The Supreme Court has upheld the award of Rs 35.7 lakh as compensation given by Madras High Court to a 29-year-old lawyer, who was injured in an accident in 1999 and had suffered 70 per cent permanent disability.
A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu upheld the order of Madras High Court awarding Rs 35.7 lakh to a junior lawyer and dismissed the appeal filed by United India Insurance Company.
S Achuthan, the lawyer, was travelling on his motorbike from Poundhamalli to Pary's corner in Chennai on August 8, 1999, when he was hit by an auto rickshaw that was speeding from the opposite direction.
The accident resulted in severe injuries to the junior lawyer and his pillion.
Achuthan then filed a claim before the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT), Chennai claiming a compensation of Rs 51 lakhs but the tribunal awarded him Rs 24.5 lakhs.
Both Achuthan and the insurance firm preferred appeals before the Madras High Court, with the lawyer seeking enhanced compensation.
The Madras High Court in its order on April 30, 2003 enhanced the compensation by Rs 11.2 lakhs, to approximately a figure of Rs 35.7 lakhs with interest.
The High Court enhanced the compensation saying that the lawyer could not walk without crutches or without the help of others as a result of the accident and would, therefore, be unable to carry on with his legal profession in a proper manner.
It had taken into account that Achuthan was working as a junior lawyer with a senior advocate and that his marriage prospects were lost, while awarding him enhanced compensation.
The order of Madras High Court was challenged by United India Insurance Company before the apex court.