Chandigarh, June 2, 2022: In response to a petition challenging the order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal directing 50% of the compensation awarded to parents of an accident victim to be deposited in fixed deposits, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the release of the 50% amount lying deposited in the shape of FDRs.
The Bench of Justice Alka Sarin held, “… the petitioners are over 40 years of age and have also three other minor children to look after, the present petition is allowed…The amount of compensation lying deposited in the shape of FDRs be released to the petitioners forthwith.”
The Court was dealing with a limited challenge to the order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Palwal (‘Tribunal’) whereby the Tribunal directed 50% of the compensation awarded to be deposited in fixed deposits. Further, the order dismissing the application filed by the petitioners for release of the amount directed to be deposited in the FDRs, was also challenged.
The petitioners lost their son in a motor vehicle accident. The Tribunal awarded a total amount of Rs.11,18,272/- along with interest @ 7.5% per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till its realization. However, it Tribunal directed that on realization of the awarded amount together with the interest, the same shall be shared equally by the claimants and 50% of the amount of the share of the claimants was directed to be paid in cash to them whereas remaining 50% was directed to be deposited in a FDR in a nationalized bank in their names for a period of three years.
It was the case of the petitioner’s counsel that both the petitioners were over 40 years of age and were having three other children to look after, thus the money was urgently required by them. In support of his contention, he relied on judgment of the Supreme Court in H.S. Ahammed Hussain vs. Irfan Ahammed to contend that in the case of an adult it would not be appropriate to direct the deposit of the amount of compensation in a fixed deposit.
After considering the case, the Court observed that in the present case, the claimant-petitioners were the parents of the deceased who were looking forward to the release of the amount which was awarded to them but 50% of the awarded amount was directed to be deposited in FDRs.
Thus, keeping in view the law laid down in H.S. Ahammed Hussain (Supra) as well as the fact that the petitioners were over 40 years of age and had three other minor children to look after, the present petition was allowed by the Court.
The order of the Tribunal was set aside and the award was modified to the said extent.