Thursday, 2 July 2020

Whether a widow is entitled to get compensation in motor accident claim petition after her remarriage?

1) The Jammu and Kashmir High Court and the Rajasthan High
Court have held that the re-marriage of widow cannot deprive her
of compensation payable for the death of her husband in the
following cases:-
(i) In Seema Malik vs. Union of India, 2005 ACJ 1389, the
Jammu and Kashmir High Court examined the judgments of various
High Courts on this issue and held as under:-
“5. Another issue which is required to be taken
note of is with regard to the rights of a widow to
claim maintenance even if she re-marries. The
because a widow has remarried, is not to be
made a ground for declining her compensation.
In Hariram v. Commissioner for Workmen's
Compensation, 1994 ACJ 1094 (MP), the view
expressed was that the widow on remarriage
cannot be deprived of her right of getting
compensation. In the above case the argument
put across was that as the widow had re-
married, therefore, the entire amount be given
to the father of the deceased. It was held that
this legal proposition cannot be sustained. The
reasoning given was that the inheritance never
remains in abeyance and, therefore, rights of a
widow are to be taken and recognised on the
date when her husband dies. Therefore, she
cannot be deprived of her right of getting
compensation.
2)  I am in respectful agreement with the view of the Jammu &
Kashmir High Court and the Rajasthan High Court and hold that the remarriage/possibility of the remarriage will not deprive a person from compensation for the death of his/her spouse. 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
Date of Decision: 3rd February, 2010
MAC.APP. 512-13/2006

D.T.C. Vs MEENA KUMARI 
CORAM :-
THE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE J.R. MIDHA


1. The appellants have challenged award of the learned Tribunal
whereby compensation of Rs.1,50,000/- has been awarded to the
claimants. The appellant in MAC.App.No.512-513 of 2006 has
challenged the award on the ground that appellant is not liable to
pay any compensation to the claimants whereas the appellants in
amount.
2. The accident dated 29th January, 1992 arising out of a bomb
blast in DTC Bus bearing No.DEP 8264 at Mall Road Bus stand
resulted in the death of Sansar Pal.
3. The deceased was survived by his widow, one minor son, one
minor daughter and parents. The deceased was aged about 28 years
at the time of the accident and was doing a private job earning
Rs.2,000/- per month. The learned Tribunal took the minimum
wages of Rs.1,300/-, deducted 1/3rd towards the personal expenses
and applied the multiplier of 18 to compute the loss of dependency
at Rs.1,87,200/- rounded off to Rs.1,80,000/-. The learned Tribunal
awarded Rs. 5,000/- towards funeral expenses, Rs.5,000/- towards
loss of love and affection and Rs.10,000/- towards pain and
suffering. The total compensation was computed to be
Rs.2,00,000/- out of which Rs.50,000/- paid by Lt. Governor of Delhi
as ex-gratia payment was deducted and Rs.1,50,000/- was awarded
to the claimants.
4. The learned counsel for appellant in MAC.APP.No.512-
513/2006 has urged, at the time of hearing of this appeal, that the
accident did not occur due to rash and negligent driving of the
driver of the bus and, therefore, DTC is not liable to pay any
compensation to the claimants.
5. The learned counsel for the appellant in MAC.APP.No.570-
71/2006 has urged the following grounds at the time of hearing of
(i) The income of the deceased be taken to be Rs.2,000/-
per month and 50% be added towards future prospects.
(ii) In the alternative, increase in minimum wages due to
inflation and rise in price index be taken into
consideration.
(iii) The deduction towards the personal expenses of the
deceased be reduced from 1/3rd to 1/4th .
(iv) The compensation be awarded for loss of consortium.
(v) The compensation be awarded for loss of estate.
(vi) The share of the parents in the award amount be
enhanced.
(vii) The deduction of ex-gratia amount of Rs.50,000/- paid
by Lt. Governor of Delhi to the claimants be set aside.
(viii) The rate of interest be enhanced from 5.5% per annum
to 7.5% per annum.
6. Considering the question of law with respect to the
compensation payable in case of bomb blast, this Court appointed
Ms. Rajdipa Behura, as amicus curiae to assist this Court.
7. The first question that arises for consideration in these
appeals are whether DTC is liable to pay compensation for death of
Sansar Pal arising out of a bomb blast in a DTC bus.
8. The law with respect to aforesaid question is well settled by
the following judgments:
There was a collision between a petrol tanker and a truck due
to which the petrol tanker went off the road and fell at a distance
of about 20 feet from the highway leading to leakage of petrol
which collected nearby. Later an explosion took place in the petrol
tanker resulting in fire. Number of persons who assembled near the
petrol tanker sustained burn injuries and few of them succumbed to
the injuries. The victims filed the claim petitions which were
dismissed by the Claims Tribunal on the ground that the explosion
and the fire had no connection with the accident, and was
altogether an independent accident. The appeal was allowed by the
learned Single Judge of the High Court holding that the explosion
was a direct consequence of the accident. The Division Bench of
the High Court affirmed the findings of the learned Single Judge
against which the matter came up before the Hon’ble Supreme
Court.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court dismissed the Special Leave
Petition holding that the explosion and fire resulting in injuries and
death was due to the accident arising out of the use of the motor
vehicle. The findings of the Hon’ble Supreme Court are reproduced
hereunder:-
“25. These decisions indicate that the word "use",
in the context of motor vehicles, has been
construed in a wider sense to include the period
when the vehicle is not moving and is stationary,
being either parked on the road and when it is not
in a position to move due to some break-down or
mechanical defect. Relying on the
abovementioned decisions, the Appellate Bench
accidents which occur both when the vehicle is in
motion and when it is stationary. With reference
to the facts of the present case the learned
Judges have observed that the tanker in question
while proceeding along National Highway No. 4
(i.e. while in use) after colliding with a motor
lorry was lying on the side and that it cannot be
claimed that after the collision the use of the
tanker had ceased only because it was disabled.
We are in agreement with the said approach of
the High Court. In our opinion, the word "use" has
a wider connotation to cover the period when the
vehicle is not moving and is stationary and the use
of a vehicle does not cease on account of the
vehicle having been rendered immobile on
account of a break-down or mechanical defect or
accident. In the circumstances, it cannot be said
that the petrol tanker was not in the use at the
time when it was lying on its side after the
collision with the truck.”
“35. This would show that as compared to the
expression "caused by", the expression "arising out
of" has a wider connotation. The expression
"caused by" was used in Sections 95(1)(b)(i) and
(ii) and 96(2)(b)(ii) of the Act. In Section 92-A,
Parliament, however, chose to use the expression
"arising out of" which indicates that for the
purpose of awarding compensation under Section
92-A, the causal relationship between the use of
the motor vehicle and the accident resulting in
death or permanent disablement is not required
to be direct and proximate and it can be less
immediate. This would imply that accident should
be connected with the use of the motor vehicle
but the said connection need not be direct and
immediate. This construction of the expression
"arising out of the use of a motor vehicle" in
Section 92-A enlarges the field of protection
made available to the victims of an accident and
is in consonance with the beneficial object
underlying the enactment.”
“36. Was the accident involving explosion and fire
in the petrol tanker connected with the use of
tanker as a motor vehicle? In our view, in the
facts and circumstances of the present case, this
question must be answered in the affirmative.
combustible and volatile material and after the
collision with the other motor vehicle the tanker
had fallen on one of its sides on sloping ground
resulting in escape of highly inflammable petrol
and that there was grave risk of explosion and fire
from the petrol coming out of the tanker. In the
light of the aforesaid circumstances the learned
Judges of the High Court have rightly concluded
that the collision between the tanker and the
other vehicle which had occurred earlier and the
escape of petrol from the tanker which ultimately
resulted in the explosion and fire were not
unconnected but related events and merely
because there was interval of about four to four
and half hours between the said collision and the
explosion and fire in the tanker, it cannot be
necessarily inferred that there was no causal
relation between explosion and fire. In the
circumstances, it must be held that the explosion
and fire resulting in the injuries which led to the
death of Deepak Uttam More was due to an
accident arising out of the use of the motor
vehicle viz. the petrol tanker No. MKL 7461.”
(ii) Rita Devi vs. New India Assurance Co. Ltd., 2000 ACJ
801 (SC)
The deceased was employed to drive an auto rickshaw for
ferrying passengers on hire. On the fateful day, the auto rickshaw
was parked in the rickshaw stand at Dimapur when some unknown
passengers engaged the deceased for journey. As to what happened
on that day is not known. It was only on the next day that the
police was able to recover the body of the deceased but the auto
rickshaw in question was never traced out. The owner of the auto
rickshaw claimed compensation from the insurance company for the
loss of auto rickshaw. The heirs of the deceased claimed
compensation for the death of the driver on the ground that the
death occurred on account of accident arising out of use of the
would be entitled to compensation. The question as to whether the
case of murder would be covered was also gone into. Paras 9 and 10
are relevant and are quoted below:-
“9. A conjoint reading of the above two Sub-
clauses of Section 163A shows that a victim or his
heirs are entitled to claim from the
owner/Insurance Company a compensation for
death or permanent disablement suffered due to
accident arising out of use of the motor vehicle
(emphasis supplied), without having to prove
wrongful act or neglect or default of any one.
Thus it is clear, if it is established by the
claimants that the death or disablement was
caused due to an accident arising out of the use
of motor vehicle then they will be entitled for
payment of compensation. In the present case,
the contention of the Insurance Company which
was accepted by the High Court is that the death
of the deceased (Dasarath Singh) was not caused
by an accident arising out of the use of motor
vehicle. Therefore, we will have to examine the
actual legal import of the words 'death due to
accident arising out of the use of motor vehicle'.
10. The question, therefore, is can a murder be
an accident in any given case ? There is no doubt
that 'murder', as it is understood, in the common
parlance is a felonious act where death is caused
with intent and the perpetrators of that act
normally have a motive against the victim for
such killing. But there are also instances where
murder can be by accident on a given set of facts.
The differences between a 'murder' which is not
an accident and a 'murder' which is an accident,
depends on the proximity of the cause of such
murder. In our opinion, if the dominant intention
of the Act of felony is to kill any particular person
then such killings is not an accidental murder but
is a murder simplicitor, while if the cause of
murder or act of murder was originally not
intended and the same was caused in furtherance
of any other felonious act then such murder is an
accidental murder.”
(iii) Samir Chanda v. Managing Director, Assam State Trans,
The Apex Court upheld the claim for compensation in respect
of injuries were suffered by the claimant due to bomb blast inside
the vehicle relying on the decision given in Shivaji Dayanu Patil's
case (supra).
(iv) Kaushnuma Begum vs. New India Assurance Co. Ltd.,
2001 ACJ 428
The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the principle of strict
liability propounded in Rylands vs. Fletcher 1861 All E R 1 was
applicable in claims for compensation made in respect of motor
accidents. The relevant findings of the Hon’ble Supreme Court are
reproduced hereunder:-
“12. Even if there is no negligence on the part of
the driver or owner of the motor vehicle, but
accident happens while the vehicle was in use,
should not the owner be made liable for damages
to the person who suffered on account of such
accident? This question depends upon how far the
Rule in Rylands vs. Fletcher (supra) can apply in
motor accident cases. The said Rule is
summarised by Blackburn, J, thus:
"The true rule of law is that the person who, for
his own purposes, brings on his land, and collects
and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it
escapes, must keep it at his peril, and, if he does
not do so, he is prima facie answerable for all the
damage which is the natural consequence of its
escape. He can excuse himself by showing that
the escape was owing to the plaintiff's default,
or, perhaps, that the escape was the consequence
of vis major, or the act of God; but, as nothing of
this sort exists here, it is unnecessary to inquire
what excuse would be sufficient."
“19. Like any other common law principle, which
is acceptable to our jurisprudence, the Rule in
can be evolved, or until legislation provides
differently. Hence, we are disposed to adopt the
Rule in claims for compensation made in respect
of motor accidents.
20. "No Fault Liability" envisaged in Section 140 of
the MV Act is distinguishable from the rule of
strict liability. In the former the compensation
amount is fixed and is payable even if any one of
the exceptions to the Rule can be applied. It is a
statutory liability created without which the
claimant should not get any amount under that
count. Compensation on account of accident
arising from the use of motor vehicles can be
claimed under the common law even without the
aid of a statute. The provisions of the MV Act
permits that compensation paid under 'no fault
liability' can be deducted from the final amount
awarded by the Tribunal. Therefore, these two
are resting on two different premises. We are,
therefore, of the opinion that even apart from
Section 140 of the MV Act, a victim in an accident
which occurred while using a motor vehicle, is
entitled to get compensation from a Tribunal
unless any one of the exceptions would apply. The
Tribunal and the High Court have, therefore, gone
into error in divesting the claimants of the
compensation payable to them.”
(v) National Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Shiv Dutt Sharma, 2004
ACJ 2049 (J&K)
Two sets of claims were made in this case; one relating to the
accident in a bus and the other relating to an accident where bullets
of terrorists killed the passengers of a bus. The Jammu and Kashmir
High Court held as under:-
“43. On the basis of the judicial pronouncements
and the material which has come on the record, it
is concluded:
(i) That a passenger travelling in a bus when he
suffers from an injury on account of bomb
explosion or on account of any other activity
is spelt out from the decision given by the
Supreme Court of India in Shivaji Dayanu Patil v.
Vatschala Uttam More, 1991 ACJ 777 (SC) and the
latter decisions noticed above;
(ii) That even if a person is not actually in the
vehicle and is standing outside and suffers an
injury, even in that case Supreme Court of India
has allowed compensation in Shivaji Dayanu Patil
v. Vatschala Uttam More, 1991 ACJ 777 (SC).
Therefore, merely because some of the victims
were taken out of the bus and thereafter shot
dead, would not make any difference;
(iii) That the material which has come on the
record justified the grant of the compensation
and the quantum thereof is accordingly
sustained.”
9. Following the aforesaid judgments, it is held that the accident
in question arose out of the use of the motor vehicle and, therefore,
the claimants are entitled to compensation under Section 163-A of
the Motor Vehicle Act.
10. The deceased was aged 28 years at the time of accident and
has left behind five legal representatives. According to the
judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Sarla Verma Vs.
Delhi Transport Corporation, 2009 (6) Scale 129, the appropriate
deduction where the deceased has left behind 4 to 6 legal
representatives is 1/4th. The personal expenses of the deceased are
therefore reduced from 1/3rd to 1/4th.
11. The learned counsel for the claimants has submitted that the
deceased was working as a supervisor with Ravi & Co. drawing a
salary of Rs.2,000/- which should be taken into consideration for
computation of compensation. Learned counsel for the claimants
consideration. The widow of the deceased appeared in the witness
box as PW-1 and deposed that her husband was engaged in a private
job earning Rs.2,000/- per month. The salary certificate dated 12th
January, 1993 issued by Ravi & Co. was placed on record in which it
was certified that the deceased was working with the said company
since 18th December, 1990 till his death on 29th January, 1992 as
Supervisor at a salary of Rs.2,000/- per month. The father of the
deceased also appeared in the witness box as R3W1 and deposed
that the deceased was earning Rs.2,000/- per month. R3W1 proved
the documents relating to the educational and technical
qualifications and the first job of the deceased as Ex.R3W1/1 to
Ex.R3W1/8. Though the salary certificate has not been formally
proved by examining the employer, it has been corroborated by the
statements of PW-1 and R3W1 and, therefore, the income of the
deceased at the time of the accident is taken to be Rs.2,000/- per
month. The learned Tribunal has erred in not taking the aforesaid
documents into consideration. Since the income of the deceased
has been proved, the principle of minimum wages has no application
to the present case. The claim of future prospects is rejected as it
has not been proved that the job of the deceased was of permanent
nature.
12. There is another aspect of the matter. Even if the minimum
wages are taken into consideration, the amount after taking the
inflation and rise in price index would be almost equal to the salary
wages as Rs.1,300/-. However, the increase in minimum wages has
not been taken into consideration. It is well settled by the catena of
judgments of this Court in the cases of Kanwar Devi vs. Bansal
Roadways, 2008 ACJ 2182, National Insurance Company Limited
vs. Renu Devi III (2008) ACC 134 and UPSRTC vs. Munni Devi,
MAC.APP.No.310/2007 decided on 28.07.2008 that the Court should
take judicial notice of increase in minimum wages to meet the
increase in price index and inflation rate. This Court has taken the
view that the minimum wages get doubled over the period of 10
years and increase in minimum wages is not akin to future prospects
and the income should be computed by taking the average of
minimum wages and its double. Following the aforesaid judgments,
the minimum wages after taking the increase due to inflation and
rise in price index would be Rs.1,950/- per month [(Rs.1,300 +
Rs.2,600)/2]. The income of Rs.2,000/- per month of the deceased
is, therefore, almost equal to the minimum wages.
13. The learned Tribunal has not awarded any compensation
towards loss of consortium as well as loss of estate. Rs.10,000/- is
awarded towards loss of consortium and Rs.10,000/- towards loss of
estate.
14. The learned Tribunal has applied multiplier of 18 according to
the Second Schedule of Motor Vehicles Act. According to the
judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Sarla Verma Vs.
Delhi Transport Corporation, (supra), the appropriate multiplier at
17. The claimants are entitled to total compensation of
Rs.3,46,000/- [(2,000 x 3/4 x 12 x 17) + 5,000 + 5,000 + 10,000 +
10,000 + Rs.10,000].
15. The learned Tribunal has deducted Rs.50,000/- paid to Govt.
of NCT of Delhi as ex-gratia amount. The said deduction is in
conformity with the principles laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme
Court in the case of United India Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Patricia
Jean Mahajan AIR 2002 SC 2607 where the Hon’ble Supreme Court
has held that the claimant is not entitled to claim compensation in
respect of which the claimant has received the benefit as a
consequence of the injuries sustained which otherwise he would not
have been entitled to. The deduction of Rs.50,000/- by the Claims
Tribunal is upheld. After deduction of Rs.50,000/- the claimants are
held to be entitled to compensation of Rs.2,96,000/- (Rs.3,46,000 –
Rs.50,000).
16. The learned Tribunal has awarded interest @ 5.5% per annum.
Following the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of
Dharampal vs. UP State Road Transport Corporation, III 2008 ACC
(1) SC, the rate of interest is enhanced from 5.5% per annum to
7.5% per annum from the date of filing of the petition till
realization.
17. The learned counsel for DTC submits that amount of
compensation awarded to the claimants is more than the amount
claimed in the claim petition. It is well settled that the claimants
claimed. In Nagappa vs. Gurudayal Singh, 2003 ACJ 12, the
Hon’ble Supreme Court held as under:-
“21. For the reasons discussed above, in our
view, under the M.V. Act, there is no restriction
that Tribunal/court cannot award compensation
amount exceeding the claimed amount. The
function of the Tribunal/court is to award ‘just’
compensation which is reasonable on the basis of
evidence produced on record.”
18. The learned counsel for the DTC submits that the widow of
the deceased shall be entitled to compensation for loss of
dependency from the date of accident till the date of her
remarriage. The learned counsel for DTC has referred to and relied
upon the judgment of this Court in the case of Nisha vs. Gyanvati,
MAC.APP.794/2005 decided on 14th March, 2007 in which this Court
has held that the widow shall be entitled to compensation only till
her remarriage. The learned counsel submits that the widow got
remarried within three years of the accident and, therefore, would
not be entitled to compensation thereafter.
19. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court and the Rajasthan High
Court have held that the re-marriage of widow cannot deprive her
of compensation payable for the death of her husband in the
following cases:-
(i) In Seema Malik vs. Union of India, 2005 ACJ 1389, the
Jammu and Kashmir High Court examined the judgments of various
High Courts on this issue and held as under:-
“5. Another issue which is required to be taken
note of is with regard to the rights of a widow to
claim maintenance even if she re-marries. The
because a widow has remarried, is not to be
made a ground for declining her compensation.
In Hariram v. Commissioner for Workmen's
Compensation, 1994 ACJ 1094 (MP), the view
expressed was that the widow on remarriage
cannot be deprived of her right of getting
compensation. In the above case the argument
put across was that as the widow had re-
married, therefore, the entire amount be given
to the father of the deceased. It was held that
this legal proposition cannot be sustained. The
reasoning given was that the inheritance never
remains in abeyance and, therefore, rights of a
widow are to be taken and recognised on the
date when her husband dies. Therefore, she
cannot be deprived of her right of getting
compensation.
6. The Rajasthan High Court in the case reported
as Regal Sports v. Mohd. Siddique, 1994 ACJ 294
(Rajasthan), held that the widow cannot be
declined compensation on her remarriage.
Amount awarded was Rs.66,420/-. This was
reduced in appeal to Rs.50,000/-. What is
sought to be pointed out is that the widow was
held entitled to claim amount of compensation.
In Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation
v. Kiran Lata, 1993 ACJ 130 (Rajasthan), the
view expressed was that to deny compensation
on the ground of possibility of remarriage of the
widow would be enforcing a view which is
against the public policy and would be violative
of Section 23 of the Contract Act. It was
accordingly observed that the question of
possibility of remarriage would not come in the
way at all and compensation is not to be based
by taking into consideration the question of
marriage or possibility of remarriage. In another
decision of the Rajasthan High Court, reported
as Vimla Devi v. Chaman, 1992 ACJ 1048
(Rajasthan), it was held that the denial of
compensation is not to be on account of
possibility of re-marriage of the widow of the
deceased. Some other decisions dealing with this
aspect of the matter are Rajinder Kumar v.
Soma Devi, 2001 ACJ 307 (HP); Chandan v.
Kanwarlal, 1989 ACJ 816 (Delhi); Khairullah v.
Anita 1994 ACJ 1017 (AP); Nankuram Sarajdin v.
ACJ 187(MP). Learned Judges in these cases have
consistently held that remarriage of a widow
would not disentitle her to claim compensation.
7. Another reason which re-enforces the above
conclusion that on re-marriage of a widow the
social stigma which stood imposed earlier is not
completely washed of. Some negative factors
continue to exist and are taken note of in the
case of re-marriage of a widow. She may on re-
marriage may not enjoy the same status and
frame of mind. Re-adjustment when widow has
an infant, creates other social problems and she
has to provide some security to the child or
children from the first husband. This factor has
to be taken note of. As such a widow on re-
marriage cannot be deprived of the
compensation.
8. The mother of the minor had stated that the
amount of compensation was required to be
spent on educating and bringing up her minor
son. According to her, that much amount which
she would have got would have been spent on
the upkeep of the minor. Her counsel has stated
that whatever amount she becomes entitled to
now be given to her son; so that this monetary
relief be of some solace for the fatherly love
which he was unable to enjoy. As the appeal
has been preferred by the son and mother of the
deceased, the awarded enhanced amount shall
go to the son.“
(ii) In Vimla Devi vs. Chaman, I (1992) ACC 170, the Rajasthan
High Court held that public feeling requires that there shall not be
any deduction on account of possibility of remarriage. The findings
of the High Court are as under:-
“4. Mr. Bhartiya has also cited before me the case of
Makbool Ahmed v. Bhura Lal 1986 ACJ 219 (Rajasthan).
My brother Vyas, J., was considering the question of
remarriage and held that the compensation should be
paid only upto the date of remarriage and for the
parents the multiplier was considered as 15 years. This
case does not help Mr. Bhartiya in the facts and
guarantees equal treatment and particularly
Article 15 of the Constitution read with preamble of
the Constitution. Chapter IV of the Constitution directs
the court and the Government to provide equality of
opportunity, equality of status and to give special
facilities and concession to the weaker class of the
society, namely, the women. The days when the
widow remarriage was prohibited have gone and after
coming into force of the Hindu Marriage Act and Hindu
Succession Act, the doctrine of limited case also lost
its ground. Widow has a right to remarry and it is in
the interest of the society that remarriage of the
young lady should be encouraged and the court should
not be an impediment because of the old traditional
approach, where the power vested in the man and the
females were considered as the second class members.
For this purpose, Section 14 of the Hindu Succession
Act, 1956 also provides the right of absolute ownership
to a woman and I am of the view that to say that on
account of the remarriage or possibility of remarriage
deduction of compensation will be against the spirit of
the Constitution and will put a check on the
remarriage system provided under various legislations
enacted by the Parliament and the State Assembly. I
am in disagreement on this point that there should be
any impediment or restriction, directly or indirectly,
compelling a woman not to remarry. On the contrary,
an incentive should be given for remarriage for the
preservation of better society. After remarriage
generally a woman does not get the same status and
benefits of decent life as she used to get earlier.
Public feeling requires that there shall not be any
deduction on account of possibility of remarriage.”
(iii) In Bhanwar Lal vs. Munshi Ram, 1988 ACJ 283, the
Rajasthan High Court held that the widow remarriage is a matter of
satisfaction for all concerned but other members of the family
should not suffer on this account. The deductions may act as
impediment in the path of encouragement to widow remarriage.
The relevant findings of the High Court are as under:-
“7. …In Hindu society remarriage of widow is still
rare and considered to be a taboo even till today.
there is no reason why the other members of the
family of deceased should suffer. The deductions may
act impediment in path of encouragement to widow
remarriage. Apart from this, the act is a piece of
social legislation which has been enacted with a view
to give benefit to the members of the family of the
unfortunate victim who lost his life in a sad accident.
I am, therefore, of considered opinion that it will not
be appropriate and justified on any ground to deduct
anything on account of remarriage of the widow of the
deceased and to deny the benefit of the compensation
to the aging parents of the deceased person.”
20. I am in respectful agreement with the view of the Jammu &
Kashmir High Court and the Rajasthan High Court and hold that the
remarriage/possibility of the remarriage will not deprive a person
from compensation for the death of his/her spouse. The learned
counsel for claimants submit that the widow got re-married after
about 3 years of the death of the deceased and, therefore,
enhanced award amount be apportioned considering that the ex-
gratia amount of Rs.50,000/- was received by widow alone and out
of the amount awarded by learned Tribunal, the parents were given
only Rs.12,500/- each and the remaining amount was released to
the children. It is noted that apart from the widow, the deceased
has left behind two minor children and parents. The minor children
continued to live with the widow even after her remarriage. No
compensation has been awarded to the widow by the Claims
Tribunal. However, out of the enhanced award amount, 10% of the
compensation is reasonable to be given to the widow towards
maintenance till her remarriage and for discharging her liability to
The remarriage of the widow has been considered by this Court and
the shares of the children and parents are fixed considering the
remarriage of the widow.
21. The appeal is allowed and the award amount is enhanced from
Rs.1,50,000/- to Rs.2,96,000/- along with interest @ 7.5% per
annum from the date of filing of petition up to the date of notice
under Order 21 Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
22. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, it is
directed that shares of the claimants in the enhanced award amount
shall be as under:-
(i) Share of widow of the deceased : 10%
(ii) Share of father of the deceased : 15%
(iii) Share of mother of the deceased : 15%
(iv) Shares of children : 30% each.
23. The enhanced award amount along with interest be deposited
by DTC with UCO Bank A/c Suparo Devi, Delhi High Court Branch
through Mr. M.M. Tandon, Member-Retail Team, UCO Bank Zonal,
Parliament Street, New Delhi (Mobile No. 09310356400) within 60
days.
24. Upon the aforesaid deposit being made, UCO Bank is directed
to release the share of the widow, Meena Kumari by transferring the
same to her Saving Bank Account. With respect to the shares of the
parents, 50% amount be released to them and the remaining 50% be
kept in fixed deposit for one year with cumulative interest. The
which monthly interest be paid to them.
25. The interest on the aforesaid fixed deposits of the children
shall be paid monthly by automatic credit of interest in the Savings
Account of the respondents.
26. Withdrawal from the aforesaid account shall be permitted to
the respondents after due verification and the Bank shall issue
photo Identity Card to the respondents to facilitate identity.
27. No cheque book be issued to the respondents without the
permission of this Court.
28. The Bank shall issue Fixed Deposit Pass Book instead of the
FDR to the respondents and the maturity amount of the FDRs be
automatically credited to the Saving Bank Account of the
beneficiary at the end of the FDR.
29. No loan, advance or withdrawal shall be allowed on the said
fixed deposit receipts without the permission of this Court.
30. Half yearly statement of account be filed by the Bank in this
Court.
31. On the request of the respondents, the Bank shall transfer the
Savings Account to any other branch of UCO Bank according to the
convenience of the respondents.
32. The respondents shall furnish all the relevant documents for
opening of the Saving Bank Account and Fixed Deposit Account to
Mr. M.M. Tandon, Member-Retail Team, UCO Bank Zonal, Parliament
Street, New Delhi.
34. This Court appreciates the effective assistance rendered by Ms.
Rajdipa Behura, Advocate appointed as amicus curiae by this Court
in this matter.
35. Copy of the order be given dasti to counsel for both the
parties under the signatures of the Court Master.
36. Copy of this order be also sent to Mr. M.M. Tandon, Member-
Retail Team, UCO Bank Zonal, Parliament Street, New Delhi (Mobile
No. 09310356400) through the UCO Bank, High Court Branch under
the signature of Court Master.
J.R. MIDHA, J
FEBRUARY 03, 2010
Print Page

No comments:

Post a comment