Read Order: Anu and Another v. Joginder and Others 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, March 30, 2022: While dealing with a revision petition by the parents of a deceased road accident victim, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside the order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Karnal whereby the Tribunal directed that 50% of the amount which was awarded to the claimant-petitioners was to be deposited in the shape of a Fixed Deposit for a period of 5 years and the Tribunal declined to release the said amount. 

The Bench of Justice Alka Sarin, while placing reliance on the law laid by the Supreme Court, held, “Keeping in view… the fact that the petitioners are major and also have minor children to look after, the present petition was allowed and the order of the Tribunal was set aside. The amount of compensation qua the share of the petitioners lying deposited in the shape of FDR was ordered to be released to the petitioners forthwith.”

It is a case of a motor accident wherein the claimant-petitioners (mother and father of the deceased) lost their child. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Karnal (the ‘Tribunal’) while awarding compensation, directed that 50% of the amount which was awarded to the claimant-petitioners (mother and father of the deceased) was to be deposited in the shape of a Fixed Deposit for a period of 05 years and the Tribunal declined to release the said amount. 

Thus, the present revision petition was filed challenging the order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Karnal (the ‘Tribunal’) to the extent that 50% of the amount which was awarded to the claimant-petitioners (mother and father of the deceased) was directed to be deposited in the shape of a Fixed Deposit. 

The counsel for the claimant-petitioners stated that both the petitioners were adults and there was no occasion to place the said amount in a Fixed Deposit for a period of 05 years. It was further the contention that there were three minor children of the deceased who needed care by the petitioners and hence the money was urgently required by them. In support of his contentions, he relied upon a judgment of the Supreme Court in H.S. Ahammed Hussain vs. Irfan Ahammed, 2002(3) RCR (Civil) 563 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. 

The Court noted at the outset 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 ordered to be deposited in FDR on the direction of the Tribunal qua their share. They did not make any prayer qua the amount which was ordered to be deposited in the names of the minor children. It was also contended that the petitioners require the amount for taking care of the children of the deceased. 

To decide the case, the Court referred to the law laid down by the Supreme Court in H.S. Ahammed Hussain’s Case (Supra) wherein it was held that the amount of compensation awarded in favour of the mothers should not be kept in fixed deposit in a nationalised bank and that in case the amounts have not been already invested, the same shall be paid to the mothers, but if, however, invested by depositing the same in fixed deposit in a nationalised bank, there may be its premature withdrawal in case the parties so intend.

Thus, keeping in view the law laid down in the above-referred case as well as the fact that the petitioners are major and also have minor children to look after, the present petition was allowed and the order of the Tribunal was set aside. The amount of compensation qua the share of the petitioners lying deposited in the shape of FDR was ordered to be released to the petitioners forthwith.

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