Gujarat HC: To Sustain Life Claimants Can Prematurely Withdraw Accident Compensation From FD - Vibes Of India

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Gujarat HC: To Sustain Life Claimants Can Prematurely Withdraw Accident Compensation From FD

| Updated: August 10, 2022 18:46

The Gujarat High Court held that Motor Accident Claims Tribunals should allow Claimants to withdraw accident compensation money from the Fixed Deposit (FD) to meet the emergency “exigencies of life”. The single bench of Justice Gita Gopi thus directed that the 62-year-old Claimant-Petitioner should be allowed for the premature withdrawal of the Fixed Deposit made in his favour in the Central Bank of India.

Justice Gita while quashing the order of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal said, “It appears from the order that the learned Tribunal has failed to consider the object and the intention of the directions so given in Susamma Thomas’s case (supra). The present claimant was a trader. Further, he proposes to settle down in the USA. The amount invested in FDR has now become his necessity as he wants to use the same money for his own purpose. The intention of putting the claimant’s money in the FDR is for his own benefit to ensure the safety of the compensation amount so awarded.”

The 62-year-old Claimant was interested in settling down in the US and the amount invested in his name had become his necessity to sustain himself. The intention of putting the Claimant’s money in a Fixed Deposit Receipt was for the Claimant’s own benefit to ensure the safety of the amount, per the Single Judge Bench. A compensation worth Rs. 6.5 lacs was awarded to the Petitioner following a motor accident, while he was working as a wholesale bookseller. 30% of the amount was given to him in cheque while the rest was maintained in an FD.

The Petitioner advocate Tirth Nayak contended that the Claimant being a senior citizen, required the money for his medical expenses. The Petitioner relied on A.V. Padma & Ors. Vs. R. Venugopal & Ors. and General Manager, Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, Trivandrum Vs. Susamma Thomas & Ors contend that the Tribunal was required to give thoughtful consideration to the requirements of the Claimant and should avoid ‘a mechanical approach’ which ignored the objective and spirit of the Act.

The High Court added that the petitioner is a senior citizen and because of his advancing age, he would need money for his own medical purpose. If the amount is not released to the Petitioner, it would be of no use to him as he will not be available in India.

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