A moped that got mowed down

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A moped that got mowed down

Postby Micronaut » Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:44 pm

A moped that got mowed down
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/iw/ ... 621500.htm

OF ALL the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come, says Caesar to Calpurnia in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Sadly, though, for quite a few, the end comes not peacefully but in ghastly accidents.

Take for instance, Deepak Singh Rana, who was "returning home on his Luna moped near Karjan Road Chauraha at Rajpur road from Raja Bazar." A truck veering off to a wrong side, owing to `rash and negligent driving', hit the Luna. Deepak sustained grievous injuries and "his moped got damaged", as one learns from the text of a recent judgment from the High Court of Uttaranchal. Deepak was admitted to a hospital, "where during the treatment, he ultimately died".

A claim came to be lodged for Rs 6,54,000. Of this, Rs 2 lakh was for mental and physical anguish, and Rs 4.5 lakh for aarthik haani or financial loss. The balance Rs 4,000 was split as: Treatment (ilaaj) Rs 1,000; funeral expenses (daah sanskar mein karcha) Rs 2,000; and loss to moped (moped ka nuksaan) Rs 1,000.

The Claims Tribunal enquired into the case and found evidence that the accident had occurred; and the post-mortem report showed that Deepak had received grievous injuries. Predictably, though, the owner of the truck, Mahant Indresh Charan Dass, "denied that he was driving the vehicle rashly and negligently". And Oriental Insurance Company denied that the claimants were entitled for any relief.

As for the compensation, the Tribunal found that Deepak was earning Rs 1,600 per month, as technical labour in Survey of India, Dehradun. His retirement date read November 30, 2008, "promotional avenues were also open for the deceased", informs the High Court's judgment. "The total income, which has been calculated by the Claims Tribunal, was Rs 1,559 and within one year the salary of the deceased became Rs 18,708 and he was aged about 40 years."

The accident happened in 1991, and in 1993, the claim petition was allowed "to the extent of award of Rs 1,50,000 with interest at 12 per cent". Aggrieved, the claimants approached the High Court for enhancement of compensation, and hence the case came up before Justices Rajesh Tandon and J. C. S. Rawat.

What did the court do? Paragraph 12 reads: "Out of that amount 1/3rd is to be deducted towards the own expenses of the deceased if he would have been alive, thus the annual dependency of the claimants on the income of the deceased comes to Rs 6,236." That is, Rs 18,708 minus one-third (Rs 6,236), but the answer would be Rs 12,472. An apparent error, perhaps, that continued in the next paragraph too: "13. Considering the age of the deceased, a multiplier of 15 would be just and proper, thus the total compensation comes to (Rs 6,235 x 15) = Rs 1,86,930."

An inconsistency, because if you consider the LHS and multiply Rs 6,235 by 15, you get Rs 93,525; and if you take the RHS, Rs 1,86,930, and divide it by 15, you get Rs 12,462. And that, again, is Rs 10 less than Rs 12,472. It is quite likely that the minor computational discrepancy of Rs 150 would have been pointed out to the court, and Rs 1,87,080 arrived at (that is, Rs 12,472 x 15).

The court also awarded Rs 2,000 as funeral expenses and Rs 5,000 as loss of estate, to gross up to Rs 1,94,000 as compensation "along with pendente lite and future interest at 9 per cent per annum."

In a sonnet, the Bard writes, "Death's second self, that seals up all in rest." Alas, it doesn't always, especially for the dependents, despite monetary compensation.


D. Murali
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