The Supreme Court on Tuesday favoured a liberal approach in awarding compensation in road accident cases,saying it may not be rightful to go by the strict language of the law in extraordinary instances of victims sufferings.
At times it is not possible to award compensation strictly in accordance with the law laid down as in a particular case it may not be just also. We are hesitant to say it is a reality of life that at times life of an injured or sick person becomes more miserable for the person and for the family members than the death, said a bench of Justices A R Dave and Dipak Misra.
The court said it while setting aside an order of the Andhra Pradesh HC,reducing the compensation awarded to family members of Rajanala Ravi Krishna from Rs 18.75 lakh to Rs 12.45 lakh on the basis of strict calculation under the Motor Vehicles Act. Krishna,then 17,was rendered 80 per cent disabled after a road mishap in July 2000. Medical reports showed he was bedridden,could not move his limbs and had also lost his speech.
The Bench,noting his conditions,regretted that Krishnas life had become very miserable and there would be substantial financial burden on his parents. Here is one case where the appellants,even during their retired life will have to take care of their son like a child especially when they would have expected the son to take their care, the court said,justifying the higher quantum of compensation.
The court restored the amount of Rs 18.75 lakh granted by the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal and asked the United India Insurance Co Ltd,with which the offending vehicle was insured,to disburse the amount along with 7.5 per cent interest to the victims parents.