HEADS AMOUNT (INR.)LOSS OF EARNING POWER (146481218*31.1/100) 9,81,978.76TOWARDS FUTURE PROSPECTS (50% ADDITION) 4,90,989MEDICAL EXPENSES INCLUDING TRANSPORTCHARGES, NOURISHMENT ETC.18,46,864LOSS OF MATRIMONIAL ASPECTS 5,00,000LOSS OF COMFORT, AMENITIES AND MENTAL AGONY 1,50,000PAIN AND SUFFERING 2,00,000TOTAL 41,69,831The appellant would, thus, be entitled to the compensation of Rs. 41,69,831/-as claimed along with simple interest at the rate of 9% per annum from thedate of application till the date of payment.

Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2811-2812 OF 2020
[Arising out of SLP (C) Nos.8495-8496 of 2018]
ERUDHAYA PRIYA ……APPELLANT
VERSUS
STATE EXPRESS TRANSPORT CORPORATION LTD. ….RESPONDENT
J U D G M E N T
SANJAY KISHAN KAUL, J.

  1. Leave granted.
  2. On the fateful day of 16.08.2011, the appellant was travelling from
    Chennai to Bangalore in a bus owned by the respondent State Corporation
    bearing registration No. TN-01-N-7531. At about 5.40 a.m., while the bus
    was moving on the Kolar Bangalore National Highway, it ran into a stationary
    lorry. The collision resulted in multiple injuries to numerous passengers
    1
    including the appellant, and caused death of the bus conductor on the spot.
    The appellant was rushed to R.L. Jallappa Research & Medical College
    Hospital, Tamak, Kolar and further treatment was administered at the
    Manipal Hospital, Bangalore where she remained admitted for 8 months. The
    injuries to the appellant were grievous including fractures in the arms and
    legs and she suffered a disability of 31.1% of the whole body.
  3. An FIR was registered in pursuance of investigation naming the driver
    of the bus as an accused. Chargesheet was filed. But what is relevant is that
    the appellant filed a claim petition before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal
    (“MACT”), Madurai under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (“MV
    Act”) read with Rule 3(1) of the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles Accident Claims
    Tribunal Rules, 1989 claiming a compensation of Rupees One Crore for
    injuries sustained in the accident. Evidence was led by both the parties and
    the MACT, on a perusal of the documents and oral testimonies, including the
    rough sketch and the chargesheet, came to the conclusion that the accident
    occurred due to the rash and negligent manner of driving of the bus driver of
    the bus owned by the respondent State Corporation and, thus, held the
    respondent liable to pay compensation to the appellant. In terms of the
    judgment dated 20.10.2014, the MACT opined that the permanent disability
    of 31.1% would have to be considered and applied the multiplier method to
    calculate the loss of earning power. Since the appellant was 23 years of age,
    multiplier of 17 was applied on the monthly salary of the appellant as a
    software engineer and the compensation was worked out for loss of earning
    2
    power to Rs. 9,27,424/. The compensation was also attributed under various
    heads of extra nourishment, medical expenses, physiotherapy, loss of
    matrimonial aspects, loss of comfort and amenities, mental agony, and pain
    and suffering. The total quantification of the compensation by the MACT was
    of Rs. 35,24,288/- payable by the respondent State Corporation along with
    interest @ 7.5% per annum from the date of petition till the date of
    realization with costs.
  4. The respondent State Corporation filed an appeal against this order
    and the appellant filed cross objections. Both of them were decided by the
    impugned judgment of the High Court dated 27.10.2017 by a common order.
    The High Court, confirming the findings of negligence of the bus driver,
    reduced the compensation to Rs. 25,00,000/- primarily on the ground that
    the multiplier method for quantifying loss of earning power has been wrongly
    applied as it had not come on record as to how the injuries suffered by the
    appellant would have a bearing on her earning capacity as a software
    engineer. The interest rate was sustained.
  5. The appellant has claimed before this Court that she is entitled to
    enhancement of compensation even over and above what was granted by
    the MACT and has quantified the same as Rs. 41,69,831/- under various
    heads along with claiming a revised interest rate @ 12% per annum.
  6. We heard learned counsels for the parties. They have also filed short
    synopses of their respective claims and rebuttals thereof, with the appellant
    3
    enlisting the principles which can apply to her case, the law being now well
    settled in like cases.
  7. There are three aspects which are required to be examined by us:
    (a) the application of multiplier of ‘17’ instead of ‘18’;
    The aforesaid increase of multiplier is sought on the basis of age of the
    appellant as 23 years relying on the judgment in National Insurance
    Company Limited v. Pranay Sethi and Others
    1
    . In para 42 of the said
    judgment, the Constitution Bench effectively affirmed the multiplier method
    to be used as mentioned in the table in the case of Sarla Verma (Smt) and
    Others. v. Delhi Transport Corporation and Another.
    2
    . In the age group of 15-
    25 years, the multiplier has to be ‘18’ along with factoring in the extent of
    disability.
    The aforesaid position is not really disputed by learned counsel for the
    respondent State Corporation and, thus, we come to the conclusion that the
    multiplier to be applied in the case of the appellant has to be ‘18’ and not
    ‘17’.
    (b) Loss of earning capacity of the appellant with permanent disability of
    31.1%
    In respect of the aforesaid, the appellant has claimed compensation on what
    is stated to be the settled principle set out in Jagdish v. Mohan & Others
    3
    and
    1 (2017) 16 SCC 680
    2 (2009) 6 SCC 121
    3 (2018) 4 SCC 571
    4
    Sandeep Khanuja v. Atul Dande & Another
    4
    . We extract below the principle
    set out in the Jagdish case (supra) in para 8:
    “8. In assessing the compensation payable the
    settled principles need to be borne in mind. A victim
    who suffers a permanent or temporary disability
    occasioned by an accident is entitled to the award of
    compensation. The award of compensation must cover
    among others, the following aspects:
    (i) Pain, suffering and trauma resulting
    from the accident;
    (ii) Loss of income including future
    income;
    (iii) The inability of the victim to lead a
    normal life together with its amenities;
    (iv) Medical expenses including those that
    the victim may be required to undertake
    in future; and
    (v) Loss of expectation of life.”
    [emphasis supplied]
    The aforesaid principle has also been emphasized in an earlier judgment, i.e.
    the Sandeep Khanuja case (supra) opining that the multiplier method was
    logically sound and legally well established to quantify the loss of income as
    a result of death or permanent disability suffered in an accident.
    In the factual contours of the present case, if we examine the disability
    certificate, it shows the admission/hospitalization on 8 occasions for various
    number of days over 1 ½ years from August 2011 to January 2013. The
    nature of injuries had been set out as under:
    “Nature of injury:
    (i) compound fracture shaft left humerus
    (ii) fracture both bones left forearm
    (iii) compound fracture both bones right forearm
    4 (2017) 3 SCC 351
    5
    (iv) fracture 3rd, 4th & 5th metacarpals right hand
    (v) subtrochanteric fracture right femur
    (vi) fracture shaft left femur
    (vii) fracture both bones left leg”
    We have also perused the photographs annexed to the petition
    showing the current physical state of the appellant, though it is stated by
    learned counsel for the respondent State Corporation that the same was not
    on record in the trial court. Be that as it may, this is the position even after
    treatment and the nature of injuries itself show their extent. Further, it has
    been opined in para 12 of Sandeep Khanuja case (supra) that while applying
    the multiplier method, future prospects on advancement in life and career
    are also to be taken into consideration.
    We are, thus, unequivocally of the view that there is merit in the
    contention of the appellant and the aforesaid principles with regard to future
    prospects must also be applied in the case of the appellant taking the
    permanent disability as 31.1%. The quantification of the same on the basis
    of the judgment in National Insurance Co. Ltd. case (supra), more specifically
    para 59.3, considering the age of the appellant, would be 50% of the actual
    salary in the present case.
    (c) The third and the last aspect is the interest rate claimed as 12%
    In respect of the aforesaid, the appellant has watered down the
    interest rate during the course of hearing to 9% in view of the judicial
    pronouncements including in the Jagdish case (supra). On this aspect, once
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    again, there was no serious dispute raised by the learned counsel for the
    respondent once the claim was confined to 9% in line with the interest rates
    applied by this Court.
    CONCLUSION
  8. The result of the aforesaid is that relying on the settled principles, the
    calculation of compensation by the appellant, as set out in para 5 of the
    synopsis, would have to be adopted as follows:
    HEADS AMOUNT (INR.)
    LOSS OF EARNING POWER (146481218*31.1/100) 9,81,978.76
    TOWARDS FUTURE PROSPECTS (50% ADDITION) 4,90,989
    MEDICAL EXPENSES INCLUDING TRANSPORT
    CHARGES, NOURISHMENT ETC.
    18,46,864
    LOSS OF MATRIMONIAL ASPECTS 5,00,000
    LOSS OF COMFORT, AMENITIES AND MENTAL AGONY 1,50,000
    PAIN AND SUFFERING 2,00,000
    TOTAL 41,69,831
    The appellant would, thus, be entitled to the compensation of Rs. 41,69,831/-
    as claimed along with simple interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the
    date of application till the date of payment.
  9. The appeals are, accordingly, allowed with costs throughout.
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  10. The balance amount be transmitted by the respondent State
    Corporation to the appellant within a maximum period of six weeks from
    today.
    ……..……………………………….J.
    [SANJAY KISHAN KAUL]
    ……..……………………………….J.
    [AJAY RASTOGI]
    ……..……………………………….J.
    [ANIRUDDHA BOSE]
    NEW DELHI.
    JULY 27, 2020
    8