Homemakers are Nation Builders- Madras HC [Motor Accident Claim]

In the matter of Bhuvaneswari Vs The United India Insurance Co. and others, Madras High Court has emphasised upon the importance of homemakers in our families. The Court enhanced the compensation amount of a home maker, who got injured in a motor vehicle accident.


Background:


On 21-02-2017, in a tragic incident, a woman named Bhuvaneswari was travelling to Salem was standing near a bus stop at Valasaiyur Main Road and in a sudden incident, she was hit by a bus and sustained grievous injuries to that effect. The Salem City Police Station registered a case in Crime No.165 of 2017 under Sections 279, 337 and 338 IPC. In pursuance, the claimant woman filed a petition with the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (hereinafter known as ‘the Tribunal’) where it was found that the Respondent No. 1 i.e, Mani (bus driver) was absconding and only the Respondent No. 2 i.e, the Insurance Company appeared and contended that it was the bus driver who was rash and negligent but could not able to dispute the accident. The Tribunal arrived at the conclusion based on the findings and evidence that it was the fault of the bus driver who was driving in a rash and negligent manner and discussed the nature of the permanent disability and awarded the compensation to the woman at Rs. 486,000/- to be paid by the Insurance Company, was granted towards the loss of income. Though the Tribunal had made a finding regarding the nature of grievous injuries sustained as well as the permanent disability caused to the appellant/claimant due to the accident, fixed the monthly income of the appellant/claimant as Rs.4,500/- and accordingly, a sum of Rs.4,86,000/- was granted towards loss of income.

The appellant contended that the amount awarded by the tribunal towards monthly income is very less and the compensation needs to be enhanced.

The Insurance company opposing the appeal contended that there was no document or evidence to prove the employment nor claimant could be able to establish monthly income

Findings:

  1. While considering the claimant as the Homemaker, all aspects and factors, family circumstances, living standards of the family and other mitigating factors are to be considered for the purpose of fixing the monthly income of the claimant. 
  2. Performing the job of the Homemaker is the toughest one and the Homemakers are working without any time limits as they are working with love and affection, which can never be expected from an ordinary employee. Therefore, the job of Homemaker can never be compared with employee or employment and the importance and the values are also to be considered by the Courts, while assessing the compensation. The Homemakers are working from early morning till late night and one can experience the hard work being performed by the Homemakers in the houses. The responsibility, performance of job with dedication and with love and affection, involvement regarding the future welfare of the family as well as the members of the family and all can never be undermined and it is to be given due weightage in such cases, where the claimants are Homemakers. Visualising the situation wherein, the Homemakers, in a family, died, the family will become helpless and undoubtedly, the situation would be worsened. Thus, the importance, value as well as the materialistic factors are to be considered, while fixing the compensation as far as the Homemakers are concerned.
  3. Homemakers are not only contributing to their family, but they contributing to the development of our Great Nation. It is realistic, if anyone of the earning members died in the family, there will be an impact. But if the Homemaker died, then the impact would be unmeasurable and the family will become scattered. It would be very difficult to cope up the family. Therefore, they are standing in a higher pedestal than that of the earning member in a family. Thus, mitigating factors, family status, the income of the husband and other aspects are to be considered while fixing the compensation for Homemakers.

Ultimately the Court enhanced the total compensation amount from Rs. 8,46,000 to 14,07,000/-

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