Verma (supra).

19. To avoid the unfortunate scenario of the quantum of compensation varying with the individual Presiding Officers of the Tribunals, the dictum in Sarla Verma (supra) undertook a drastic attempt to standardize the amount of compensation payable in various situations. It is in this context that we find the relevant observations in paragraphs 18 and 19 of Sarla Verma (supra) extracted above.

20. It is true that in Sarla Verma (supra), the two Judge Bench had proceeded to issue general guidelines which are to hold the field when attempt is being made to ascertain the quantum of compensation payable in cases of death. Their Lordships have in paragraphs 18 and 19 identified the broad tasks in assessing compensation. Steps 1, 2 and 3 have been specified so that the Tribunals can simply follow the method to arrive at the quantum of compensation.

21. It is significant to note that in Sarla Verma (supra) their Lordships were not at all called upon to consider a case where an older Dependant claimant was staking a claim in respect of the younger deceased. We have been taken through the entire decision in Sarla Verma (supra). We have read and reread the judgment. It is significant to note that Sarla Verma (supra) did not concern itself with cases where an older dependent/claimant has staked a claim for compensation in respect of a younger deceased. That question did not arise for consideration in Sarla Verma (supra). Their Lordships did not refer to that question at all in Sarla Verma (supra). It is true that general directions were issued in Sarla Verma (supra), but like all other precedents Sarla Verma (supra) must also be considered as a one way ticket which would be helpful to traverse the specific journey undertaken in that precedent – of course with relevant general observations that ought to be followed in similar cases.

22. We come back to the facts of Sarla Verma (supra). It was a case where the claimants included wife and minor children of a deceased person (of course in addition to his parents). The Supreme court evidently was considering the claim in such a fact situation. Observations and directions in precedents cannot obviously be read or construed as provisions in a statutory enactment. In Sarla Verma (supra), their Lordships evidently were trying to ascertain the method of computation of compensation in a case like the one that arose before their Lordships – i.e. on the facts and circumstances in Sarla Verma (supra). It will be idle to assume that Sarla Verma (supra) gives stipulations to be followed in all cases in future irrespective of the facts scenario available in each case.

23. It is true that in paragraphs 18 and 19 as also in the chart/table given under paragraph 40 reference was made to the “age of the deceased” only. Can this lead us to the conclusion that age of the deceased alone is relevant and that the age of the dependent/claimant is irrelevant while ascertaining the multiplier in all cases? That is the question that arises before us. We are certainly of the opinion that their Lordships in Sarla Verma (supra) had not at all intended to issue any binding directions in a situation like the instant one where the older dependent claimant is making a claim for compensation in respect of the younger deceased. In these circumstances, even though the observations in paragraphs 18 and 19 in Sarla Verma (supra) extracted above suggest that the multiplier has to be ascertained with reference to the age of the deceased, we are unable to agree that multiplier in all cases, irrespective of the fact situation, must always be ascertained and can only be ascertained with reference to the age of the deceased. Such a conclusion does not appear to have been intended by their Lordships in Sarla Verma (supra). We are certainly of the opinion that such understanding of the dictum in Sarla Verma (supra) would result in absolute miscarriage of justice. In respect of death of a 40 year old person, the 80 year old parent in one case as well as 3 year old minor son in another would both be entitled for identical amounts, if such understanding in Sarla Verma (supra) were followed by courts. That evidently was not the intention. That is not evidently the dictum. Sarla Verma (supra) reflects the anxiety of the Judges to translate the mandate of ‘just compensation’ under Section 168 of the Motor Vehicles Act without fluctuation based on the individual predilections of the Judges. We are unable to understand the dictum in Sarla Verma (supra) as laying down a rigid proposition that the multiplier in all cases of computation of compensation for death has to be ascertained by looking at the age of the deceased alone. Such understanding would be contrary to the concept of just compensation under Section 168. It will be opposed to the principles of the multiplier-multiplicand method enunciated in the Davies method followed by the two Judge Bench in Susamma Thomas (supra). May, it will be contrary to the conclusion of the three Judge Bench in Trilok Chandra (supra). We are in these circumstances, unable to accept the argument that the age of the deceased alone is relevant (and the age of the dependent claimant is irrelevant) in all cases after Sarla Verma (supra) in the attempt to identify the appropriate multiplier in claims for compensation for death. We do not understand Sarla Verma (supra) to mean so. We cannot, conscious of the law relating to precedents understand the dictum in Sarla Verma (supra) in a manner contrary to the decision of the larger Bench in Trilok Chandra (supra). We, therefore, take the view that identification of the multiplier with reference to the deceased alone can be done only in a case where the claimants are younger to the deceased and not in a case where the claimants are elder to the deceased and the claimants have only a shorter term of life expectancy/dependency than the expected life span of the deceased.

24. On principle and from precedents, we are unable to understand Sarla Verma (supra) in the manner that the learned counsel Sri Arunkumar canvasses before us. In respect of claimants who are elder to the deceased, we reiterate that the principle accepted in Trilok Chandra (supra) will have to be employed.

25. The learned counsel Sri Arun Kumar contends that at least in respect of claims under Section 163A for compensation in respect of death, the same multiplier is adopted in the 2nd schedule to ascertain the quantum of compensation payable to all claimants. The learned counsel brings to our notice that the amounts specified (Rupees in thousands) payable as compensation in the case of death stipulated in the table/chart given under clause (i) of the 2nd schedule takes into account the multiplier applicable to the deceased only and does not make any reference to the age of the claimants. If that can be done in a claim under Section 163A, why cannot the same approach be made in a claim under Section 166 also, queries counsel. The learned counsel points out other binding precedents in which the Supreme Court has observed that the principles under Section 163A can be imported in claims under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act also. Learned counsel argues that in the light of absence of a specific mention in Sarla Verma (supra) that the lesser multiplier applicable to an older claimant must be pressed into service to ascertain the quantum of compensation, the principle under Section 163A that the same amount of compensation shall be paid to all claimants depending upon the age of the deceased with no relevance to the age of the claimant can safely be adopted in claims under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act also.

26. We are unable to accept this contention. It appears to us that this contention stems from a failure to correctly comprehend the nature of the relief under Section 163A of the Act. The question has been considered in detail in

# National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. P.C. Chacko, 2011 (3) KHC 438

Section 163A gives a ready reckoner structured formula. It has been referred to as a “take it or leave it” scheme. The amounts that would be payable under Section 163A is not expected to be just compensation to the last decimal. Whoever finds the scheme under Section 163A to be acceptable can stake a claim under Section 163A and claim the amounts guaranteed under that scheme. The multiplier multiplicand method need not be independently employed in each case by Tribunals while ascertaining the quantum of compensation under that scheme. Stipulated amounts shown in the table/chart alone would be payable in the case of death subject to deduction of 1/3rd of personal expenses. Whatever may be the actual expenditure, only the prescribed amounts under the 2nd schedule will be paid towards medical expenses. It is for the claimant to take an informed decision as to whether he would be satisfied with the amounts that can be claimed under Section 163A. In Chacko (supra) it has been stated that 163A reflects anxiety of the legislature to avoid contentious issues, as much as possible and ensure that the prescribed lump sum amount is paid to the claimant at his option, if he wants to claim relief. The mere fact that the structured formula does not make a distinction on the basis of the age of the dependent/claimant is no reason for this Court to import those considerations to a claim under Section 166. Under Section 166, negligence has to be proved. Dependency has to be proved, actual loss has to be proved and claim can be made for the compensation of the actual loss suffered. While ascertaining the actual loss, multiplier cannot be reckoned, irrespective of the actual loss suffered. In these circumstances, we intend only to note that the fact that the scheme under Section 163A ensures payment of compensation on the basis of the age of the deceased is not by itself a sufficient or satisfactory reason to reckon the age of the deceased alone as sacrosanct in a claim under Section 166. The very able and strenuous attempt made by counsel Sri Arun Kumar to justify the contention on the basis of the principles underlying Section 163A cannot hence succeed.

27. Reliance has been placed on the decision in Somanathan (supra). In Somanathan (supra), the learned Judges had specifically noted the earlier decisions in Susamma Thomas (supra) and Trilok Chandra (supra, Rajapriaya (supra) and Bindu (supra). Their Lordships have not taken the view that multiplier need not be determined by reference to the age of the deceased (or that of the claimants whichever is higher). It is significant to note that such a view has not been specifically accepted by their Lordships in Somanathan (supra). To our mind, such a view cannot be taken by a Bench of lesser quorum than Trilok Chandra (supra). We are unable to agree that in Somanathan (supra) the Bench has accepted that the age of the claimant/dependent is irrelevant while considering the claim for compensation by an older dependent/claimant. Of course, in their attempt to identify the just compensation payable to the claimants in that case, the Bench had taken the view that the conclusion of the Tribunal caters to the ends of justice better. It is true that the tribunal had adopted the multiplier applicable to the younger deceased in that case. In any view of the matter, we are unable to agree that Somanathan (supra) which followed Sarla Verma (supra) can be reckoned as authority for the proposition that the age of the older claimant/dependent is irrelevant when claim is staked for compensation in respect of the death of a younger deceased. We are unable to agree that Somanathan (supra) had gone to that extent and has laid down any such general principle to be followed by Tribunals. The course followed by their Lordships in Somanathan (Supra) cannot be reckoned as the law declared binding on all courts under Article 141. The course followed in Somanathan (supra) to do complete justice in the fact situation (evidently invoking the jurisdiction under Article 142) cannot be understood as the law declared binding under Article 141. A careful reading of Somathan (supra) suggests that the Supreme Court had taken note of the crucial fact that there was an unmarried dependent younger sister and the High Court had omitted to note that fact. It was in these circumstances that the Supreme Court restored the decision of the Tribunal.

28. To summarise, we may observe that the endeavour in a claim under Section 166 as per the mandate of Section 168 of the Motor Vehicles Act must be to ascertain just compensation. Multiplier multiplicand method – Davies Method, is to be pressed into service to ascertain the just compensation payable. While ascertaining the just compensation, the actual loss suffered by a claimant is certainly relevant and vital. To ascertain the actual loss suffered by a dependent claimant, the period of dependency is vitally relevant. Such a claimant cannot expect a wind fall or bonanza and cannot stake a claim for larger amounts than what he would have received if both the claimant and he had continued to live in the normal course. Multiplier multiplicand method conceptually is the ascertainment of capital sum, which if invested, at the rate of interest appropriate to a stable economy, would yield by way of annual interest, sums equivalent to the contribution which the deceased would have made to the claimant subject to the further requirement that the entire capitalized amount shall also be consumed up over the period for which dependency is expected to last. Therefore, when an older claimant/dependent stakes the claim, the multiplier applicable to him is to be chosen to ascertain the compensation employing the multiplier multiplicand method. The multiplier cannot be chosen with the help of the age of the deceased alone. We make it clear that Sarla Verma (supra) does not lay down such a principle nor can Somanathan (supra) be understood to endorse such a view. The age of the dependent/claimant (or if there are more claimants than one, the age of the youngest of the dependents/claimants) has to be ascertained. Then the age of the deceased has to be ascertained. Thereafter the multiplier relevant to the older person has to be ascertained and employed. This is the method to be followed for choosing the multiplier in a claim under Section 166 of the Act.

29. The challenge raised on the first ground in this case must hence necessarily fail. The Tribunal, according to us, did not commit any error in reckoning 7 as the multiplier following the age of the sole appellant/mother – 61 years, while ascertaining the compensation payable under Section 166 of the Act. The challenge on Ground No.1 fails.

30. Ground No.2. Learned counsel for the appellant then falls back on the decision in National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Muneer (2003 (1) K.L.T. 137) and contends that in any view of the matter, the Tribunal should have ensured that just compensation is paid to the claimant. Just compensation under Section 166 cannot in any view of the matter fall below or be lesser than the amount payable under Section 163A, contends the Learned counsel. The claim may thus be considered as one under Section 163A, submits counsel. We find merit in that contention. That principle has been accepted in Muneer (Supra). In R.K. Malik v. Kiran Pal (2009 (14) S.C.C. 1), the Supreme Court has also accepted the same. This aspect has been referred to in detail in the decision in Shree Devi v. K.S.R.T.C. (2011 (3) K.L.T. 716). The right of the claimant to stake the claim for compensation under Section 163A in a pending claim under Section 166 is also recognized by the decision of this Court in United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Madhavan. M. & Others (2011 (3) K.H.C. 299). In these circumstances, we are satisfied that the claim can be considered at this juncture as one under Section 163A, if that would be more advantageous to the claimant. The request of the claimant has to be accepted.

31. That takes us to the question as to what would be the amount payable under Section 163A of the Motor Vehicles Act. The deceased was aged 28 years. He, therefore, falls in the 4th horizontal column of persons above 25 years of age but not exceeding 30 years. The Tribunal had accepted his monthly income to be Rs.3,000/-. He, therefore, falls under the 12th vertical column – of persons earning above 24,000 upto 36,000 annually. X axis and Y axis of the table/chart meet and at that point the amount of compensation payable in case of death is specified in Rupees in thousands and the amount specified is 612, that is 6,12,000/-. 2/3rd must be deducted from this amount specified and that shows that the amount of compensation payable is Rs.4,08,000/- (6,12,000 x 2/3). Further amounts under clause 3 of the 2nd Schedule would also be payable. We are satisfied that the said amount payable under Section 163A of the Motor Vehicles Act must be made available to the claimant/appellant.

32. We, therefore, hold that the appellant/claimant/the legal heir of the deceased is entitled for the following amounts:

1. Amount payable under Clause (i) of the 2nd schedule to the Motor Vehicles Act Rs.4,08,000/– (Rs.6,12,000 x 2/3)
2. Funeral expenses payable under Clause 3(i) Rs.2,000/-
3. Loss of estate payable under clause 3(iii) Rs.2,500/-
Total Rs.4,12,500/-

33. The appellant would be entitled only for that amount as compensation. The challenge in this appeal succeeds to the above extent.

34. In the light of the interesting questions raised by Shri Arun Kumar, learned counsel for the appellant, we had sought the assistance of all counsel appearing for the Insurance Companies also in the matter. They had offered assistance to the court. Shri Ziyad Rehman, the learned counsel notified by the New India Assurance Company, points out that virtually this court is now accepting that the multiplier applicable to the deceased alone can be accepted and the multiplier of the claimant need not be looked into. In terms of results, it may be so. But we are not accepting such a proposition – that only the multiplier applicable to a younger deceased need be looked into; we are only taking the view that the amount payable under Section 163A must at any rate be made available to the victim. It is true that the amount specified under the second schedule is specified taking into reckoning the age of the deceased and the same amount would be payable to all claimants/legal heirs, whatever be their age. That does not militate against or detract from the principles that we have chosen to lay down.

35. In the result

a) this appeal is allowed in part.

b) In supercession of the amount awarded, the appellant is found entitled to a total amount of Rs.4,12,500/- along with interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of the petition to 25/7/2008 till the date of realization.

c) All other directions of the Tribunal are upheld.

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