Only statutory dues can be deducted from accident claims: Bombay HC
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court (HC) last week observed that no other amount, except for statutory dues, are allowed to be deducted while computing amount of compensation to be paid in motor accident claims.
“It is well settled that except for the statutory deduction to be made towards income tax, professional tax, no other deduction is permissible under law,” said justice VL Achliya.
“The deduction from the salary of the deceased towards insurance, pension benefits, gratuity or grant of employment to the kin of the deceased is not permissible.”
The court was hearing an appeal filed by a resident of Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district challenging an order passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Ahmednagar, in December 2011, granting compensation of Rs. 9 lakh to her and her ageing in-laws against a claim of Rs 15.5 lakh following the death of her husband in a road accident in 2007.
The appellant claimed that the accident took place on June 2, 2007, barely three months after her marriage. She and her husband were going from Pune towards Ahmednagar on a two-wheeler. Her husband, a sepoy in the Indian Army, was driving the bike and she was riding pillion.
She had complained that when they reached near Kamar Gaon, a Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC)-run bus hit the two-wheeler and the vehicle was thrown off the road.
Her husband died due to severe head injury and the appellant survived even though she, too, was critically injured.
Later, she filed a motor accident claim, claiming compensation of Rs. 15.5 lakh from MSRTC.
In 2012, she moved HC seeking enhancement in compensation after the tribunal awarded her Rs 9 lakh.
Justice Achliya accepted the argument put forth by the appellant’s counsel and found the assessment of compensation made by the tribunal was against the settled position in law.
The court held that she was entitled to Rs. 23.52 lakh as compensation.
It also ordered that 23.52 lakh is equitably paid to the appellant and her in-laws.