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Married Daughters Entitled To Motor Accident Compensation For Parent's Death; Can't Discriminate Between Sons & Daughters : Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
12 Aug 2022 8:53 AM GMT
Married Daughters Entitled To Motor Accident Compensation For Parents Death; Cant Discriminate Between Sons & Daughters : Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court has said that even married daughters are entitled for compensation on all the heads from the insurance company on the death of their parent in an accident.

A single judge bench of Justice H P Sandesh, sitting at Dharwad made the observation while dismissing the appeal filed by Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd challenging the order of the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal dated May 9, 2014.

The bench relied on the Supreme Court judgment in the case of National Insurance Company Limited vs. Birender and Others wherein it was held that it is settled by now that legal representatives of the deceased have a right to apply for compensation. It is further observed that even the major married and earning sons of the deceased being legal representatives have a right to apply for compensation and it would it would be the bounden duty of the Tribunal to consider the application irrespective of the fact whether the concerned legal representative was fully dependent on the deceased and not to limit the claim towards conventional heads only.

The bench observed,

"This Court also cannot make any discrimination whether they are married sons or married daughters and hence, very contention that married daughters of deceased are not entitled for compensation cannot be accepted and the Court has to take note of the rationale behind in coming to the conclusion of even married sons and major sons are eligible to claim compensation and hence the married daughters also entitle for compensation on all the heads and not to limit only for conventional heads."

The insurance company had also contended that there is contributory negligence on the part of the driver of the tempo in which the deceased was travelling and hence the Tribunal ought to have taken the contributory negligence aspect into consideration.

However, the bench noted that the insurance company has not examined the driver of the offending vehicle, who is the right person to speak with regard to negligence and the insurance company also not even examined the official witness of the insurance company to substantiate the said contention.

It then held ,

"When the insurance company has failed to elicit any negligence on the part of the driver of the tempo in the evidence of PW.1 and also in the cross examination of PW.2, the question of the Tribunal coming to the conclusion of contributory negligence does not arise.

Further it said ,"Therefore, unless there is cogent evidence before the Court with regard to negligence, question of considering contributory negligence does not arise."

The court also junked the contention of the insurance company that 13 multiplier adopted by the Tribunal is erroneous. The bench said,

"In order to substantiate the said contention except eliciting answers from cross-examination of PW1 that the deceased might have been six years younger to him, nothing is on record and the Court has to take note of the age of the deceased based on documentary evidence."

Accordingly it dismissed the appeal.

Case Title: RELIANCE GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED v GANGAPPA S/O. CHINNAPPA SAUNSHI

Case No: MISCELLANEOUS FIRST APPEAL NO. 102868 OF 2014

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 315

Date of Order: 4TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2022

Appearance: Advocate S K KAYAKAMATH for appellant.

Advocate S S BAWAKHAN, FOR R1-R5

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment


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