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Accident victim’s relief enhanced by fifteen times

An accident victim, who was awarded only Rs 4.37 lakh by the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal despite sustaining 100 per cent disability, was granted an enhanced compensation of Rs 67.35 lakh – more than what was prayed for in the petition – by the Madras High Court on Friday.

Accident victim’s relief enhanced by fifteen times
Representative image


While increasing it by more than 15 times, the court held that the facts and evidence satisfied the court to award the enhanced amount.

The appeal was moved by Manikandan of Nedunkundram, who met with an accident while driving on GST Road. When he stopped the car to take a turn towards Gandhi Road, a speeding lorry hit him, leaving him with grievous injuries.

Noting that it was not clear to the court how the tribunal determined the disability at only 33 per cent when the victim’s right hand was paralysed, Justice N Kirubakaran said, “When the person’s right side is affected due to brain injury, that person may not be in a position to work at all and therefore, there is loss of 100 per cent earning power on account of the disability sustained by him.”

The judge also pointed to the petitioner’s visit to the court in a wheelchair and his incoherent replies to the queries raised, and cited the report from the medical board of Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital that stated that his disability was 100 per cent.

“It is very clear that the appellant sustained serious injury in the skull. There was a blood clot in the brain and to remove the same, an operation was also done. Once the brain is affected and blood clot is found, the brain injury may affect at any point of time,” Justice Kirubakaran said while setting aside the tribunal order fixing the disability at 33 per cent.

He also set aside the 50 per cent liability fixed on the appellant on the ground of drunken driving and instead fixed it at 10 per cent, after noting that he was not subjected to breathalyser test. Instead, only a smell test was done as established in the discharge summary.

Justice Kirubakaran also blamed the government for precious lives being lost on the road due to accidents caused by drunk driving.

“One could see that there is a separate parking lot outside Tasmac shops. It is not known how the police allow two-wheeler riders to have their vehicles parked in front of Tasmac bars and how they are permitted to ride the vehicles (after consuming liquor). This would only prove that there is no proper checking of drunk driving.

“If at all, it is only during weekends the police are seriously checking drunk driving whereas accidents due to drunk driving is caused throughout the year causing loss of lives and injuries,” the judge added.

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