Motor Accident Compensation:Is Salary Certificate only basis for Assessing Income?


July 05, 2018

Case name: United India Insurance v. Indiro Devi & ors.


Date of Judgment: July 03, 2018

In the case, the deceased died while he was hit by a rashly driven truck. Subsequently, the claimants claimed compensation before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT).

The MACT held the owner of the truck, the insurer and the driver jointly and severally liable to pay the amount of compensation to the claimant.

In revision before High Court by the Appellant Insurance Company, the High Court took the income of the deceased as found in the income tax assessment and provided for 50% increase as future prospect.

Aggrieved by the same, the Insurance Company approached the Supreme Court contending that the High Court error by taking into account the income of the deceased as per the income tax returns.

Thus, the issue in the case revolved around the income of the deceased.

Bench’s Verdict

The Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and made the following key observations in the case:

  • That according to the petitioner, the income of the deceased was Rs. 8848 per month, i.e. the amount according to the salary certificate of the deceased and the High Court ought to have relied upon the salary certificate for the calculation of the compensation. In this context the Supreme Court opined that the income of the deceased as stated in the Income Tax return should not be totally ignored.
  • That there is nothing in the law which requires the Tribunal to assess the income of the deceased only on the basis of a salary certificate for arriving at a just and fair compensation to be paid to the claimants for the loss of life.

The entire case can be accessed here.

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