On World Disability Day, there is something to cheer for 18-year-old Rahul Rajendra Savardekar, a student, as the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has granted Rs 5.94 lakh compensation to him about Rs 2.5 lakh more than what he had asked for, considering the gravity of injuries suffered by him.
Principal district and sessions judge Anant Badar passed the order after it was proved that the accident had left Savardekar with 60 per cent disabilities. On February 9, 2008, Savardekar was going on his bicycle from Kalewadi to Pimpri when a speeding truck knocked him down. He was taken to YCM Hospital from where he was referred to Niramay Hospital in Chinchwad the next day. He was in the hospital till March 3, 2008.
On March 24, 2008, Savardekar (then a minor) filed the claim petition before MACT against Sampat Bimrao Mane owner of the truck and The New India Assurance Company Limited insurance company of the said truck. During the trial, Mane failed to appear before the court despite having served summons.
The insurance company contended that the accident had taken place because of Savardekars fault. The court refused to accept the insurance companys contention based on the deposition of police who had registered the crime and the doctor who had examined and treated Savardekar. Dr Chandrashekhar Wahegaonkar, plastic surgeon who had treated Savardekar, told the court that he had suffered degloving injuries to his right leg and hand. He also told the court that Savardekar was left with 60 per cent disability even after treatment.
Because of degloving and crushing injury to right leg and hand, Rahul had lost many muscles. His thumb can do minimal functions because of impairing the power of joint and muscle of right thumb. The muscles necessary for function of right foot and leg were also crushed. Rahul will never be in a position to hold a pen in right palm and will not be able to lift weight, Dr Wahegaonkar said.
While deciding the compensation, the court awarded Rs 10,000 for loss of his academic year (class VIII), Rs 5,000 for post surgery attendance at the hospital, Rs 5,000 for nutritious diet during treatment, Rs 5,000 for conveyance to and from the hospital, Rs 1.80 lakh towards medical expenses incurred by him at the hospital, Rs 30,000 for loss of amenities in life, Rs 15,000 for loss to marriage prospect and Rs 20,000 on account of his suffering. The court said that as Rahul will not be able to do physically strenuous work, he will suffer loss of future income. The court calculated Rs 3.24 lakh on account of loss of future loss of income. The cumulative amount comes to Rs 5,94,000.
The court directed the owner of the truck and the insurance company to pay the amount at no interest rate from 2008 till realisation, of which Rs 1.80 lakh is to be paid by account payee cheque and the rest to be invested under fixed deposit.