S. Makesh, an engineer, died in October 2010, at the age of 32, in a road accident near Poonamallee. A court took seven years to award 50.85 lakhs to his wife, mother and two minor children.

The insurance company appealed, but it took less than 30 minutes for the Madras High Court to dismiss it at the very stage of admission, in addition to increasing the amount of compensation to £ 69 per lakh without even give notice to applicants.

N. Kirubakaran and Krishnan Ramasamy, Division Judges, concluded that the tedious procedure of giving notice to claimants should be followed only in cases where an adverse order was to be issued against them and not otherwise.

Quantum improved

Convinced that the appeal did not deserve to be heard and that the court had awarded less compensation without considering the future prospects of the deceased's dependents, the judges improved the amount.

In order to ensure that the plaintiffs are not kept informed of the improvement and to prevent the money from falling into the hands of "third parties", the judges ordered the court to summon them, verify their identity , to inform them of the development and transfer of the money to be deposited by the insurance company with interest at the rate of 7.5% on their bank accounts through the real-time gross settlement (RTGS).

As the first son of the deceased engineer was two years old and the second child was only four months old at the time of his death, their mother should have looked after children alone, said the judges.

The judges ordered that she would be entitled to 25 ¤ lakh on the total amount of compensation.

The two children are entitled to 18 ¤ lakh each, which should be deposited in fixed deposits until they reach the age of majority. Interest alone should be used for their education, said the judges.

The elderly mother of the deceased received the rest of 8 lakh.