The Supreme Court has held that when a bachelor dies in a road accident, his age, and not that of his dependants, should be taken into concern while computing compensation.
A Bench led by Justice S.A. Bobde was determining the problem whether it was the age of the bachelor road accident victim or his dependents which should be taken into account for calculating the multiplier.
The court was listening to an appeal filed by the Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Ltd against a High Court ruling that the multiplier should be taken on the basis of the bachelor victim’s age.
Writing the verdict for the Bench, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said when a married man dies in an accident, his age is taken to calculate the loss and compensation to the family. So, why should the same principle not apply to a bachelor, who may also have people and family dependent on him?
“It is trite to say, and in fact conceded by the learned counsel for the insurance company, that in case the deceased is a married person, it is the age of the deceased which is to be taken into account.”
“The question is whether in case the deceased is a bachelor, a different principle for calculation of the multiplier should be applied by shifting the focus to the age of the claimants? We are of the view that the answer to this question should be in the negative,” the apex court concluded.
The judgment said that the focus for determination of an accident claim is deceased and what would be his contribution towards the dependants had he been alive.