Decided on June 28,1979



M.K.SHAH - (1.) . The injured-claimant a minor boy who received injuries in an accident which happened on 28th March 1972 has preferred this appeal for enhancement of compensation awarded to him by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal Surendranagar in M. A. C. petition No. 21 of 1973 wherein the Tribunal awarded in all compensation of Rs. 9 500 with proportionate costs and interest at 6% per annum from the date of application till realisation. [His Lordship after observing that so far as Rs. 9 500 awarded as special damage with respect to the treatment etc. were concerned what was granted was reasonable. His Lordship further observed:-]
(2.) . That will take us to the consideration of the question as to whether and if so what is the measure of compensation to be awarded to the claimant in respect of the loss of earning capacity. It is true the claimant was a young boy aged about 9 years at the time of the accident. It is also true that in cases of such young boys whose future it is difficult to predict on account of their young age the compensation should be tar less as compared to grown ups. Their cases cannot conveniently fit in the usual pattern applicable in cases of grown-ups because chances of unpredictable events imponderables hazards and uncertainties are far greater in cases of young boys and girls as compared to those who have come of age. In case of a youngster who has not commenced on any career there is no figure for net annual loss at the date of accident or the trial. The prospects of a career in such cases are also difficult to be assessed on account of the extreme young age of the claimant. The amount awardable therefore is bound to be moderate in such cases; but it cannot be nil. Usually one global sum should be assessed its amount varying with the seriousness of claimants injury. However in this case as the Tribunal instead of fixing one global sum has made assessment on the various heads leaving the head with regard to loss of earning capacity we propose to make a separate assessment on that head and add the same to the compensation already awarded. In our estimate even on a one global sum assessing the amount would be almost the same. It would be thus seen that in case of such a young boy it would be difficult to assess the loss of earning capacity by adopting the accepted standards as can be done in cases of persons who have come of age. But that does not mean that nothing is awardable in such cases because by virtue of the disability his earning capacity is bound to be diminished. The Tribunal therefore erred in not awarding anything on this account.
(3.) . There is no guarantee that the boy whose father is working as a cinema operator will not go in for an occupation involving some manual work as is assumed by the Tribunal. In any event in the context of modern times of galloping advances in science and technology and rapid changes in outlooks it cannot be gainsaid that any occupation which he may follow in future may involve some manual work and he might find difficulty and feel handicapped in attending to the same on account of his disability. After all the days when a warriors son became a warrior a carpenters a carpenter and a cobblers a cobbler are gone Any person coming from any strata of society may now follow an occupation not followed by persons belonging to a particular strata of society. In the instant case the boy could have attained some distinction in his educational career in which case when the time came for choosing a line for higher education he could have opted for medicine or engineering faculty in which case his physical handicap would stare him in the face and present itself as a set back in his choice and may thus affect his career. But looking to his extreme young age it is difficult to predict such eventualities in his case.;

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