24 Aug 2023 12:50 PM GMT
Observing that the contribution of a homemaker to the intricate fabric of daily life is "immeasurable and deserves profound acknowledgement", the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week allowed an appeal filed by a woman seeking enhancement of the amount of compensation received by her on account of the death of her husband."A homemaker shoulders a myriad of responsibilities that encompass...
Observing that the contribution of a homemaker to the intricate fabric of daily life is "immeasurable and deserves profound acknowledgement", the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week allowed an appeal filed by a woman seeking enhancement of the amount of compensation received by her on account of the death of her husband.
"A homemaker shoulders a myriad of responsibilities that encompass a diverse range of tasks. From managing household chores to nurturing relationships and maintaining a harmonious living environment, their role is ceaseless and demanding. Operating tirelessly around the clock, a homemaker's dedication is undeniable," the bench of Justice Sanjay Vashishth observed.
The bench was dealing with an appeal filed by the appellant/petitioner/claimant (Daya @ Dayawanti) against the 2005 award passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal seeking enhancement of the amount of compensation, on account of the death of her husband in a motor vehicular accident.
Essentially, the tribunal awarded compensation of Rs.3,79,000/- to her. The amount was awarded by taking into account the age of the deceased as 49 years and 8 months, his monthly income as Rs.3,500/-, and after deducting 1/3rd on account of his personal expenses, and applying the multiplier of 13, granted Rs.5,000/- as spousal consortium, Rs.10,000/- as funeral expenses.
Before the High Court in the appeal, it was argued that the Tribunal erred in determining the monthly salary of the deceased and thus, it failed to enhance the income on account of future prospects. It was also contended that the tribunal had deducted personal expenses on the higher side and failed to grant any compensation on account of loss of estate.
At the outset, the Court noted that the income of the deceased, who was a truck driver, should have been assessed in accordance with the DC rates prevalent at the time of the accident which were Rs. 5,812.75/- per month.
Further, the Court also observed that the appellant, a widow, was the sole claimant and with the unfortunate demise of her husband, she had been thrusted into a position of considerable responsibility, as she now must not only ensure her well-being but also shoulder the care and support of her family.
Given this, the Court after emphasising the importance of a homemaker, said that the claimant had to not only look after herself but also manage her home too, and if, in such circumstances, a deduction of ½ (half) is made to the income of the deceased, it would bring profound challenges in the life of the widow and will cause extreme hardship to her.
Thus, in the interest of justice, the Court opined that the deduction for personal expenses in the present case should be 1/3rd of the income of the deceased and the sole claimant – widow should be entitled to the remaining 2/3rd of the income of the deceased.
Consequently, the Court directed that the total compensation payable to the appellant (petitioner/claimant) would be Rs.8,44,508/- along with interest at 7.5% per annum from the date of filing of claim petition till the date of payment of compensation to the appellants (petitioner/claimant). With this, the apple was disposed of.
Case title - Daya @ Dayawanti vs. Arjun and others [FAO-3236-200]
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