The general manager of New India Assurance Company got an earful from the Bombay High Court on Tuesday after offering to compensate a 27-year-old woman who suffered permanent disability after an accident in 1993.
After hearing their earlier offer of Rs 5 lakh, Justice S.A. Bobade remarked, “Don’t act like misers…” and directed the company to consider paying more compensation to Shweta Mehta, who was just 11-years-old at the time accident, and now is a paraplegic.
The court was hearing an appeal by the firm, challenging the order of the Motor Accident Tribunal (MACT). In 2007, the MACT directed the firm to pay the girl of Rs 21.23 lakh. The company owes her Rs 50 lakh.
Mehta too filed a petition in the HC, seeking higher compensation of Rs 91 lakh.
Last week, the company’s advocate said in court they were not ready to compensate her. The advocate said: “the accident for her was a blessing in disguise as she could get better education and compensation”.
Irked by the statement, the HC summoned the company’s General Manager I.S. Phukela.
Phukela, who was in court on Tuesday, told the judges that the company was ready to enhance the claim by Rs 5 lakh.
To this, Justice Bobade said: “Life has come to a standstill for this girl. Consider giving her little more than this.”
Mehta’s advocate, Tejpal Ingale, said she deserved more as she is paraplegic with permanent disability.
The girl cannot do anything by herself. She needs help for everything, said Ingale reading from her affidavit. “My expenses per month are about Rs. 78,000, which includes medical expenses and salary to my personal help.” The court will hear the case tomorrow.Urvi Mahajani