The district court here on Monday announced a compensation of Rs 15.27 crore for the families of five people who died in a road accident near Balachaur in Punjab in 2009.
The money would be paid by New India Assurance, the public-sector firm which had insured the truck that rammed into the victims' car; the accident insurance policy entailed paying compensation as calculated, with no upper limit.
The victims - three of a family from Sector 6 of Panchkula, their friends' son and their employed driver - were coming from Jalandhar to Panchkula on November 1, 2009, when their Maruti Esteem sedan was hit by a truck. Pooja Aggarwal, 42, her husband Ashwini Aggarwal, 47, their son Dhruv Aggarwal, 14, and Archit, 14, son of a family friend of Ashwini, and driver Pawan Kumar, 31, all died.
Kashmir Singh, who was driving the truck, was sent to two-year rigorous imprisonment over negligent driving. It was alleged that he was driving on the wrong side. The court at Panchkula, while deciding the accident claims filed by the victims' families, also held that the accident took place due to negligent driving by Kashmir.
The large amount was based on the calculation of future income lost - Pooja was earning Rs 1 crore per year while Ashwini was earning Rs 60 lakh a year, running business firms. Their daughter Madhvi Aggarwal, who turned 18 during the pendency of case, will now get Rs 8.34 crore for the demise of Pooja and Rs 6.75 crore for her father's death. Driver Pawan's family will get Rs 17 lakh, while, for the deaths of Archit and Dhruv, Rs 75,000 each is the compensation.