The Bombay High Court has said that while deciding the quantum of compensation for an accident victim, even "non-pecuniary" damage such as the pain and the trauma must be considered.
In a recent order, while increasing the compensation awarded to a scooter-rider who suffered 55 per cent disability due to an accident, Justice A P Bhangale said the aim should be to "restore the victim to pre-accident position".
"When Motor Accident Tribunal considers compensation for injured victim, it ought to consider expenses on medical treatment, hospitalisation, medicines, transportation, nourishing food...as also the loss of earnings which injured could have made had he not been injured, to restore him to pre-accident position," said the High Court.
Further, apart from this "pecuniary damage", "non-pecuniary damage" in the form of pain, suffering and trauma, loss of amenities, loss of expectation of life due to shortening of normal longevity must be considered, it said.
"That was not done by the tribunal in the present case and a meagre sum of Rs 1,16,100 was awarded....the compensation was inadequate and unjust," the judge said, increasing the amount to Rs 4.19 lakh.
The High Court termed the interest rate of 12 p.a. awarded by the tribunal as excess, reducing it to 9 per cent, payable on the awarded sum from the date of application till the date of deposit.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by Laxman Pande, challenging October 1998 judgement of Motor Accident Tribunal of Nasik awarding him only Rs 1.16 lakh in compensation.
Pande, based in Nashik, was returning from Satpur on October 4, 1992, when a jeep coming from the opposite direction knocked him down, causing a permanent disability.