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Sukhdev Prasad vs Sunil Kumar & Ors (Iffco Tokio … on 25 May, 2021

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$~A-14
* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

% Date of Decision: 25th May, 2021

+ MAC. APP. 1075/2018

SUKHDEV PRASAD ….. Appellant

Through: Mr. Rajesh Dabas, Advocate

versus

SUNIL KUMAR ORS (IFFCO
TOKIO GENERAL INSURANCE CO. LTD)….. Respondents

Through: Mr. A. K. Soni and Mr. Pavan
Kumar Vashishth, Advocates
for respondent No.3.

CORAM:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE J.R. MIDHA

J U D G M E N T (ORAL)

1. The petitioner has challenged the award dated 02nd August,
2018 passed by the Claims Tribunal whereby the Claims Tribunal
awarded compensation of Rs.4,49,004.48 along with interest @ 9%
per annum to the appellant.

2. The accident dated 16th April, 2016 resulted in death of
Avdhesh Kumar. The deceased was aged 25 years at the time of
accident and was survived by his father who claimed compensation.
According to the claimant, the deceased was earning Rs.15,000/- per
month. However, in the absence of any documentary proof of

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KARKI
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income, the Claims Tribunal took the minimum wages of Rs.9,568/-
per month as income of the deceased, added 40% towards future
prospects and deducted 85% towards personal expenses. The Claims
Tribunal awarded 15% towards loss to the estate to the appellant on
the ground that the father was not dependent upon the deceased. The
Claims Tribunal assessed the loss of estate as Rs.4,34,004.48. The
Claims Tribunal awarded Rs.15,000/- towards funeral expenses. The
total compensation is Rs.4,49,004.48 along with interest @ 9% per
annum.

3. Learned counsel for the appellant submits that the appellant
was dependent upon the deceased and entitled to loss of dependency
according to principles laid down in
National Insurance Co. Ltd. v.
Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680. Reliance is placed on
Magma
General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Nanu Ram, (2018) 18 SCC 130 in
which the Supreme Court awarded the compensation to the parents
of the deceased according to the principles laid down in Pranay
Sethi (supra). Reliance is also placed on the recent judgment of this
Court in
Indrawati v. Ranvir Singh, (2021) 276 DLT 415.

4. Learned counsel for the respondent submits the compensation
awarded by the Claims Tribunal is just, fair and reasonable.

5. This case is squarely covered by the recent judgment of this
Court in Indirawati (supra) in which this Court had held that the
parents of the deceased are considered in law as dependent on their
children, considering that the children are bound to support their
parents in their old age, when the parents would be unable to
maintain themselves and the law imposes a responsibility on the

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KARKI
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children to maintain their parents. Even if the parents are not
dependent on their children at the time of the accident, they will
certainly be dependent, both financially and emotionally, upon their
children at the later stage of their life, as the children were dependent
upon their parents in their initial years. It would be unfair as well as
inequitable to deny compensation for loss of dependency to a parent,
who may not be dependent on his/her child at the time of accident
per se but would become dependent at his/her later age. Relevant
portion of the said judgment is reproduced hereunder: –

“11. The first question arises for consideration is whether
appellant No. 1 (mother of the deceased) is entitled to
compensation for death of her son. Appellant No. 1 is the
mother of the deceased and she has no independent source of
income. She deposed that she was dependent upon the
deceased as well as on her husband.

12. This Court is of the view that the parents of the
deceased are considered in law as dependent on their
children, considering that the children are bound to support
their parents in their old age, when the parents would be
unable to maintain themselves and the law imposes a
responsibility on the children to maintain their parents. Even
if the parents are not dependent on their children at the time
of the accident, they will certainly be dependent, both
financially and emotionally, upon their children at the later
stage of their life, as the children were dependent upon their
parents in their initial years. It would therefore be unfair as
well as inequitable to deny compensation for loss of
dependency to a parent, who may not be dependent on his/her
child at the time of accident per se but would become
dependent at his/her later age.

13. Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973;

Section 20 of Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, and
Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act,
2007 cast an obligation on the children to maintain their

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parents. These legislations recognize the legal rights of
parents to be maintained by their children.

14. In Vijaya Manohar Arbat v. Kashirao Rajaram Sawai,
(1987) 2 SCC 278, the Supreme Court noted the moral
obligation of children to maintain their parents. Relevant
portion of the judgment is as under:–

“6. There can be no doubt that it is the moral obligation
of a son or a daughter to maintain his or her parents. It
is not desirable that even though a son or a daughter
has sufficient means, his or her parents would starve.
Apart from any law, the Indian society casts a duty on
the children of a person to maintain their parents if they
are not in a position to maintain themselves. It is also
their duty to look after their parents when they become
old and infirm.”

15. In Mahendrakumar Ramrao Gaikwad v. Gulabbai
Ramrao Gaikwad, 2001 Cri LJ 2111, the Bombay High Court
referred to the ancient scripture of Manu which recognizes the
right of the aged parents to be maintained by their children
even if the children are unable to maintain themselves.
Relevant portion of the said judgment is reproduced
hereunder: —

11. It is not out of place to remember the mandate of
Manu in the matter of maintenance of parents, wife and
child. Manu said, “the aged parents, a virtuous wife
and an infant child must be maintained even by
committing a hundred misdeeds” Manu does not speak
of solitary duty. It is moral duty of a person to maintain
aged parents, virtuous wife and infant child. In
discharge of this pious duty, Manu went to such an
extent that he made hundred misdeeds pardonable.
During course of time, this moral duty assumed a legal
character. The need was felt to introduce an enactment
in this behalf.

xxx xxx xxx

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KARKI
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13. Under the circumstances, son is legally bound to
maintain his mother if it is shown that mother is unable
to maintain herself. It is not at all desirable that an
earning son, who is well placed in the society, having
possessed of sufficient means, shall allow his penniless
mother to face starvation. The Indian Society casts a
moral obligation on the children of a person to
maintain their parents if they are not in a position to
maintain themselves. It is bounden duty of a son to look
after his parents when they become old and infirm.

xxx xxx xxx

25………..Because of his mother, he has seen this
beautiful world. Parents give each child name, places
the child in a social class and gives national and
religious identity. Parent plugs child into society in
which he or she will live and grow.”

16. In Magma General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Nanu Ram,
(2018) 18 SCC 130, the Supreme Court held that parents are
entitled to Filial consortium as compensation for accidental
death of a child. Relevant portion of the said judgment is
reproduced hereunder: —

“21. A Constitution Bench of this Court in Pranay Sethi
[National Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16
SCC 680] dealt with the various heads under which
compensation is to be awarded in a death case. One of
these heads is loss of consortium. In legal parlance,
“consortium” is a compendious term which
encompasses “spousal consortium”, “parental
consortium”, and “filial consortium”. The right to
consortium would include the company, care, help,
comfort, guidance, solace and affection of the deceased,
which is a loss to his family. With respect to a spouse, it
would include sexual relations with the deceased
spouse: [
Rajesh v. Rajbir Singh, (2013) 9 SCC 54]
xxx xxx xxx

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KARKI
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21.3. Filial consortium is the right of the parents to
compensation in the case of an accidental death of a
child. An accident leading to the death of a child causes
great shock and agony to the parents and family of the
deceased. The greatest agony for a parent is to lose
their child during their lifetime. Children are valued for
their love, affection, companionship and their role in
the family unit.

22. Consortium is a special prism reflecting changing
norms about the status and worth of actual
relationships. Modern jurisdictions world-over have
recognised that the value of a child’s consortium far
exceeds the economic value of the compensation
awarded in the case of the death of a child. Most
jurisdictions therefore permit parents to be awarded
compensation under loss of consortium on the death of
a child. The amount awarded to the parents is a
compensation for loss of the love, affection, care and
companionship of the deceased child.

23. The Motor Vehicles Act is a beneficial legislation
aimed at providing relief to the victims or their families,
in cases of genuine claims. In case where a parent has
lost their minor child, or unmarried son or daughter,
the parents are entitled to be awarded loss of
consortium under the head of filial consortium.
Parental consortium is awarded to children who lose
their parents in motor vehicle accidents under the Act.
A few High Courts have awarded compensation on this
count [Rajasthan High Court in
Jagmala Ram v. Sohi
Ram, 2017 SCC OnLine Raj 3848; Uttarakhand High
Court in
Rita Rana v. Pradeep Kumar, 2013 SCC
OnLine Utt 2435; Karnataka High Court in
Lakshman
v. Susheela Chand Choudhary, 1996 SCC OnLine Kar
74]. However, there was no clarity with respect to the
principles on which compensation could be awarded on
loss of filial consortium.”

17. In United India Insurance Company Ltd. v. Satinder

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Kaur, SLP (C) No. 28548/2014 decided on 30th June, 2020,
the Supreme Court re-affirmed Magma General Insurance Co.
Ltd. (supra) with respect to the rights of parents to
compensation in case of accidental death of a child. Relevant
portion of the said judgment is reproduced hereunder: —

In Magma General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Nanu Ram,
(2018) 18 SCC 130, this Court interpreted
“consortium” to be a compendious term, which
encompasses spousal consortium, parental consortium,
as well as filial consortium. The right to consortium
would include the company, care, help, comfort,
guidance, solace and affection of the deceased, which is
a loss to his family. With respect to a spouse, it would
include sexual relations with the deceased spouse.
Parental consortium is granted to the child upon the
premature death of a parent, for loss of parental aid,
protection, affection, society, discipline, guidance and
training.

Filial consortium is the right of the parents to
compensation in the case of an accidental death of a
child. An accident leading to the death of a child causes
great shock and agony to the parents and family of the
deceased. The greatest agony for a parent is to lose
their child during their lifetime. Children are valued for
their love and affection, and their role in the family
unit.

Modern jurisdictions world-over have recognized that
the value of a child’s consortium far exceeds the
economic value of the compensation awarded in the
case of the death of a child. Most jurisdictions permit
parents to be awarded compensation under loss of
consortium on the death of a child. The amount
awarded to the parents is the compensation for loss of
love and affection, care and companionship of the
deceased child.

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is a beneficial legislation
which has been framed with the object of providing

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relief to the victims, or their families, in cases of
genuine claims. In case where a parent has lost their
minor child, or unmarried son or daughter, the parents
are entitled to be awarded loss of consortium under the
head of Filial Consortium.

Parental Consortium is awarded to the children who
lose the care and protection of their parents in motor
vehicle accidents.”

18. In New India Assurance Company v. Somwati, (2020) 9
SCC 644, the Supreme Court awarded Filial compensation in
terms of principles laid down in Magma General Insurance
Company Ltd. (supra) and
United India Insurance Company
Ltd. v. Satinder Kaur (supra).

19. In Sarla Verma v. D.T.C., (2009) 6 SCC 121, the
Supreme Court held that the mother of the deceased bachelor
is entitled to compensation by taking 50% of his income as
loss of dependency on the premise that the deceased would not
contribute more than 50% to his mother after marriage. The
Supreme Court further observed that the mother would be
considered as dependent even if the father was employed and
earning. In Sarla Verma (supra), the Supreme Court has laid
down clear principles for computation of compensation in
respect of death of a parent as well as a spouse by applying
the multiplier method and the application of those principles
have not been made subject to any condition meaning thereby
that no further evidence is required to prove the dependency
in the aforesaid cases.

20. In view of the law well settled by the Supreme Court in
the aforesaid judgments, this Court holds that the parents of
the deceased child are considered as dependents for
computation of compensation. The principles laid down in
Keith Rowe (supra) and
Dinesh Adhlak v. Pritam Singh, ILR
(2010) 5 Del 463, would not apply to the claim for
compensation by the parents in respect of their child, as it is in
the present case. The principles relating to the loss to the
estate referred to in Keith Rowe (supra) and Dinesh Adhlak
(supra) would also not apply in respect of the claim of a

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spouse for compensation in respect of death of his/her spouse,
as well as children’s claim for compensation in respect of
death of their parents. In that view of the matter, the principles
relating to the loss to the estate shall apply only to claimants
other than parents, children and spouse.

21. Applying well settled principles enunciated above, this
Court holds that appellant No. 1 (mother of the deceased) is
entitled to the compensation for loss of dependency according
to the multiplier method.

xxx xxx xxx

29. The Claims Tribunals shall note that the principles
relating to the loss to the estate in Keith Rowe (supra) and
Dinesh Adhlak (supra) are not applicable to the claim of the
parents in respect of the death of their child, claim of children
in respect of death of their parents and claim of a spouse in
respect of death of his/her spouse in a motor accident.”

6. In Magma General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Nanu Ram (supra)
the Supreme Court held that the parents are entitled to the loss of
dependency according to the principles laid down in Pranay Sethi
(supra).

7. This case is squarely covered by the ratio laid down in Pranay
Sethi (supra),
Magma General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Nanu Ram
(supra),
Indrawati v. Ranvir Singh (supra). In that view of the
matter, this Court is of the view that that the parents of the deceased
are always considered as dependent upon their children and are
entitled to compensation according to the principles laid down in
Pranay Sethi (supra).

8. Taking the income of the deceased as Rs.9,568/- per month,
adding 40% towards future prospects, deducting 50% towards the
personal expenses and applying the multiplier of 18, the loss of

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dependency is computed as Rs.14,46,681.6. The appellant is also
entitled to compensation of Rs.15,000/- for loss of estate,
Rs.40,000/- for loss of love and affection and funeral expenses of
Rs.15,000/-. The total compensation is computed as Rs.15,17,000/-
(Rs.15,16,681.6 rounded off).

9. The appeal is allowed and the compensation awarded by the
Tribunal is enhanced from Rs.4,49,004.48 to Rs.15,17,000/- along
with interest @ 9% from the date of filing of DAR i.e. 06th June,
2016.

10. Respondent No.1 is directed to deposit the entire enhanced
award amount along with interest with DSLSA within four weeks.
Respondent No.1 shall also file the computation of interest on
affidavit with DSLSA within one week of deposit. Respondent No.1
shall send the written intimation of deposit of the enhanced award
amount to the claimants within one week of deposit.

11. Upon the aforesaid amount being deposited, the DSLSA shall
disburse the amount to the appellant in terms of the principles laid in
Rajesh Tyagi v. Jaibir Singh, judgment dated 08th January, 2021,
MANU/DE/0051/2021.

12. After deposit of the award amount, the claimants shall appear
before DSLSA along with the passbooks of their savings bank
accounts near the place of their residence as well as PAN card and
Aadhaar card. The concerned banks of claimants are directed not to
issue any cheque book or debit card to the claimants and if the same
have already been issued, the banks are directed to cancel the same
and make an endorsement on their passbooks to this effect. The

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KARKI
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claimants shall produce the copy of this order to the concerned bank,
whereupon the bank shall make an endorsement on the passbooks of
claimants that no cheque book and/or debit card shall be issued to
claimants without the permission of this Court.

13. After the disbursement of the award amount of disbursement,
DSLSA shall send the compliance report to this Court, within four
weeks of disbursement of award amount.

14. Copy of this judgment be sent to DSLSA.

J.R. MIDHA, J.

MAY 25, 2021
ds/dk

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By:RAJENDER SINGH
KARKI
Signing Date:27.05.2021
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