Contention That Housewife Earns No Income & Thus Is Not Eligible For Compensation For Disability & Loss Of Amenities Is Outrageous: Kerala HC
While dealing with a case involving motor accident claims, the Kerala High Court has observed that the monetary compensation for an injury caused to a housewife will have to be measured and weighed on the same scales, as it would be, had she been a working woman.
The Court observed that the contention that a housewife earns no income and therefore, not eligible for compensation for disability and loss of amenities, is outrageous and beyond comprehension.
Justice Devan Ramachandran was dealing with a plea challenging the amount of compensation granted to a woman who had suffered grievous injuries in an accident.
Advocate PV Baby appeared for the appellant-woman whereas Advocate Alex Antony Sebastian appeared for Respondents.
The woman-appellant had approached the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, seeking compensation of nearly Rs.2 Lakhs but she was granted mere Rs.40,214.
Standing Counsel for the State Road Transport Corporation vehemently asserted that the compensation granted by the Tribunal is irreproachable, especially because the appellant was a housewife, without any income.
He submitted that, therefore, when the appellant herself conceded that she had no income, nothing more would have been granted by the Tribunal, in excess of what has been now awarded.
“…I must say that the contentions of the KSRTC, that a housewife earns no income and therefore, not eligible for compensation for disability and loss of amenities, is outrageous and beyond comprehension.”, the Court remarked.
The Court further added that “The role of a mother and wife at home is beyond compare, and she is a true nation builder. She invests her time for the family and ensures that the next generation is fostered with the highest levels of excellence; and her efforts can never be taken trivially or brushed aside, as being without monetary value.”
The Court observed that the Tribunal had recorded that the appellant was unable to perform her “routine work” because of the spinal injury and trauma, yet very exiguous amounts had been granted to her under the head “pain and suffering”; while, compensation under the heads “loss of amenities” and “disability” was denied.
Thus the Court granted the appellant-woman a total compensation of Rs.1,64,654 instead of Rs.40,214 awarded by the Tribunal.
Cause Title- Kalukutty v. PM John & Anr.