30 years on, HC decides road mishap case, hikes compensation from Rs 5K to Rs 5 Lakh
NEARLY 30 years after a 4-year-old died in a road accident in Patiala, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has finally decided the case filed by his family in 1991 for compensation. The court has ordered a compensation of Rs 5 Lakh to the family as against the amount of Rs 15,000 ordered to be paid by the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal. The accident had taken place in November 1989.
The case had remained pending at the High Court since 1991, the year the Tribunal had determined the compensation amount to be paid to the family. Of late, the lawyers representing the victim’s family had also stopped appearing in the case despite notice, compelling the court to decide the matter after hearing the counsel representing the Insurance Company alone.
“I find that the compensation awarded is very low. Though learned counsel for the Insurance Company is arguing that the accident had taken place in the year 1989 and keeping in view the price index at that time the compensation was rightly awarded. However, I find that the appeal against that award is pending for a long time and the claimants cannot be made to suffer on that account,” read the order passed by a single bench of the High Court.
The child, Lakhwinder Singh, had died in the accident caused by a rashly and negligently driven bus. His parents had filed for compensation before the Tribunal in 1989. In July 1991, the Tribunal ordered an amount of Rs 15,000 with 12 per cent per annum interest in favour of the family with the insurance company, bus service provider and the driver jointly held responsible.
The single bench in its ruling said, “The claimants would be entitled to get the additional compensation of Rs 4,85,000 with interest at the rate of 7.5% per annum from the date of filing of the appeal till actual realization”. The amount is to be paid by all the three respondents. The amount of the compensation is to be distributed equally between the mother and father of the child, reads the order of the High Court.
Source: The Indian Express