Mumbai businessman kin get record Rs. 4 crore solatium for 2016 death

In possibly the highest payout in recent times, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal ordered the owner of a dumper truck and an insurance company to jointly pay around Rs 4.13 crore compensation (with interest) to the family of a Sakinaka 54-year-old garment businessman, who died after his bike was rammed into by the heavy vehicle in 2016.

The tribunal relied on the income tax returns, which it said was “a statutory document on which reliance may be placed to determine a victim’s annual income”. The tribunal refuted the insurance company’s claims that since the victim was not wearing a helmet, he was responsible for his death. The family had sought compensation of Rs 3 crore.

The wife of Jameel Shaikh and his six children moved the tribunal on November 7, 2016, against the dumper truck owner Gauri Jadhav and New India Assurance Co Ltd.

The family said on August 28, 2016, between 3-4pm while Jameel proceeding from Sakinaka to Powai on his motorcycle, the truck came from behind in “high, improper speed” and knocked him down. Jameel was taken to hospital, where he was declared dead.

An FIR was registered against the driver for causing death by negligence. The dumper owner didn’t respond to the claim and the order against them was passed ex parte.

The insurance company argued that had Jameel worn a helmet, which was mandatory in law, the head injury could have been avoided. It is contended that the driver of the offending vehicle was not holding a valid and effective driving licence at the time of the accident and thus, insured has committed breach of terms and conditions of the policy. It denied the liability to pay the compensation.

The tribunal said the insurance company had not produced evidence to support its claims.

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