Cout can grant compensation more than claimed when the claimant is a minor In view of the above, we award a sum of Rs.62,27,000/­ to the claimant under the following heads : S.No Heads Amount (i) Expenses relating to treatment, hospitalisation and transportation Rs. 2,50,000/­ (ii) Loss of earnings (family members) Rs. 51,000/­ (iii) Loss of future earnings Rs.14,66,000/ (iv) Attendant charges Rs.21,60,000/­ (v) Pain, suffering, loss of amenities Rs.15,00,000/­ (vi) Loss of Marriage prospects Rs. 3,00,000/­ (vii) Future medical treatment Rs. 5,00,000/­ This amount shall carry an interest @7.5% p.a. from the date of filing of the claim petition till payment/deposit of the amount. Obviously, the insurance company shall be entitled to adjust the amount already paid. Further, the insurance company shall also be entitled to recover the amount from the owner in terms of the award of the MACT, which has not been challenged either before the High Court or us. We are aware that the amount awarded by us is more than the amount claimed. However, it is well settled law that in motor accident claim petitions, the Court must award just compensation and, in case, the just compensation is more than the amount claimed, that must be awarded especially where the claimant is a minor.

(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (C) No.15504 OF 2019)
Deepak Gupta, J.

  1. Kajal was a bright young girl. She used to attend school,
    play with her friends and lead a normal life like any other child.
    Unfortunately, on 18th October, 2007, while Kajal was travelling
    on a tractor with her parents, the tractor was hit by a truck
    which was driven rashly. In the said accident, Kajal suffered
    serious injuries resulting in damage to her brain. This has had
    very serious consequences on her. She was examined at the Post
    Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,
    Chandigarh (PGI, Chandigarh for short), for assessment of her
    disability. According to the said report, because of head injury
    Kajal is left with a very low I.Q. and severe weakness in all her
    four limbs, suffers from severe hysteria and severe urinary
    incontinence. Her disability has been assessed as 100%.
  2. Dr. Chhabra (PW­4), who was one of the members of the
    Board which issued the disability certificate (Ex.P6) stated that
    as per the assessment her I.Q. is less than 20% of a child of her
    age and her social age is only of a 9 month old child. This means
    that Kajal while lying on the bed will grow up to be an adult with
    all the physical and biological attributes which a woman would
    get on attaining adulthood, including menstruation etc., but her
    mind will remain of a 9 month old child. Basically, she will not
    understand what is happening all around her.
  3. How does one assess compensation in such a case? No
    amount of money can compensate this child for the injuries
    suffered by her. She can never be put back in the same position.
    However, compensation has to be determined in terms of the
    provisions of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short the Act). The
    Act requires determination of payment of just compensation and
    it is the duty of the court to ensure that she is paid compensation
    which is just.
  4. Kajal through her father filed a claim petition, under the
    Act. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT for short)
    awarded Rs.11,08,501/­ and held that since there was violation
    of the terms of policy the insurance company would pay the
    amount but would be entitled to recover the same from the
    owner. The High Court enhanced the award amount to
    Rs.25,78,501/­ under the following heads:
    Heads High Court
    Age 12
    Multiplier ­
    Income (taken to be) Rs. 15,000/­
    Disability 100%
    Loss of income and permanent
    disability compensation
    Rs. 2,70,000/­
    Pain, suffering loss of amenities Rs. 3,00,000/­
    Attendant charges Rs. 3,20,000/­
    (Rs.2500 for 44
    Future medical expenses Rs. 2,00,000/­
    Loss of marriage prospects Rs. 3,00,000/­
    Rs. 1,38,501/­
    Transportation details / special diet Rs. 50,000/­
    Total Rs.25,78,501/­
    Aggrieved by the award the claimant is before this Court.
  5. The principles with regard to determination of just
    compensation contemplated under the Act are well settled.
    Injuries cause deprivation to the body which entitles the claimant
    to claim damages. The damages may vary according to the gravity
    of the injuries sustained by the claimant in an accident. On
    account of the injuries, the claimant may suffer consequential
    losses such as (i) loss of earning; (ii) expenses on treatment which
    may include medical expenses, transportation, special diet,
    attendant charges etc., (iii) loss or diminution to the pleasures of
    life by loss of a particular part of the body, and (iv) loss of future
    earning capacity. Damages can be pecuniary as well as nonpecuniary, but all have to be assessed in Rupees and Paise.
  6. It is impossible to equate human suffering and personal
    deprivation with money. However, this is what the Act enjoins
    upon the courts to do. The court has to make a judicious attempt
    to award damages, so as to compensate the claimant for the loss
    suffered by the victim. On the one hand, the compensation
    should not be assessed very conservatively, but on the other
    hand, compensation should also not be assessed in so liberal a
    fashion so as to make it a bounty to the claimant. The court while
    assessing the compensation should have regard to the degree of
    deprivation and the loss caused by such deprivation. Such
    compensation is what is termed as just compensation. The
    compensation or damages assessed for personal injuries should
    be substantial to compensate the injured for the deprivation
    suffered by the injured throughout his/her life. They should not
    be just token damages.
  7. There are numerous cases where the principles for grant of
    compensation have been enunciated. It would be relevant to
    quote pertinent observations from a few.
  8. In Phillips v. Western Railway Co.
    , Field, J., while
    emphasizing that damages must be full and adequate, held thus:
    “You cannot put the plaintiff back again into his original
    position, but you must bring your reasonable common
    sense to bear, and you must always recollect that this is
    the only occasion on which compensation can be given.
    The plaintiff can never sue again for it. You have,
    therefore, now to give him compensation once and for all.
    He has done no wrong, he has suffered a wrong at the
    hands of the defendants and you must take care to give
    him full fair compensation for that which he has
    suffered.” Besides, the Tribunals should always
    remember that the measures of damages in all these
    cases “should be such as to enable even a tortfeasor to
    say that he had amply atoned for his misadventure”.
  9. In the case of Mediana2
    , Lord Halsbury held:
    “Of course the whole region of inquiry into damages is
    one of extreme difficulty. You very often cannot even lay
    down any principle upon which you can give damages;
    nevertheless, it is remitted to the jury, or those who
    stand in place of the jury, to consider what compensation
    in money shall be given for what is a wrongful act. Take
    the most familiar and ordinary case: how is anybody to
    measure pain and suffering in moneys counted? Nobody
    1 (1874) 4 QBD 406
    2 [1900] AC 113
    can suggest that you can by any arithmetical calculation
    establish what is the exact amount of money which
    would represent such a thing as the pain and suffering
    which a person has undergone by reason of an accident.
    In truth, I think it would be very arguable to say that a
    person would be entitled to no damages for such thing.
    What manly mind cares about pain and suffering that is
    past? But, nevertheless, the law recognizes that as a
    topic upon which damages may be given.”
  10. The following observations of Lord Morris in his speech in H.
    West & Son Ltd. v. Shephard3
    , are very pertinent:
    “Money may be awarded so that something tangible may
    be procured to replace something else of the like nature
    which has been destroyed or lost. But money cannot
    renew a physical frame that has been battered and
    shattered. All that Judges and courts can do is to award
    sums which must be regarded as giving reasonable
    compensation. In the process there must be the
    endeavour to secure some uniformity in the general
    method of approach. By common assent awards must be
    reasonable and must be assessed with moderation.
    Furthermore, it is eminently desirable that so far as
    possible comparable injuries should be compensated by
    comparable awards.”
    In the same case Lord Devlin observed that the proper approach
    to the problem was to adopt a test as to what contemporary
    society would deem to be a fair sum, such as would allow the
    wrongdoer to “hold up his head among his neighbours and say
    with their approval that he has done the fair thing”, which
    should be kept in mind by the court in determining
    compensation in personal injury cases.
    3 1963 2 WLR 1359
  11. Lord Denning while speaking for the Court of Appeal in the
    case of Ward v. James4
    , laid down the following three basic
    principles to be followed in such like cases:
    “Firstly, accessibility: In cases of grave injury, where the
    body is wrecked or brain destroyed, it is very difficult to
    assess a fair compensation in money, so difficult that the
    award must basically be a conventional figure, derived
    from experience or from awards in comparable cases.
    Secondly, uniformity: There should be some measure of
    uniformity in awards so that similar decisions may be
    given in similar cases; otherwise there will be great
    dissatisfaction in the community and much criticism of
    the administration of justice. Thirdly, predictability:
    Parties should be able to predict with some measure of
    accuracy the sum which is likely to be awarded in a
    particular case, for by this means cases can be settled
    peaceably and not brought to court, a thing very much to
    the public good.”
  12. The assessment of damages in personal injury cases raises
    great difficulties. It is not easy to convert the physical and
    mental loss into monetary terms. There has to be a measure of
    calculated guess work and conjecture. An assessment, as best
    as can, in the circumstances, should be made.
  13. In McGregor’s Treatise on Damages, 14th Edn., para 1157,
    referring to heads of damages in personal injury actions states:
    “The person physically injured may recover both for his
    pecuniary losses and his non­pecuniary losses. Of these
    the pecuniary losses themselves comprise two separate
    items, viz., the loss of earnings and other gains which the
    plaintiff would have made had he not been injured and
    the medical and other expenses to which he is put as a
    4 (1965) 1 All ER 563
    result of the injury, and the courts have sub­divided the
    non­pecuniary losses into three categories, viz., pain and
    suffering, loss of amenities of life and loss of expectation
    of life.”
  14. In M/s Concord of India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Nirmala
    Devi and others5
    , this Court held:
    “2….The determination of the quantum must be liberal,
    not niggardly since the law values life and limb in a free
    country in generous scales.”
  15. In R.D. Hattangadi v. Pest Control (India) Pvt. Ltd.6
    dealing with the different heads of compensation in injury cases
    this Court held thus:
    “9. Broadly speaking, while fixing the amount of
    compensation payable to a victim of an accident, the
    damages have to be assessed separately as pecuniary
    damages and special damages. Pecuniary damages are
    those which the victim has actually incurred and which
    are capable of being calculated in terms of money;
    whereas non­pecuniary damages are those which are
    incapable of being assessed by arithmetical calculations.
    In order to appreciate two concepts pecuniary damages
    may include expenses incurred by the claimant: (i)
    medical attendance; (ii) loss of earning of profit up to the
    date of trial; (iii) other material loss. So far as nonpecuniary damages are concerned, they may include:
    (i) damages for mental and physical shock,
    pain and suffering already suffered or likely to
    be suffered in the future; (ii) damages to
    compensate for the loss of amenities of life
    which may include a variety of matters, i.e., on
    account of injury the claimant may not be able
    to walk, run or sit; (iii) damages for loss of
    expectation of life, i.e. on account of injury the
    normal longevity of the person concerned is
    shortened; (iv) inconvenience, hardship,
    5 1980 ACJ 55 (SC)
    6 (1995) 1 SCC 551
    discomfort, disappointment, frustration and
    mental stress in life.”
  16. In Raj Kumar v. Ajay Kumar and Others7
    , this Court laid
    down the heads under which compensation is to be awarded for
    personal injuries.
    “6. The heads under which compensation is awarded in
    personal injury cases are the following:
    Pecuniary damages (Special damages)
    (i)Expenses relating to treatment, hospitalization,
    medicines, transportation, nourishing food, and
    miscellaneous expenditure.
    (ii) Loss of earnings (and other gains) which the
    injured would have made had he not been
    injured, comprising:
    (a) Loss of earning during the period of
    (b) Loss of future earnings on account of
    permanent disability.
    (iii) Future medical expenses.
    Non­pecuniary damages (General damages)
    (iv) Damages for pain, suffering and trauma as a
    consequence of the injuries.
    (v) Loss of amenities (and/or loss of prospects of
    (vi) Loss of expectation of life (shortening of
    normal longevity).
    In routine personal injury cases, compensation will be
    awarded only under heads (i), (ii) (a) and (iv). It is only in
    serious cases of injury, where there is specific medical
    evidence corroborating the evidence of the claimant,
    that compensation will be granted under any of the
    heads (ii)(b), (iii), (v) and (vi) relating to loss of future
    earnings on account of permanent disability, future
    medical expenses, loss of amenities (and/or loss of
    prospects of marriage) and loss of expectation of life.”
    7 (2011) 1 SCC 343
  17. In K. Suresh v. New India Assurance Company Ltd.
    and Ors.
    , this Court held as follows :
    “2…There cannot be actual compensation for anguish of
    the heart or for mental tribulations. The
    quintessentiality lies in the pragmatic computation of the
    loss sustained which has to be in the realm of realistic
    approximation. Therefore, Section 168 of the Motor
    Vehicles Act, 1988 (for brevity ‘the Act’) stipulates that
    there should be grant of “just compensation”. Thus, it
    becomes a challenge for a court of law to determine “just
    compensation” which is neither a bonanza nor a windfall,
    and simultaneously, should not be a pittance.”
  18. Applying the aforesaid principles, we now proceed to assess
    the compensation.
    Expenses relating to treatment, hospitalization, medicines,
    transportation etc.
  19. The High Court under the two heads of medical treatment
    and transport has awarded Rs.1,88,501/­. Out of this an
    amount of Rs.1,38,501/­ is the actual expense incurred on the
    treatment of Kajal. One must remember that amongst people
    who are not Government employees and belong to the poorer
    strata of society, bills are not retained. Some of the bills have
    been excluded by the courts below only on the ground that the
    name of the patient is not written on the bill. There is no
    dispute with regard to the long period of treatment and
    8 (2012) 12 SCC 274
    hospitalisation of this young girl. Immediately after the accident
    on 18.10.2007, she was admitted at a hospital in Karnal. From
    there, she was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, where she
    remained admitted from 21.10.2007 till 12.11.2007 and,
    thereafter, she was again admitted in the hospital from
    12.11.2007 till 08.12.2007. She was in the hospital for almost
    51 days, and both Dr. Sameer Aggarwal (PW­3) from the hospital
    at Karnal and Dr. Rajesh Chhabra (PW­4), from PGI,
    Chandigarh, have supported this. Limiting the amount only to
    the bills which have been paid in the name of the claimant only,
    would not be reasonable. Therefore, the amount payable for
    actual medical expenses is increased from Rs.1,38,501/­ to
    Rs.2,00,000/­. The amount awarded for transportation at
    Rs.50,000/­ is reasonable. Therefore, under this head we award
    Loss of earnings
  20. Both the courts below have held that since the girl was a
    young child of 12 years only notional income of Rs.15,000/­ per
    annum can be taken into consideration. We do not think this is
    a proper way of assessing the future loss of income. This young
    girl after studying could have worked and would have earned
    much more than Rs.15,000/­ per annum. Each case has to be
    decided on its own evidence but taking notional income to be
    Rs.15,000/­ per annum is not at all justified. The appellant has
    placed before us material to show that the minimum wages
    payable to a skilled workman is Rs.4846/­ per month. In our
    opinion this would be the minimum amount which she would
    have earned on becoming a major. Adding 40% for the future
    prospects, it works to be Rs.6784.40/­ per month, i.e.,
    81,412.80 per annum. Applying the multiplier of 18 it works out
    to Rs.14,65,430.40, which is rounded off to Rs.14,66,000/­
  21. Though the claimant would have been entitled to separate
    attendant charges for the period during which she was
    hospitalised, we are refraining from awarding the same because
    we are going to award her attendant charges for life. At the
    same time, we are clearly of the view that the tortfeasor cannot
    take benefit of the gratuitous service rendered by the family
    members. When this small girl was taken to PGI, Chandigarh,
    or was in her village, 2­3 family members must have
    accompanied her. Even if we are not paying them the attendant
    charges they must be paid for loss of their wages and the
    amount they would have spent in hospital for food etc. These
    family members left their work in the village to attend to this
    little girl in the hospital at Karnal or Chandigarh. In the hospital
    the claimant would have had at least two attendants, and taking
    the cost of each at Rs.500/­ per day for 51 days, we award her
    Attendant charges
  22. The attendant charges have been awarded by the High
    Court @ Rs.2,500/­ per month for 44 years, which works out to
    Rs.13,20,000/­. Unfortunately, this system is not a proper
    system. Multiplier system is used to balance out various factors.
    When compensation is awarded in lump sum, various factors are
    taken into consideration. When compensation is paid in lump
    sum, this Court has always followed the multiplier system. The
    multiplier system should be followed not only for determining
    the compensation on account of loss of income but also for
    determining the attendant charges etc. This system was
    recognised by this Court in Gobald Motor Service Ltd. v.
    R.M.K. Veluswami9
    . The multiplier system factors in the
    inflation rate, the rate of interest payable on the lump sum
    9 AIR 1962 SC 1
    award, the longevity of the claimant, and also other issues such
    as the uncertainties of life. Out of all the various alternative
    methods, the multiplier method has been recognised as the most
    realistic and reasonable method. It ensures better justice
    between the parties and thus results in award of ‘just
    compensation’ within the meaning of the Act.
  23. It would be apposite at this stage to refer to the observation
    of Lord Reid in Taylor v. O’Connor10:
    “Damages to make good the loss of dependency over a
    period of years must be awarded as a lump sum and that
    sum is generally calculated by applying a multiplier to
    the amount of one year’s dependency. That is a perfectly
    good method in the ordinary case but it conceals the fact
    that there are two quite separate matters involved, the
    present value of the series of future payments, and the
    discounting of that present value to allow for the fact that
    for one reason or another the person receiving the
    damages might never have enjoyed the whole of the
    benefit of the dependency. It is quite unnecessary in the
    ordinary case to deal with these matters separately.
    Judges and counsel have a wealth of experience which is
    an adequate guide to the selection of the multiplier and
    any expert evidence is rightly discouraged. But in a case
    where the facts are special, I think, that these matters
    must have separate consideration if even rough justice is
    to be done and expert evidence may be valuable or even
    almost essential. The special factor in the present case is
    the incidence of Income Tax and, it may be, surtax.”
  24. This Court has reaffirmed the multiplier method in various
    cases like Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Subhagwati
    10 1971 AC 115
    and Ors.
    , U.P. State Road Transport Corporation and Ors.
    v. Trilok Chandra and Ors.
    , Sandeep Khanduja v. Atul
    Dande and Ors.13
    . This Court has also recognised that
    Schedule II of the Act can be used as a guide for the multiplier to
    be applied in each case. Keeping the claimant’s age in mind, the
    multiplier in this case should be 18 as opposed to 44 taken by
    the High Court.
  25. Having held so, we are clearly of the view that the basic
    amount taken for determining attendant charges is very much
    on the lower side. We must remember that this little girl is
    severely suffering from incontinence meaning that she does not
    have control over her bodily functions like passing urine and
    faeces. As she grows older, she will not be able to handle her
    periods. She requires an attendant virtually 24 hours a day.
    She requires an attendant who though may not be medically
    trained but must be capable of handling a child who is bed
    ridden. She would require an attendant who would ensure that
    she does not suffer from bed sores. The claimant has placed
    before us a notification of the State of Haryana of the year 2010,
    11 1966 ACJ 57
    12 (1996) 4 SCC 362
    13 (2017) 3 SCC 351
    wherein the wages for skilled labourer is Rs.4846/­ per month.
    We, therefore, assess the cost of one attendant at Rs.5,000/­
    and she will require two attendants which works out to
    Rs.10,000/­ per month, which comes to Rs.1,20,000/­ per
    annum, and using the multiplier of 18 it works out to
    Rs.21,60,000/­ for attendant charges for her entire life. This
    takes care of all the pecuniary damages.
    Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenities
  26. Coming to the non­pecuniary damages under the head of
    pain, suffering, loss of amenities, the High Court has awarded
    this girl only Rs.3,00,000/­. In Mallikarjun v. Divisional
    Manager, The National Insurance Company Limited and
    14, this Court while dealing with the issue of award under
    this head held that it should be at least Rs.6,00,000/­, if the
    disability is more than 90%. As far as the present case is
    concerned, in addition to the 100% physical disability the young
    girl is suffering from severe incontinence, she is suffering from
    severe hysteria and above all she is left with a brain of a nine
    month old child. This is a case where departure has to be made
    14 2013 (10) SCALE 668
    from the normal rule and the pain and suffering suffered by this
    child is such that no amount of compensation can compensate.
  27. One factor which must be kept in mind while assessing the
    compensation in a case like the present one is that the claim can
    be awarded only once. The claimant cannot come back to court
    for enhancement of award at a later stage praying that
    something extra has been spent. Therefore, the courts or the
    tribunals assessing the compensation in a case of 100%
    disability, especially where there is mental disability also, should
    take a liberal view of the matter when awarding compensation.
    While awarding this amount we are not only taking the physical
    disability but also the mental disability and various other
    factors. This child will remain bed­ridden for life. Her mental
    age will be that of a nine month old child. Effectively, while her
    body grows, she will remain a small baby. We are dealing with a
    girl who will physically become a woman but will mentally
    remain a 9 month old child. This girl will miss out playing with
    her friends. She cannot communicate; she cannot enjoy the
    pleasures of life; she cannot even be amused by watching
    cartoons or films; she will miss out the fun of childhood, the
    excitement of youth; the pleasures of a marital life; she cannot
    have children who she can love let alone grandchildren. She will
    have no pleasure. Her’s is a vegetable existence. Therefore, we
    feel in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case even
    after taking a very conservative view of the matter an amount
    payable for the pain and suffering of this child should be at least
    Loss of marriage prospects
  28. The Tribunal has awarded Rs.3,00,000/­ for loss of
    marriage prospects. We see no reason to interfere with this
    Future medical treatment
  29. The claimant has been awarded only Rs.2,00,000/­ under
    this head. This amount is a pittance. Keeping in view the
    nature of her injuries and the fact that she is bed­ridden this
    child is bound to suffer from a lot of medical problems. True it
    is that there is no evidence in this regard but there can hardly
    be such evidence. She may require special mattress which will
    have to be changed frequently. In future as this girl grows, she
    may face many other medical issues because of the injuries
    suffered in the accident. Keeping in view her young age and
    assuming she would live another 50­60 years, it would not be
    unjust to award her Rs.5,00,000/­ for future medical expenses.
    How the compensation should be invested?
  30. The tribunal while awarding the compensation had stated
    that the amount payable to the share of Kajal would be kept in a
    Fixed Deposit till she attains the age of 18 years. The High
    Court while enhancing the amount of compensation has directed
    that the enhanced amount be paid to the appellant within 45
    days. This is totally contrary to the guidelines laid down by this
    Court in General Manager, Kerala State Road Transport
    Corporation, Trivandrum v. Susamma Thomas and Ors.
    wherein it has been held clearly that the amount payable to the
    minors should not be normally released. The guidelines in this
    case were as follows :
    “17….(i) The Claims Tribunal should, in the case of minors,
    invariably order the amount of compensation awarded to
    the minor be invested in long term fixed deposits at least
    till the date of the minor attaining majority. The expenses
    incurred by the guardian or next friend may, however, be
    allowed to be withdrawn;
    (ii) In the case of illiterate claimants also the Claims Tribunal
    should follow the procedure set out in (i) above, but if
    lump sum payment is required for effecting purchases of
    any movable or immovable property such as, agricultural
    implements, rickshaw, etc., to earn a living, the Tribunal
    may consider such a request after making sure that the
    15 (1994) 2 SCC 176
    amount is actually spent for the purpose and the demand
    is not a ruse to withdraw money;
    (iii) In the case of semi­literate persons the Tribunal should
    ordinarily resort to the procedure set out at (i) above
    unless it is satisfied, for reasons to be stated in writing,
    that the whole or part of the amount is required for
    expanding and existing business or for purchasing some
    property as mentioned in (ii) above for earning his
    livelihood, in which case the Tribunal will ensure that the
    amount is invested for the purpose for which it is
    demanded and paid;
    (iv) In the case of literate persons also the Tribunal may
    resort to the procedure indicated in (i) above, subject to
    the relaxation set out in (ii) and (iii) above, if having regard
    to the age, fiscal background and strata of society to
    which the claimant belongs and such other
    considerations, the Tribunal in the larger interest of the
    claimant and with a view to ensuring the safety of the
    compensation awarded to him thinks it necessary to do
    (v) In the case of widows the Claims Tribunal should
    invariably follow the procedure set out in (i) above;
    (vi) In personal injury cases if further treatment is necessary
    the Claims Tribunal on being satisfied about the same,
    which shall be recorded in writing, permit withdrawal of
    such amount as is necessary for incurring the expenses
    for such treatment;
    (vii) In all cases in which investment in long term fixed
    deposits is made it should be on condition that the Bank
    will not permit any loan or advance on the fixed deposit
    and interest on the amount invested is paid monthly
    directly to the claimant or his guardian, as the case may
    (viii) In all cases Tribunal should grant to the claimants
    liberty to apply for withdrawal in case of an emergency. To
    meet with such a contingency, if the amount awarded is
    substantial, the Claims Tribunal may invest it in more
    than one Fixed Deposit so that if need be one such F.D.R.
    can be liquidated….”
    These guidelines protect the rights of the minors, claimants who
    are under some disability and also widows and illiterate person
    who may be deprived of the compensation paid to them in lump
    sum by unscrupulous elements. These victims may not be able
    to invest their monies properly and in such cases the MACT as
    well the High courts must ensure that investments are made in
    nationalised banks to get a high rate of interest. The interest in
    most cases is sufficient to cover the monthly expenses. In
    special cases, for reasons to be given in writing, the MACT or the
    trial court may release such amount as is required. We reiterate
    these guidelines and direct that they should be followed by all
    the tribunals and High Courts to ensure that the money of the
    victims is not frittered away.
  31. The High Court enhanced the amount of compensation by
    Rs.14,70,000/­ and awarded interest @ 7.5% per annum but
    directed that the interest of 7.5% shall be paid only from the
    date of filing of the appeal. This is also incorrect. We are
    constrained to observe that the High Court was not right in
    awarding interest on the enhanced amount only from the date of
    filing of the appeal. Section 171 of the Act reads as follows :
    “171. Award of interest where any claim is allowed.—
    Where any Claims Tribunal allows a claim for
    compensation made under this Act, such Tribunal may
    direct that in addition to the amount of compensation
    simple interest shall also be paid at such rate and from
    such date not earlier than the date of making the claim
    as it may specify in this behalf.”
    Normally interest should be granted from the date of filing of the
    petition and if in appeal enhancement is made the interest
    should again be from the date of filing of the petition. It is only if
    the appeal is filed after an inordinate delay by the claimants, or
    the decision of the case has been delayed on account of
    negligence of the claimant, in such exceptional cases the interest
    may be awarded from a later date. However, while doing so, the
    tribunals/High Courts must give reasons why interest is not
    being paid from the date of filing of the petition. Therefore, we
    direct that the entire amount of compensation including the
    amount enhanced by us shall carry an interest of 7.5% per
    annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till
    payment/deposit of the amount.
  32. In view of the above, we award a sum of Rs.62,27,000/­
    to the claimant under the following heads :
    Heads Amount
    (i) Expenses relating to treatment,
    hospitalisation and
    Rs. 2,50,000/­
    (ii) Loss of earnings (family
    Rs. 51,000/­
    (iii) Loss of future earnings Rs.14,66,000/
    (iv) Attendant charges Rs.21,60,000/­
    (v) Pain, suffering, loss of amenities Rs.15,00,000/­
    (vi) Loss of Marriage prospects Rs. 3,00,000/­
    (vii) Future medical treatment Rs. 5,00,000/­
    This amount shall carry an interest @7.5% p.a. from the date of
    filing of the claim petition till payment/deposit of the amount.
    Obviously, the insurance company shall be entitled to adjust the
    amount already paid. Further, the insurance company shall
    also be entitled to recover the amount from the owner in terms of
    the award of the MACT, which has not been challenged either
    before the High Court or us.
  33. We are aware that the amount awarded by us is more than
    the amount claimed. However, it is well settled law that in
    motor accident claim petitions, the Court must award just
    compensation and, in case, the just compensation is more than
    the amount claimed, that must be awarded especially where the
    claimant is a minor.
  34. The insurance company shall deposit the enhanced amount
    before the MACT in terms of the judgment after deducting the
    amount already paid by the insurance company within a period
    of 3 months from today. The MACT shall keep the entire
    amount in a fixed deposit in a nationalised bank, for a period of
    5 years, giving highest rate of interest. The interest payable on
    this amount shall be released on quarterly basis to the father of
    the child. This amount shall be spent for paying the attendants
    and for the care of the child alone. Even after 5 years since this
    child for all intents and purpose shall remain a person under a
    disability, the MACT shall keep renewing the amount on these
    terms. We, however, further direct that in case the parents or
    the guardian moves an application for release of some amount to
    meet some special medical expenses, then MACT may consider
    release of the same.
  35. The appeal is disposed of in the aforesaid terms. No order
    as to costs. Pending application(s), if any, also stand(s)
    disposed of.
    (L. Nageswara Rao)
    (Deepak Gupta)
    New Delhi
    February 05, 2020