HC increases relief to deceased Panchkula banker’s kin by ₹14 lakh

The Punjab and Haryana high court has increased the compensation awarded to the family members of a banker who had died in an accident in August 2016 by ₹14.35 lakh.

Victim Kuldeep Kumar Chopra, 57, chief manager with the Oriental Bank of Commerce, Sector 17, Chandigarh, had died from injuries sustained after falling from a rashly-driven Haryana Roadways bus on August 13, 2016, in Panchkula.

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal had awarded a sum of ₹61.47 lakh relief to the victim’s three family members, excluding the son, who, though not a minor, was studying at the time. The family had approached the high court in 2017 seeking ₹2 crore compensation and challenging the MACT order. The three beneficiaries were the victim’s widow, unmarried daughter and mother.

In the high court it was argued that the son could not have been excluded as he was dependent on his father. Some other “errors” in the MACT order were also pointed out.

The high court observed that the Supreme Court had held that even major, married and earning sons of the deceased, being legal representatives, had a right to apply for compensation and the Tribunal was duty bound to consider the claim irrespective of the fact whether the concerned legal representative was fully dependent on the deceased.

The court announced ₹74.98 lakh as the total compensation to the family, increasing it by ₹14.35 lakh to four claimants with an interest at the rate of 7.5% from the date of application till realisation with disbursal within four weeks.

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