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Loss of Earning Capacity Due to Permanent Disability Cannot Be a Ground for Enhancement in Compensation: Bombay HC

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The High Court of Bombay, Nagpur bench on Friday upheld the decision of MACT, Nagpur and dismissed an appeal filed for the enhancement of amount of compensation granted by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Nagpur.

On being dissatisfied by the less compensation than asked for granted by the tribunal, the appellant named as “Siddharth” who is a labour had moved a first appeal before the Bombay High Court and the matter was heard by Justice Anil S. Kilor, whereby the respondent is the Insurance Company “New India Assurance Company Limited” and the Business owner “Babu Sheikh” under whom the appellant was working.

The appellant/claimant was proceeding in Jeep on Ridhora-Kondhali road, Dist. Nagpur. The driver of the jeep was driving the said vehicle in rash and negligent manner and at a high speed. The jeep gave a dash to the State Transport Bus resulting to which the appellant had sustained grievous injury. The appellant suffered permanent disability to the extent of 50% in his right leg.

The appellant filed an application before MACT under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicle Act for grant of compensation. Thereafter, the tribunal while observing the disability certificate which showed that the petitioner had sustained 50% permanent disablement, partly allowed the claim which covers the appellant’s loss of future income, medical expenses and food.

Ld. Counsel for the appellant argued on the point of disability and said that the Tribunal has not considered the case of the appellant about the permanent disability and held that the appellant failed to bring sufficient evidence on record to show that he is not able to work after suffering from permanent disability and the appellant is entitled for the enhancement of compensation.

Whereas, the counsel for respondent said that the claim of the appellant for enhancement of compensation is misconceived as the appellant has not examined the doctor and he has failed to produce any cogent and relevant evidence in support of his case that he is not able to work after suffering permanent disability and the contention of the appellant that the Tribunal has not considered his case of permanent disability needs to be rejected as the learned Tribunal has considered the same and granted compensation looking to the permanent disability of the petitioner.

“After going through the evidence, I have no hesitation to say that nothing has been brought by the appellant on record to show that because of permanent disability he is not able to work. In his evidence he has stated that he was admitted in to Government Medical College Hospital, Nagpur on 19th August, 2003 and discharged on 16th September, 2003 where rod was inserted in his right leg. However, he did not depose anything in support of his claim relating to future income on the ground of his inability to work as a labourer after suffering from permanent disability”, held by the High Court.

High Court also held that in most of the cases percentage of economic loss, that is, the percentage of loss of earning capacity from the percentage of a permanent disability will be different. It further added that the disability mentioned in the certificate should not be considered to be functional disability of the body nor could it be assumed to result in a corresponding extent of loss of earning capacity, as the disability would not have prevented him from carrying out his work, though it might impede in his smooth functioning and therefore each case has to be considered in the lights of his own facts and circumstances. 

Therefore, the court dismissed the appeal and upheld the decision of MACT, Nagpur whereby the claim was partly allowed. 

India Legal Bureau

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