Tamil Nadu

Departmental proceedings ordered against trial court judge

He awarded disproportionate compensation in accident cases.

The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed its Registrar General C. Kumarappan to initiate departmental proceedings against the presiding officer of a Special Sub Court, for dealing with motor accident claims cases, in Coimbatore for repeatedly awarding disproportionate compensation to the claimants.

A Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and Krishnan Ramasamy issued the direction while disposing of an appeal preferred by National Insurance Company challenging an award of ₹1.93 crore to the family members of an engineer who died in a road accident after a bus dashed hit his car on July 6, 2012.

Incongruous evidence

The judges pointed out that though the claimants themselves had stated that the income of the deceased was only ₹1 lakh a month, the presiding officer had ended up determining the income to be ₹1.25 lakh per month despite no acceptable evidence having been produced to substantiate the income during his lifetime.

They agreed with the insurance firm’s claim that such astronomical quantum of compensation was unknown to the parlance of law on compensation.

On scrutiny of the award passed by the presiding officer on June 25 last year, the judges found that he had mentioned just ₹35,000 as the award for ‘loss of love and affection’ in the text of his judgment but went on to add ₹35 lakh towards that conventional head while computing the total award in the operative portion of his verdict. The judges said, it did not appear to be a mistake that could have occurred due to inadvertence or oversight.

Pointing out that they had come across a series of such orders passed by that particular presiding officer, the Bench said, it had even directed the High Court Registry to place one of those orders in the officer’s Annual Confidential Report.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 1:56:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/departmental-proceedings-ordered-against-trial-court-judge/article30855392.ece

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