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Road accidents: SC calls for hike in compensation to self-employed deceased aged below 40

A policeman inspects the mangled remains of a car after an accident near Nizamuddin West Road, in New Delhi, Tuesday, May 11, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

: The Supreme Court has held that an extra 40% should be added to the income of fatal road accident victims, aged below 40 and self-employed, while calculating compensation.

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana said the additional amount should be included in the income of the dead person as "future prospects".

Also read: Accident information reports to process compensation claims should reach tribunals, insurers in 48 hours: SC

The recent judgment, authored by Chief Justice Ramana, came in a petition filed by the children of a 37-year-old self-employed woman who died in a car accident 11 years ago.

The judgment is significant as it recognises self-employment as gainful employment and calls for an increase in the compensation amount accordingly.

Chief Justice Ramana referred to a Constitution Bench decision in National Insurance versus Pranay Sethi, which had "clearly held that in case the deceased is self-employed and below the age of 40, 40% addition would be made to their income as future prospects".

"In the present case, the deceased was self-employed and was 37 years old, therefore, warranting the addition of 40% towards future prospects," Chief Justice Ramana wrote.

The accident occurred on the intervening night of May 18-19, 2010. The vehicle in which the parents of the appellant-children were travelling rammed a truck near Phagwara in Punjab.

The High Court held the victim ineligible for future prospects because she was self-employed. The High Court had also deduced 50% towards personal expenses of the victim from the compensation.

The apex court however disagreed with the High Court's conclusions. It said "deduction towards personal and living expenses for a person such as the deceased who was married with two dependents should only be one-third ... Since the High Court deducted 50% it merits interference by this court".

The Supreme Court then granted 40% addition towards "future prospects" and deducted only one-third towards personal expenses while determining the total compensation due to the woman's family.


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 8:54:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/extra-40-should-be-added-to-the-income-of-fatal-road-accident-victims-supreme-court/article34547582.ece

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