We Should Hang Our Face In Shame: Madras HC Frowns At Discrimination Against Widows [Read Order]
“Even after so many decades of social advancements and in spite of works of many leaders, like, Rajaram Mohan Roy, Mahatma Gandhi, still women are not equally treated and that too, a widowed lady has to face discrimination in social functions as well as auspicious occasions.”
We should hang our face in shame, said the Madras High Court frowning at the discrimination faced by widows in social and auspicious occasions.
Justice N. Kirubakaran was considering an appeal filed by Insurance company against the compensation awarded to a lady, whose husband died in a motor accident.
In 2003, Pitchai @ Subramanian, while he was riding his two wheeler, a Tractor Trailer which was going in front of the two wheeler came reverse without any signal and dashed against his two wheeler causing the accident, resulting in his death. Finding the tractor driver negligent, the Tribunal had asked the Insurance company to pay 4, 49,000 to the wife and children of Subramanian.
Moved by the plight of the wife of Subramanian, Justice Kirubakaran observed in the order:
"Losing the husband is painful and that too, at the age of 29 years is very cruel. She will be put to untold misery and mental agony psychologically, physically and emotionally apart from the social stigma. Even a sight of a widowed lady is not considered to be auspicious in our conservative society, for which, we should hang our face in shame. Even after so many decades of social advancements and in spite of works of many leaders, like, Rajaram Mohan Roy, Mahatma Gandhi, still women are not equally treated and that too, a widowed lady has to face discrimination in social functions as well as auspicious occasions. Rejection of her presence in the auspicious functions and non-recognition would still further add agony and frustration in the mind of the lady and she has to live with that for the rest of her life."
Agony, pain, grief and sorrow being undergone by the women cannot be underestimated in terms of money and therefore, as an endeavour to do complete justice, this Court awards a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- towards loss of consortium as she would be deprived of the marital pleasure and companionship of her husband throughout her life, said the judge.
The court then disposed the appeal filed by insurance company holding that the claimants are entitled to a sum of Rs.16,00,000 along with interest at 7.5% per annum from the date of petition.