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25 Years On, Supreme Court Triples Compensation for Engineer’s Family Shattered by Road Accident

In the 1993 accident, Rajasthan University gold medallist Shashi Kant Bagrecha, his wife and son suffered permanent disabilities, while their youngest child was killed.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:December 29, 2018, 10:17 AM IST
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25 Years On, Supreme Court Triples Compensation for Engineer’s Family Shattered by Road Accident
The Supreme Court of India. (News18 Creative)
New Delhi: A family that was devastated in a road accident 25 years ago will finally get more than Rs 1 crore in compensation for their survival.

The Supreme Court has enhanced by more than three times damages for the family of four. While the youngest child aged three lost his life, his parents and the other surviving child had suffered permanent disabilities after their vehicle was involved in the accident in 1993 in Rajasthan’s Ajmer.

Shashi Kant Bagrecha, then 33-year-old, was a qualified engineer with a gold medal from the Rajasthan University. He suffered 100 percent permanent disability and was rendered completely crippled to lead a vegetative life.

The motor accident tribunal awarded him a compensation of a meagre Rs 6 lakh which was enhanced to Rs 23 lakh by the Rajasthan High Court.

But the Supreme Court deemed it “unjust” and “inadequate” in the wake of the complete permanent disability of Shashi and his requirement of constant medical attention. The bench headed by Justice SA Bobde also took note of his expenditure on medicines, daily physiotherapy and salary of skilled medical attendant with some miscellaneous expenses.

“We see no reason to doubt this requirement of the claimant viz., Shashi Kant Bagrecha. We accordingly direct that Shashi Kant Bagrecha shall be entitled to a compensation of Rs 96 lakh,” ordered the bench.

The top court also relied on a recent judgment whereby it was held that every order of compensation in a case of motor accident must take account of the ‘future prospect’ of the victim concerned.

The bench, therefore, awarded a future prospect to the extent of 30 per cent to Shashi on his annual income of Rs 93,447. The amount towards future prospect, the court said, will be disbursed to Shashi in addition to the compensation of Rs 96 lakh.

Shashi’s son Puneet was eight when the mishap happened. He suffered permanent disability of 40 percent due to head injuries and injuries to his private organs. The tribunal gave him a damages of Rs 1.02 lakh. This amount was enhanced to Rs 2.5 lakh by the High Court.

The Supreme Court, however, accepted the plea that the money awarded was too less given the fact that Puneet needed regular medical care and medication. The bench hiked the compensation for Puneet by four times.

“We direct that Puneet Bagrecha shall be entitled to a compensation of Rs 10.8 lakh,” directed the court.

In the accident, the couple also lost their three-year-old child Chintu. The bench affirmed the order of a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh towards his unfortunate death apart from another Rs 5.39 lakh for Usha Bagrecha, Shashi’s wife who also faced permanent disability as her right leg was rendered short after the mishap.

The compensation has to be paid by an insurance company with which the offending vehicle was insured.
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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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