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Person Awarded Monetary Compensation Filing Appeal As Indigent: Supreme Court Explains

Raya Banerjee ,
  01 June 2024       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court of India
Brief :

Citation :
SLP (C) No. 729 of 2020

CASE TITLE:

Alifiya Husenbhai Keshariya vs. Siddiq Ismail Sindhi & Ors.

DATE OF ORDER:

May 27, 2024

BENCH:

Hon’ble Mr. Justice J. K. Maheshwari 

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjay Karol

PARTIES:

Appellant: Alifiya Husenbhai Keshariya 

Respondent: Siddiq Ismail Sindhi 

SUBJECT: 

The case concerned about whether an individual might have been deemed impoverished for the purposes of submitting an appeal seeking further compensation even after receiving compensation from a tribunal.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:

Motor Vehicles Act:

  • Section 173: It deals with penalties for driving offences.

Code of Civil Procedure:

  • Order 33: It deals suits by indigent persons.
  • Order 44: It deals with appeals from original decrees.

OVERVIEW:

  • In an automobile accident, a claimant sought compensation from an automobile Accident Claims Tribunal.
  • This was the main focus of the case.
  • Even after receiving some compensation, the claimant had wanted to file an appeal for more money.
  • The claimant’s request to file the appeal as an impoverished person was denied by the High Court, who pointed to the compensation she had received.

ISSUE RAISED:

Was the question in the case about whether a person who received compensation from a tribunal might still file an appeal requesting increased compensation because they were considered impoverished?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT:

  • The appellant contended that although the Tribunal had granted her compensation, at the time of filing the appeal, she had not really received any money.
  • She asserted that she was still impoverished and unable to pay the court costs necessary to submit the appeal.
  • The appellant argued that her inability to pay should not be a barrier to her pursuit of justice, using statutes and case law to back up her assertion.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT:

  • The respondent, who was represented by the High Court, said that since the appellant had made a claim for a sizeable sum of money, she was not impoverished.
  • The appellant applied to submit the appeal, but the High Court denied the request, citing the appellant’s lack of compensation to date.
  • The respondent stressed that since the appellant had not yet received payment, she might pursue additional legal actions without being deemed to be indigent.

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS:

  • The Learned Single Judge’s decision and order were overturned by the Supreme Court, which also granted the appeal.
  • They concluded that the appellant’s request to submit the appeal as an impoverished person was improperly denied by the High Court.
  • The appellant’s status as an impoverished person should have been taken into account, the Court noted, particularly as she had not yet received the compensation granted by the Tribunal.
  • They pointed out that the Code of Civil Procedure statutory condition was not fulfilled.
  • As a result, the appellant ‘s right to appeal as an impoverished person was upheld by the Supreme Court.
  • They asked the High Court to render a decision on the appeal as soon as possible, ideally in less than half a year.

CONCLUSION:

The High Court’s decision was overturned by the Supreme Court, which granted the appeal. They allowed the appellant to file an appeal on the grounds of being impoverished  highlighting the fact that one’ s inability to pay should not have prevented one from seeking justice. The High Court was given instructions by the court to accelerate the appeals procedure, preferably in less than six months.

 
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