In Yogesh Subhash Panchal v. Mohd. Hussain Malik & connected appeal, the Bombay High Court has declared that there is no prohibition on the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) or courts granting compensation that is higher than the amount claimed by the accident survivor/victim.
Therefore, a single-judge Justice Anuja Prabhudessai increased the compensation awarded to an accident victim by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) from 48.3 lakh to 64.8 lakh, which was higher than the amount he had requested and included the “no-fault culpability” component.
The survivor will receive more than Rs. 1.17 crores in compensation in addition to interest.
The court issued the ruling after observing that the survivor had entirely lost his ability to work and was now confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The Court concluded that paraplegia, a type of lower body paralysis, has a severe effect on the victim’s social and financial well-being and 100% loss of earning capacity.
The judge further stated that no amount of money, no matter how great, could help the victim rebuild their lives or lessen their physical or mental pain.
The insurance business was ordered by the court to deposit the remaining funds, which total over one crore, in a nationalised bank within four weeks starting October 14.
After the Court added the component of interest at 7.5% per year on a portion of the compensation amount from 2005 to the date of realisation, that is when it became effective. The Court separately included a “future expenditure” component in the compensatory sum.
The petitioner was involved in an accident in November 2004 and suffered many wounds that left her completely permanently disabled as a result of acute paraplegia. At age 26, he racked up significant medical debt and started relying on others for daily tasks.
He was unable to work and support himself after the accident. He submitted an application under the Motor Vehicles Act seeking RS 45,000 in compensation. The insurance provider denied that reckless and irresponsible driving was the cause of the collision and refuted its obligation to cover damages.
The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal approved a claim for compensation in the amount of Rs 48,38,543 with interest accruing at a rate of 7.5% annually from the application date until ultimate realisation. Panchal and the insurance provider both filed an appeal with the High Court because they were dissatisfied with the amount of compensation.
Justice Prabhudessai concluded that Panchal had lost all of her ability to generate money.
The claimant, a young man of 26 years of age is wheelchair bound for life. …He is unable to enjoy amenities of life, which he would have otherwise enjoyed but for the tragic accidental injuriesThe Court Observed
In these circumstances, the High Court decided it was appropriate to increase the amount of damages the tribunal had awarded for pain, suffering, and lost amenities.