Supreme Court Ruling on Contributory Negligence and Compensation Computation

In a recent judgment by the Supreme Court of India, the court addressed the issue of contributory negligence and compensation computation in a case involving a surviving spouse and the insurance company. The ruling has far-reaching implications in the legal landscape. Stay tuned to learn more about this pivotal verdict!


  • The claim for compensation was computed as follows: a) Loss of dependency Rs 7,51,476/- b) Expenses incurred in last rites Rs.5,000/- c) Loss of love and affection Rs.5,000/- d) Loss of property Rs.2500/- Total Rs.7,63,976/-
  • Applying a multiplier of 11, the deceased being 53 years of age, the total amount payable was computed at Rs 11,12,000 on account of loss of dependency.
  • The MACT found contributory negligence in this case.
  • The surviving spouse of the deceased filed a claim for compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, initially seeking Rs 17,50,000.
  • Due to contributory negligence assessed at 50%, a total amount of Rs 3,81,988 was awarded with interest at six per cent per annum.
  • The High Court, in an appeal from the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal decision, increased the compensation from Rs 3,81,988 to Rs 6,81,000 and maintained interest at six per cent.
  • The High Court affirmed MACT’s decision on contributory negligence but adjusted the compensation amount.
  • A lump sum of Rs 1,25,000 was awarded by the High Court for the conventional head.
  • Service was completed as per the notice issued by the Court on 22nd January 2019.

Also Read: Legal Analysis: Sheikh Noorul Hassan vs. Nahakpam Indrajit Singh – Permissibility of Subsequent Pleading in Election Petition Proceedings


  • Learned counsel representing the appellant challenges the High Court’s decision on contributory negligence and compensation computation.
  • The MACT’s order mentioned an independent witness who testified that the truck trailer was parked without reflectors on the road.
  • Despite accepting the independent witness’s evidence, MACT inferred contributory negligence by the deceased without proper justification.

Also Read: CRPF Act: Validity of Rule 27 for Compulsory Retirement – Case of Head Constable vs. CRPF


  • MACT did not provide reasons for affirming the view of the MACT without giving reasons
  • Contradictions in testimony about the existence of reflectors at the accident spot
  • MACT hinted at conjecture in its findings of contributory negligence
  • Contradiction between evidence of driver NAW 1 and the MACT’s conclusion about lit indicators
  • High Court did not discuss crucial points and simply confirmed contributory negligence findings
  • MACT’s computation of compensation not in line with Supreme Court directive in National Insurance Company Limited v Pranay Sethi

Also Read: DAMEPL vs. DMRC: Curative Petition and Arbitral Award Restoration


  • Monthly salary of the deceased: Rs 12,636
  • One-third deduction for personal expenses: Rs 4,212
  • Net income of the deceased: Rs 8,424
  • Insurer to deposit the compensation within 3 months
  • Conventional heads compensation: Rs 75,000
  • Future prospects addition of 15% due to deceased’s age of 53
  • Total loss of dependency with a multiplier of 11: Rs 12,78,684
  • Interest at 6% on the total amount from the date of the accident
  • No order as to costs
  • Yearly income of the deceased: Rs 1,16,244
  • Total compensation payable for death: Rs 13,53,684
  • Total income of the deceased per month: Rs 9,687


Case Number: C.A. No.-009343-009343 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *