HC reduces compensation awarded by Tribunal

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Chennai, Mar 19: The Madras High Court has reduced by Rs 50,000 the total compensation awarded by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to an accident victim, holding that the claimant suffered grievous injuries due to his failure to wear a helmet.

The court, without interfering with the compensation awarded by the Tribunal under each head "for the contributory negligence of the claimant and also for the violation of the Motor Vehicles Rules in respect of not wearing the helmet while riding two wheeler," modified the compensation to Rs.35,00,000 from Rs.35,50,000.

Tamil Nadu

A division bench, comprising justices R. Sudhakar and S. Vaidyanathan, was passing orders on an appeal filed by the National Insurance Company Limited, and the 'Cross Objection' filed by the claimant Maniraj.

"....we are of the view that only due to the failure on the part of the claimant to wear helmet, such grievous injuries were caused.... On such reasoning, we are inclined to interfere with the award of the Tribunal and reduce a sum of Rs.50,000 from the total compensation granted to the claimant," the bench said.

The Insurance company had challenged the order of 2011 order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (Additional District Judge) Fast Track Court No.I, at Poonamalle. Maniraj, who was riding a two-wheeler was knocked down by a car on November 16, 2007 and suffered grievous injuries.

He was working as General Manager-Operations in Twinstar Metal Products Pvt.Ltd. at the time. Maniraj had sought a total claim of Rs.48,00,000. As per the disability certificate issued by the orthopaedic surgeon and doctor's assessment, the claimant was in a vegetative state.

The Tribunal awarded Rs.35,50,000 as compensation to Maniraj with interest at the rate of 7.5 per cent. Aggrieved by the order, the Insurance company filed the appeal and a cross objection was also filed by Maniraj stating that the compensation was less.

In its appeal, the Insurance company attributed contributory negligence on the part of Maniraj who, it said, was not wearing helmet at the time of the accident which caused the grievous injuries. It submitted that the Tribunal had not taken this into account and sought reduction of the compensation.


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