The Supreme Court has held that compensation payable to a road accident victim should be assessed neither “very conservatively” nor too liberally that it transforms into a bounty for the claimant.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Deepak Gupta also reinforced guidelines laid down by the court in 1994 for motor accidents tribunals to intervene and safeguard the “frittering away” of road accident compensation amounts in cases in which the victims are children or illiterate persons or widows or disabled persons.

The judgment came on an appeal filed by the parents of a young girl from Haryana who was left with 100 per cent disability when a rashly driven truck hit the tractor on which she was travelling in 2007. She is bed-ridden.

Ordering a compensation of over ?50 lakh in her case, Justice Gupta acknowledged that it is “impossible to equate human suffering and personal deprivation with money. However, this is what the law enjoins upon courts to do.”

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