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Friday, July 1, 2022

Adjustment of MACT award ~ Principal or Interest or Costs ~ which Order !!

Motor Insurance is compulsory ~ all vehicles on public road should compulsorily have insurance – not a policy covering the vehicle or its owner but some, which are stated in the Motor Vehicles Act itself.  Sec 147 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988 specifies the requirements of policies and limits of liability. 

For ease of compensation to victims involved in a motor vehicle accident,  Motor Accident Claims Tribunals have been constituted.  The defences available to the Insurer are very limited and again specified in the Motor Vehicles Act itself.  There can be circumstances where the amount deposited in satisfaction of the award could be less than the actual award + interest + costs.  Ever wondered, as to how the amount would be adjusted – against Principal, or Interest or Costs – in which order ? – this was answered in Civil Appeal no. 3056 of 2008  before Apex Court –  the defendant being Oriental Insurance Co Ltd.

The claim arose out of a road accident whence an Engg Graduate was killed in Apr 1993.  The victims filed application seeking compensation of 2 crores.   The Tribunal in Apr 1997 awarded Rs.98,40,500/- as compensation with interest @ 12% p.a. from the date of petition + costs of Rs.99443/-    Being aggrieved, the Insurers preferred appeal.  The High Court granted stay of execution of award subject to deposit of Rs.30 lakhs + costs.   A Division bench partly allowed the appeal in Dec 2001 reducing to compensation to Rs.56,40,000/-  retaining the interest rate @ 12%. 

The Insurers deposited a sum of Rs.23,27,635/- in Sept 2002 claiming it to be full and final satisfaction of the award.   The victims filed Execution Petition before the Executing Court claiming an amount of  Rs.20,16,700/-   The Insurers contended that their liability  to  pay  interest  gets discharged when it deposits the award amount in full.   Thus,  relying on the principle of accrual method,  they stated that only a  sum  of  Rs.36,650/- was liable to be paid, which was deposited in July 2003.

The Executing Court took a view that the amounts deposited by the Insurer from time were liable to be adjusted towards the component of interest first and thereafter remnant towards the decretal amount – by which Insurer’s liability was fixed vide order of Aug 2004  to the  extent  of  Rs.17,70,657/- together with interest @ 12%  p.a.  from  the  date  of       filing of the Execution Petition till the date of realization.  Insurers challenged this before High Court of Judicature, Andhra Pradesh.

The learned  single  Judge  of  the  High  Court  of Judicature, Andhra Pradesh, in  July 2005 held that  the part  payments deserve to be adjusted towards the principal decretal amount  and  not  any component of interest accrued upto that date. So the matter was agitated before the Supreme Court of India. Apex Court opined that before  adverting to the various issues involved in the  case  and  the       contentions advanced by the counsel on either side, we have given  our  anxious consideration to the judgment impugned of the  learned  single Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High  Court.   Extracting relevant paras of impugned judgment – it was stated that it is that in a plethora of judgments, the  Supreme  Court  as  well as the High Courts took the  view  that  any  amount  deposited under Rule 1  of  Order  21  CPC  must  be  first  adjusted  towards interest.  It added that the expression “interest if any”  occurring  in both the provisions is  significant.   A  decree  may  comprise of principle amount claimed in the suit, as well  as  a  component  of interest up to the date of decree.  Once a  decree  is  passed  for certain amount, it becomes a principle by itself and the  liability to pay interest thereon, and if so, the rate at which it is  to  be paid, would depend upon the  terms  of  decree.   The  amount  that carries the interest till the date of realization would be the  one stipulated in the decree.  It is not permissible  for  a  Court  to award interest on interest.         Sub section (3) of Section 3 of the - Interest Act clearly  prohibits  grant  of  interest  on  interest.

The Court observed the passing of order of High Court to be based on considerations of :  Firstly, the judgments relied upon by the claimants are based on the pre-amended provisions of Order 21 Rule 1 C.P.C;            Secondly,  in  the  cases  which  were  decided  subsequent   to       amendment, the issue - of appropriation of amounts has not fallen for consideration.  Thirdly, a decree comprises of principal claimed in the suit  as  well as component of interest.  Hence, once a decree is  passed  for  certain amount, it becomes principal by itself and Section  3(3)  of  Interest Act clearly prohibits grant of interest on interest.

It was further pointed out that the law have not looked upon favourably where the judgment  debtor  does not pay or deposit the decretal  amount  within  the  time  granted  as  one cannot be permitted to take advantage of his own  default.   Therefore,  the normal rule that is followed is to allow the deposit or payment,  if  it  is in part, to be adjusted towards the interest due, etc.,  However, when there  is a  shortfall  in  deposit,  the  amount  has  to  be adjusted towards interest and costs, then it  has  to  be  adjusted  towards principal.   In money suit, the amount consists of principal and interest till  the suit is filed.  But, in case of award passed under the Act, the question  of inclusion  of  any  interest  on  the  decretal  amount  does   not   arise.

The Court held that keeping in  view  the  ratio of  the  Constitution  Bench  judgment  in  Gurpreet  Singh  (supra),  where considering an identical question of CPC, it was held that if the amount deposited by the judgment  debtor  falls short of the decretal amount, the decree-holder is  entitled  to  apply  the rule of appropriation by appropriating the amount  first  towards  interest,  then towards costs and subsequently towards principal amount due  under  the decree.

The Hon’ble CJ held that they are of the opinion that the appellants  herein  are  entitled  to the amount awarded by the Executing Court, as the amounts deposited  by  the judgment  debtor  fell  short  of   the   decretal   amount.    After   such appropriation, the decree-holder is entitled to interest only to the  extent of unpaid - principal amount.  Hence, interest be calculated  on  the  unpaid  principal amount.  The Court thereby allowed the appeal, setting aside  the  impugned  judgment of High Court passed in July 2005 and restoring the order of  Executing Court dated 18.08.2004.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

10th Feb 2015.

rare 'White elephant' and the flag of Laos !!

Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPDR) is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma,  China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.  

Understand in the Sanga period, benevolent Kings would give elephant as prize to poets ~ obviously, it was not the animal only but wealth that went along ensuring their upkeep.  In our mythology, “Airavatham” is the white elephant who carries Indira.  Airavata has four tusks and seven trunks and is spotless white. It is known as Erawan in Thai. Airavata is also the third son of Kashyap and Kadru.  Airavatha is the King of elephants and brother of Garuda.  By some reference, King Bimbisara had one such white elephant,  captured in wild  and named Sechanaka which means "watering" as the elephant used to water the plants by himself without any prior training.

In reality, ‘A white elephant’ is a burden rather than prized possession – the owner  cannot dispose of  but the cost of keeping that of maintenance would be out of proportion to its usefulness.  The term derives from the story that the kings of Siam, now Thailand, were accustomed to make a present of one of these animals to courtiers who had rendered themselves obnoxious in order to ruin the recipient by the cost of its maintenance. In modern usage, it refers to objects / ventures that are considered not of any use. 

Elsewhere ‘white elephants’ are sacred in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia.  To possess a white elephant was regarded (and is still regarded in Thailand and Burma) as a sign that the monarch reigned with justice and power, and that the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity. The opulence expected of anyone that owned a beast of such stature was great.   The thai term  ‘chang samkhan’, actually translates as 'auspicious elephant', being "white" in terms of an aspect of purity.

Scientifically, a white elephant (also albino elephant) is a rare kind of elephant, but not a distinct species. Although often depicted as snowwhite, their skin is normally a soft reddish-brown, turning a light pink when wet.  They have fair eyelashes and toenails. The Burmese rulers and the King of Thailand do possess white elephants.   

A rare white elephant has been captured in Myanmar, state media said recently – the creature traditionally seen as a sign of political good fortune in a country edging towards breakthrough national elections. The pink-tinged pachyderm, which was caught in a forest reserve in the Irrawaddy Delta area of Pathein, is the ninth white elephant to be held in captivity in the former junta-run country, according to a report in the Global New Light of Myanmar.

The female elephant is thought to be about seven years old, is around 190cm tall and has “pearl coloured eyes”. They have been found at opportune moments for the country, which has been ruled by a quasi-civilian government since 2011. The discovery of a white elephant just before elections in 2010 was hailed by state media as the mark of a successful “democratic transition”, despite widespread criticism of the polls with allegations of cheating and the absence of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Myanmar is currently preparing for another general election, a key test of the country’s political reforms and one that is likely to see significant wins for Suu Kyi’s party. [source :]

From 1952 until the fall of the royal government in 1975 the country of Laos had a red flag, with a white three-headed elephant (the god Erawan) in the middle. On top of the elephant is a nine-folded umbrella, while the elephant itself stands on a five-level pedestal. The white elephant is a common royal symbol in Southeast Asia, the three heads referred to the three former kingdoms Vientiane, Luangprabang, and Champasak which made up the country.  The nine-folded umbrella is also a royal symbol, originating from Mount Meru in the Buddhist cosmology. The pedestal represented the law on which the country rested.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
16th Mar 2015.

Photo of Laos flag :  "Flag of Laos (1952-1975)" by Thommy - Own work, based on Flags of the World - Laos, 1952-1975 and Coat of arms of Laos (1952-1975).svg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons; 

 Photo - of white elephant : the

rare sighting of civet cat in an ATM !!

Sure you have heard of ‘Punugu poonai’ – the civet cat.  It is not exactly a cat but a small nocturnal mammal that lives in forests.  The word civet also refers to the distinctive musky scent produced by the animals.   The civet has catlike body, long legs,  long tail, and a masked face resembling a raccoon or weasel. In some areas of the world, it has become an endangered species, hunted for its fur or as a food source. The civet's taste for fruit has been its downfall in at least one area of Southeast Asia; the durian fruit is also called "civet fruit," because it is used as bait for catching civets. The civet not only is fond of fruit, but has had a love-hate relationship with growers of a particular coffee bean in Viet Nam. Civets love this bean, and search out the tastiest examples with their long, foxlike nose.

It is considered sacred too – according to scriptures - aromatic substances javvadu, kasthuri and punugu  are used in rituals.  The three aromatic substances are used at the Tirumala temple  providing a long-lasting and refreshing fragrance.  Have read that  Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams is rearing the animal `civet' in its Sri Venkateswara Dairy Farm.

From the traditional withdrawal from Bank standing in queue filling challans and always appearing bemused, automated teller machines (ATM) have changed the way of money transaction. All and sundry now flaunt no. of cards and allowing withdrawal from ATM of any bank has just added to the confusion. Still people do queue before select ATMs.  Currency notes are not the only thing that ATM disposes – some give coins; some Gold bars and gold coins and a Company introduced  gold, silver and diamond sales through vending machines.  Aavin used to dispense milk from automated vending machines. 

Users of ATM have had to cope up with peculiar problems – some are in deserted areas – in some you would find the security sleeping inside ! – this one is far different.  TOI reports that visitors to an ATM in Adyar on Tuesday [3.3.15] morning had unusual company waiting atop the kiosk shutter– a palm civet cat. The rare visitor was soon rescued and handed over to the zoo authorities by Blue Cross.

Blue Cross said the bank staff received information about the presence of some animal on top of the rolling shutters at the ATM counter in the morning. But, they were not quite sure about the species. They informed Blue Cross about it. A team came with a cage and the civet cat was trapped in it, without any injury. However, it took three hours to make it move into the cage, he said.  A  wildlife biologist of National Conservation Foundation, who studies small carnivores, told TOI that civet cats, also known as toddy cats, are adaptable animals. Basically a nocturnal animal, they are always usually found on trees. An omnivorous animal, civet cats feed on fruits as well as birds and other smaller animals. The natural habitat of the civet cat includes dry evergreen forests and agriculture fields surrounded by trees.

With such areas increasingly being taken over by concrete structures, civet cats often get stranded in human habitations. In old houses, they sometimes make the attic their home. It is also called a ‘toddy cat’, for villagers claim that they can tap the toddy from the palm tree; that is stated to be a myth though.  Theosophical Society, Adyar,  Guindy National Park, IIT-M campus, Madras Christian College campus, Vandalur zoo and the forests that stretch up to Chingleput  are some of the places where one can spot palm civets.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th Mar 2015.

diet drinks make people obese ~ Diabetes becoming epidemic

If you are above 40 ~ in the group of friends,  the discussion on health and more specifically on whether you are afflicted by ‘……..’ is bound to happen !  …. It is no disease but only a ‘disorder’ - One need to adapt a controlled way of living …. Sounds simple – when practised – life will be normal, ---- and ask those affected, how difficult is to control temptation [and not to yield to it !] …. Outwardly people will look normal – they can be of various walks of life; could be the most educated too…. still, given a chance of being alone in a party – they would jump to take more than the usual share of jamuns, lick ice-cream and more……some will say an additional dose of medicine will take care..

It is ‘Diabetes mellitus’  or simply diabetes [colloquially sugar] - a metabolic disease in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. For some of those affected, it is a daily struggle ~ others too strive hard to keep things under control, for, uncontrolled blood sugar puts people at risk for a range of dangerous complications, some short-term and others longer term, including damage to the eyes, kidneys and heart. Managing diabetes is too important.

Newspaper reports reveal that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal recently underwent 12-days of naturopathy treatment at Bengaluru for chronic cough and diabetes. “Cough gone, sugar under control. Feeling fresh and fit. (I) am excited to return to resume work,” Kejriwal tweeted before leaving for Delhi. The 46-year-old AAP leader was discharged from Jindal Nature Cure Institute on the outskirts of Bengaluru where he was admitted on March 5 and returned to Delhi around 8 pm on Monday.

Diabetes could become a global epidemic affecting one in 12 adults around the world cries this report in MailOnline.  Diabetes is 'epidemic' with 400 million sufferers worldwide: Number with condition set to soar by 55% within 20 years unless humans change way they eat and exercise. Researchers estimate 382million people suffered from diabetes in 2013; at current rates number of sufferers globally could be 592 million by 2035 .  In China and India 10 per cent of adult population suffer from the condition and this  compares to the global average of 8.3 per cent, according to study published in the journal Pharmaco Economics. Around 10 per cent of sufferers have type 1 diabetes – an auto-immune disorder that is usually present from childhood. But the other 90 per cent have type 2 diabetes – an illness driven by a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet.

The study, published in the journal Pharmaco Economics, cites data from the International Diabetes Federation estimating that 8.3 per cent of adults aged 20 to 79 now suffer from diabetes. Mr Seuring and his colleagues analysed the impact on increasing number of diabetics on the economies of 20 countries. They found that increased healthcare costs and reduced workforce productivity could severely dent economic growth. Charity warns diabetes is becoming a 'UK health emergency'.  He said: ‘People in the UK with diabetes experience an income loss of £887 per year. But it is carers in the UK who are the worst hit financially, with a reduction in income of £1327 annually.’

There is a tendency to take ‘Diet Coke’ ‘diet Pepsi’ ‘zero coke’ and other sugar free drinks and sugarfree chocholates and sweets by those afflicted.  Another report in Daily of the Science Reporter threatens that ‘Over-65s who drink fizzy low-calorie drinks every day increase their waist size by three inches over a decade’. Those  who regularly have diet drinks in later life are more likely to develop a pot belly, research suggests. This was more than four times as much as pensioners who said they never had diet drinks.

A large waist size is thought to contribute to a higher risk of heart problems, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Experts say fat that gathers around the middle produces more dangerous chemicals and is closer to the body’s vital organs than that on the bottom, hips and thighs. Over ten years, University of Texas scientists followed 749 pensioners from the age of 65, tracking their diet, weight and waist size. The research, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that those who did not consume diet drinks saw their waist size increase by 0.80 inches during the study, while those who had them occasionally gained 1.83 inches.  Those who drank a can a day saw their waist size increase by 3.16 inches.

The study did not explore the reasons behind the link - and critics point out that those who drink diet products are more likely to be predisposed to obesity. The burden of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, along with healthcare costs, is great in the ever-increasing senior population. People in their old ages want weight reduction and commonly believe that diet soft drinks will help to reduce the calorie intake.
Confusing to say the least !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar 18th Mar 2015. Photo :