High Court rejects insurance co’s appeal, enchances compensation

Family of 10-yr-old who died in accident to get Rs 8,28,739 plus interest

Gangtok, 10 Jan:

The High Court of Sikkim has turned down an appeal filed by National Insurance Company against compensation awarded by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to the family of a 10-year-old boy killed in a road mishap at Nagi in South Sikkim on 03 Feb, 2018.

The child died from injuries sustained after being hit by a Bolero.

The Tribunal, in its order passed in November last year, had directed National Insurance Company, which had insured the vehicle in question, to pay the victim’s family Rs 7,88,739 plus interest at 10% per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition [14 May, 2018] till full and final payment.

As has become the norm, the insurance company appealed against this decision of the Tribunal and its appeal was heard in the High Court of Sikkim on 06 December, 2019.

Pronouncing the judgment on 17 December, Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan rejected the appeal and upheld the Tribunal’s award in favour of the accident victim’s family.

What is more, Justice Pradhan also noticed that MACT had not included a “filial consortium” while calculating the compensation to be paid out by the insurance company.

“Non-grant of filial compensation would not be just compensation,” the judgment records while ordering that National Insurance Company pay an additional Rs 40,000 to the accident victim’s mother “as loss of filial consortium.”

In layman’s terms, filial consortium can be explained as the emotional quotient a child brings to his/ her parents, the emotional component and the companionship a parent loses in the event of a child’s death.

Legally, filial consortium is the right of the parents to compensation in the case of an accidental death of a child, the agony it causes them and the years of love, affection and companionship snatched away from them.

The insurance company’s appeal against a Rs 7,88,739 compensation awarded by MACT has thus ended in it now staring at paying out Rs 8,28,739 plus 10% interest per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till full and final payment.