Staff Reporter

For, the award passed by the tribunal was excessive: Judge

Victim’s left hand was crushed in a bus accident

Every disability will not affect earning capacity

MADURAI: The Madras High Court has reduced the compensation granted to a youth whose left hand was amputated after being crushed under the wheels of a bus at Dharmapuri on June 25, 1997.

In a judgement reserved in the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai but delivered in the Madurai Bench, Justice M. Venugopal commuted the award of Rs.6,55,315 granted by a tribunal to Rs.3,20,347.

The Judge held that the bus driver was squarely responsible for the accident in which the victim suffered injuries after being knocked from the pillion seat of a motorcycle. But the award passed by the tribunal was excessive, he said.

Pointing out that disability could be divided into temporary total disability, temporary partial disability and total disability, he said: “It is to be borne in mind that every disability will not affect the earning capacity.”

He recalled that Lord Halsbury in 1900 said: “Nobody can suggest that you can by any arithmetical calculation establish the exact amount of money which would represent the pain and suffering that a person has undergone by reason of an accident.”

In the present case, the claimant, C. Sivakumar said that he was 23-year-old when the accident occurred and working in the Central Reserve Police Force. His marriage prospects were curtailed and his future was shattered due to the amputation.

He had to support his aged parents and unmarried sister. “All the members of the family were suffering a lot and they had been subjected to mental shock,” he said and sought Rs.15 lakh as compensation from the insurer of the bus.

The insurance company denied liability stating that it was not the bus driver but the motorcyclists who were at fault. However, the Dharmapuri Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal in 2002 awarded Rs.6.55 lakh and hence the present appeal.