|To parents of a three-year-old Sri Lankan refugee, who was killed in an accident|
They originally claimed Rs.15,20,000
Civil appeal dismissed
MADURAI: The Madras High Court has directed United India Insurance Company to pay Rs.1.62 lakh to the parents of a three-year-old Sri Lankan refugee who was crushed to death under the wheels of a private bus near their camp at Thailaiyuthu in Tirunelveli district on May 30, 2002.
Dismissing a civil appeal filed by the public sector insurance company in the Madurai Bench, Justice M. Venugopal said that the amount awarded by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in 2003 was prudent, fair and equitable. The judgement, reserved here, was delivered at the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai.
The parents had originally claimed Rs.15,20,000 and subsequently restricted the amount to Rs.5 lakh.
It was contended that they had three girl children and the deceased was their only male child.
There was no chance of begetting any more children as one of them had undergone family planning operation.
On the other hand, the insurance company claimed that in the cases of young children of tender age, in view of uncertainties around, neither their income at the time of death nor the prospects of the future increase in income or chances of advancement of their career were capable of proper determination on estimated basis.
However, Mr. Justice Venugopal stated that the Supreme Court in National Insurance Company vs. Pittala Ramu (2007) had held that such issues could not be approached strictly in terms of commerce or calculations.
It needed to be decided on the touchstone of mental agony of the parents.
The Judge also recalled that the apex court in National Insurance Company vs. Muneer (2003) had observed that notional income could be assumed in both cases where persons concerned were not actually earning or had not reached the age of earning.
In this case, parents of a four-year-old accident victim was granted Rs.1.5 lakh.
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