In a path-breaking verdict, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday held that ‘future prospect’ of a person killed in a road accident would be considered while awarding compensation to the dependents and laid down standard criteria for computation of such claims.
A five-judge constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, was faced with a vexatious question whether dependents of a road accident victim, who was either self- employed or working on a fixed salary in private or unorganised sector, can get enhanced compensation after addition of certain percentage of the salary drawn by the deceased under the head of ‘future prospect’.
Accepting the principle of standardisation, it said, “while determining the income, an addition of 50 per cent of actual salary to the income of the deceased towards future prospects, where the deceased had a permanent job and was below the age of 40 years, should be made. “The addition should be 30 per cent, if the age of the deceased was between 40 to 50 years. In case the deceased was between the age of 50 to 60 years, the addition should be 15 per cent. Actual salary should be read as actual salary less tax.”
The Bench, which also comprised Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, fixed the percentage of salary or income of a self-employed and a person working in private sector which would be computed under the head of ‘future prospect’ for granting compensation to the dependents.