Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Section 168  - Just Compensation – Future prospects not allowed - Employees Family Benefit Scheme - The payment of the amount under the EFB Scheme more than offsets the loss of future prospects -  Under this Scheme, the nominee or legal heir(s) of the deceased employee have to deposit the entire amount of gratuity and all other benefits payable to them on the death of the employee -  In the present case, claimants have deposited a sum of Rs.27,43,991/­ received by them on the death of the deceased with the employer and are now getting about Rs.50,082/­ per month -  This amount of Rs.50,082/­ is to be paid to the legal heirs under the EFB Scheme only till date of retirement of the deceased. Even if an interest @ of 12% per annum is calculated on the amount of Rs.27,43,991/­, that would amount to Rs.3,30,000/­ per year or Rs.27,500/­ per month. The appellants­-claimants are getting about Rs.50,000/­ per month i.e. about Rs.22,500/­ per month more, but this is only to be paid for a period of about 7 years till 30.04.2021. This payment will cease thereafter -  However, since the claimants are getting quite an advantage, we feel that the MACT was right in not taking into consideration the future prospects in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case -  Therefore, though we are not inclined to deduct the amount payable to the claimants, we feel that in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, they are not entitled to claim another amount @ of 15% by way of future prospects -  The payment of the amount under the EFB Scheme more than offsets the loss of future prospects - This, in our opinion, would be ‘just’ compensation. (2018-4)192  PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 443 (S.C.)

 

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Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Section 168  - Just compensation - “Just compensation”  should be paid to the claimants - Any method of calculation of compensation which does not result in the award of ‘just compensation’ would not be in accordance with the Act - The word “just” is of a very wide amplitude - The Courts must interpret the word in a manner which meets the object of the Act, which is to give adequate and just compensation to the dependents of the deceased - One must also remember that compensation can be paid only once and not time and again. (2018-4)192  PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 443 (S.C.)

 

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Section 168  - Compensation - The traditional view was that while assessing compensation, the Court should assess the loss of income caused to the claimants by the death of the deceased and balance it with the benefits which may have accrued on account of the death of the deceased - However, even when this traditional view was being followed, it was a well settled position of law that the tort­feasor cannot not take benefit of the munificence or gratuity of others.    (2018-4)192  PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 443 (S.C.)

 

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Section 168  - Just Compensation - Insurance, pensionary benefits or gratuity or grant of employment to a kin of the deceased  - Deductions cannot be allowed from the amount of compensation either on account of insurance, or on account of pensionary benefits or gratuity or grant of employment to a kin of the deceased  - All these amounts are earned by the deceased on account of contractual relations entered into by him with others -  It cannot be said that these amounts accrued to the dependents or the legal heirs of the deceased on account of his death in a motor vehicle accident.     Held, The claimants/dependents are entitled to ‘just compensation’ under the Motor Vehicles Act as a result of the death of the deceased in a motor vehicle accident. Therefore, the natural corollary is that the advantage which accrues to the estate of the deceased or to his dependents as a result of some contract or act which the deceased performed in his life time cannot be said to be the outcome or result of the death of the deceased even though these amounts may go into the hands of the dependents only after his death.   (2018-4)192  PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 443 (S.C.)

 

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Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Section 168  - Just Compensation – Insurance,  bank deposits, share, debentures etc. can not be deducted from the amount of compensation -   Any amount paid under any insurance policy is concerned whatever is added to the estate of the deceased or his dependents is not because of the death of the deceased but because of the contract entered into between the deceased and the insurance company from where he took out the policy - The deceased paid premium on such life insurance and this amount would have accrued to the estate of the deceased either on maturity of the policy or on his death, whatever be the manner of his death - These amounts are paid because the deceased has wisely invested his savings - Similar would be the position in case of other investments like bank deposits, share, debentures etc.. - The tort­feasor cannot take advantage of the foresight and wise financial investments made by the deceased.    (2018-4)192  PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 443 (S.C.)

 

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Section 168  - Just Compensation – Pension and gratuity - Can not be deducted from the amount of compensation -   These are paid on account of the service rendered by the deceased to his employer - Pension and gratuity are the property of the deceased -  They are more in the nature of deferred wages -  The deceased employee works throughout his life expecting that on his retirement he will get substantial amount as pension and gratuity - These amounts are also payable on death, whatever be the cause of death -  Said amount cannot be deducted. (2018-4)192  PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 443 (S.C.)  

 

 

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Section 168  - Just Compensation -  Deduction can be ordered only where the tort­feasor satisfies the court that the amount has accrued to the claimants only on account of death of the deceased in a motor vehicle accident. (2018-4)192  PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 443 (S.C.)

 

Judicial orders  - Reasons are the heart and soul of any judicial pronouncement -  No judicial order is complete without reasons and it is expected that every court which passes an order, should give reasons for the same. (2018-4)192  PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 443 (S.C.)

 

 

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Section 168  - Interest @ of 9% per annum from the date of filing of the petition till the payment of the amount.  (2018-4)192  PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 443 (S.C.)