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[Amputation of limb] Functional disability of limb is to be considered for compensation, not of whole body: Supreme Court

The SC on June 10, 2020 {SRI ANTHONY alias ANTHONY SWAMY vs THE MANAGING DIRECTOR, K.S.R.T.C.} held that if the 75% physical disability has rendered   the   appellant   permanently   disabled   from   pursuing   his normal vocation or any similar work, it is difficult to comprehend the grant of compensation to him in ratio to the disability to the whole body. It was held that the appellant is therefore held entitled to compensation for loss of future earning based on his 75% permanent physical functional disability recalculated with the salary of Rs. 5,500/­ with multiplier of 14 at Rs. 6,93,000/­.

It was held by the Bench, comprising of Justice R.F. Nariman, Justice Navin Sinha and Justice B.R. Gavaithat PW 3 had assessed the physical functional disability of the left leg of the appellant at 75% and total body disability at 37.5%. The High Court has considered it proper to assess the physical disability at 25% of the whole body only. The SC held that there is no discussion for this reduction in percentage, much less any consideration of the nature of permanent functional disability suffered by the appellant. It was held that the extent of physical functional disability, in the facts of the case has to   be   considered   in   a   manner   so   as   to   grant   just   and   proper compensation to the appellant towards loss of future earning. It was held that the earning capacity of the appellant as on the date of the accident stands completely negated and not reduced. It was held that he has been rendered permanently incapable of working as a painter or do any manual work. It was held that compensation for loss of future earning therefore has to be proper and just to enable him to live a life of dignity and not compensation which is elusive.

The SC held that High Court also erred in granting a sum of Rs. 50,000/­ only   towards   future   medical   expenses.   It was held that PW 3   deposed   that   the appellant would require three more replacements of the artificial left leg during his lifetime. The SC held that it is proper to enhance the same by Rs. 2,50,000/­   in addition to that granted by the High Court.

In the present case, the appellant, in appeal before the SC, was aggrieved by the order of the High Court, claiming inadequacy of compensation granted to him in a motor accident case.

Thus, the   compensation   awarded   by   the   High   Court   was modified and recalculated by the SC which is as follows: 1. Pain and sufferings - Rs. 1,00,000; 2. Medical expenses - Rs. 7,350; 3. Attendant charges - Rs. 21,000; 4. Loss of   earnings   during   the   period   of treatment  -  Rs. 66,000; 5. Conveyance charges - Rs. 10,000; 6. Loss   of   future   earnings   on   account   of disability - Rs. 6,93,000; 7. Future medical expenses - Rs. 2,50,000; 8. Loss of amenities - Rs. 50,000. Allowing the appeal, the sum total of Rs. 11,97,350 was awarded by the SC to the appellant along with interest @ 6 per cent from the date of petition till the realization.

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