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Be sensitive to accident victims, SC tells courts

delhi Updated: May 18, 2010 19:06 IST

The Supreme Court has asked courts to adopt a "senstive" approach in awarding compenstion to those who suffer permanent disability in accidents and lose the capacity to eke out their future living.

A bench of Justices GS Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly found fault with the approach of the Karnataka High Court for inadequately enhancing the compensation to a mason despite the medical report stating that the victim was totally incapacitated for future construction work.

The apex court noted that the high court had slightly enhanced the compensation awarded by the Tribunal for the purpose of future medical expenses but failed to consider the loss of earning capacity suffered by the victim BT Krishnappa.

"It is clear that High Court did no consider the appellant's case properly. It accepted the Tribunal's assessment of the body disability at 20 pc and observed that the Tribunal has paid compensation under the heads 'loss of amenities and enjoyment of life and loss of earnings during laid up period' on the lower side.

"However, it awarded an additional compensation only for future medical expenditure and did not deal with the aspect of future loss of earnings at all, which we feel was not a correct approach," the apex court said in a judgement.

In this case, the victim suffered serious injuries in a road accident on January 1, 2006, resulting in permanent disability of the right leg.

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal awarded a compensation of Rs.1,55,000/- with 7.5 pc interest and on an appeal, the High Court enhanced the compensation by only Rs.34,000/- for meeting future medical expenses.

Aggrieved Krishnappa appealed in the apex court.