Justice Vibha Kankanwadi of the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court held that it is erroneous assess a person's salary relying upon the fact that he or she was a brilliant student.
The deceased in the case before the Court was an M.com student by the name of Krushna Kabra. He along with his friend met with an accident whilecommuting along the Nagar A Pune Road, Khedgaon, Ahmednagar on 31st December 2015. They riding a pillion which later collided with a Mahindra Bolero. Both suffered serious injuries. Krushna Kabra succumbed to the injuries on 1st January 2016. The police prosecuted the driver of the vehicle, which was insured with Reliance General Insurance.
The claimants contended that the deceased was working in a private job and was also engaged in share market business, and was getting a monthly income of around Rs 21000. The claimants demanded a compensation of Rs 5500000, for which the tribunal allowed only Rs 2190000, which were to be paid by both the insurer and driver jointly.
Appearing for Reliance General Insurance, VN Upadhye brought to the notice of the Court that there was no record or evidence to prove the deceased's salary to Rs. 20,000 per month, and the tribunal on establishing the same on the frivolous grounds of his holding the degree of an M.Com is unacceptable.
After considering the facts and arguements, the court observed and held:
"What remains after discarding the oral evidence in respect of point of income adduced by the claimants is, the only guess work that has been done by the learned Tribunal. The documents in the form of degree certificate of B.com. was produced wherein it appears that the deceased had passed B.Com in first class. There was no doubt, that he was taking education in M.Com. Under such circumstance, when the claimants have not come with a case, what were his plans in future, then what could have deceased achieved on the basis of his M.Com degree, is required to be imagined.
The accident has occured in 2015. The Courts are also required to take a note of the fact of unemployment prevailing in the society. Even highly qualified young persons are unable to get job and if at all they get, then they are required to be satisfied with a lesser salary. Under such circumstance, merely on yhe count that the deceased was a brilliant student, his monthly salary cannot be assessed to Rs.20000 per month, but it was reasonable to arrive at a conclusion that he could have fetched a job giving him salary of Rs.10000 per month, for his said qualification...
The amount that has been awarded based on the income of the deceased, at the rate of Rs.20000 per month, calculated by the learned Tribunal, is excessive and therefore, deserves to be corrected."
Thus, the court awarded the claimants a total of 15,82,000, inclusive of loss of dependency, loss of estate, loss of consortium and funeral expenses.