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In a rare directive, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal increases compensation by ₹5 lakh in Mumbai

The family did not have documents to support their claim of Sanjay Ingale earning ₹10,000 per month, so the Tribunal took ₹8,000 per month as his notional income

September 17, 2022 04:54 pm | Updated 06:04 pm IST - Mumbai

While on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, a mechanical failure of a gear nut of the truck occurred. File

While on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, a mechanical failure of a gear nut of the truck occurred. File | Photo Credit: Getty Images

In a rare direction, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in Mumbai increased the sum of compensation sought by a family of four by almost ₹5 lakh after the death of its sole bread earner on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway in 2016.

On the morning of February 11, 2016, Sanjay Ingale, 39, was on duty as the driver of a truck proceeding from Airoli to Shirur. While on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, a mechanical failure of a gear nut of the truck occurred. Ingale got down to verify the fault. At this time, a trailer being driven at a very high speed, without blowing horn or signalling in any way, dashed into Ingale’s stationary truck causing the front tyre of the truck to go over Ingale, who died on the spot.

He was the only earning member of the family, with wages of ₹10,000 per month. His family — widow Rohini Ingale, 34; daughter Rutuza, 19; son Rutvik, 11; and 65-year-old mother Parubai — sought a total compensation of ₹10 lakh from the opposite party and the insurer.

The Tribunal, presided by member S.B. Munde noted: “The evidence in the form of the police papers goes to establish that the accident occurred due to rash and negligent driving by the offending vehicle [trailer] by its driver.”

A First Information Report (FIR) was also registered against the driver of the trailer under the Indian Penal Code and relevant Sections of the Motor Vehicles Act. The Tribunal noted, “The driver had not made any complaint in writing with police that false crime came to be registered against him. Thus, an adverse inference must be drawn against the driver of the offending vehicle.”

The family did not produce any documents to support their claim of Sanjay Ingale being 39 years old. According to the advanced post-mortem certificate, he was 44 years old and the Tribunal, therefore, went by this as his age. The family also did not have documents to support their claim of Sanjay Ingale earning ₹10,000 per month, so the Tribunal took ₹8,000 per month as his notional income. Therefore, the annual income was taken to be ₹96,000, factoring 25% more for the prospects of the deceased.

“Yearly income was ₹1,20,000 and out of which 1/4th was deducted for personal expenses. As per Supreme Court guidelines, the suitable multiplier is of 14 with the age, thus the loss of dependency was ₹12,60,000. The fixed funeral expenses and loss of estate will be ₹15,000. With a 10% increase in conventional heads every three years, the family is entitled to receive ₹14,69,000 and added a rate of interest of 7% per annum,” the Bench directed.

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