Monday, 7 September 2020

Supreme Court: Court can grant compensation for loss of consortium to parents and children also under motor accident claim petition

 Learned counsel for the appellant has
submitted that Pranay Sethi has only referred to
spousal consortium and no other consortium was
referred to in the judgment of Pranay Sethi, hence,
there is no justification for allowing the parental
consortium and filial consortium. The Constitution
Bench in Pranay Sethi has referred to amount of
Rs.40,000/- to the ‘loss of consortium’ but the
Constitution Bench had not addressed the issue as
to whether consortium of Rs.40,000/- is only
payable as spousal consortium. The judgment of

Pranay Sethi cannot be read to mean that it lays
down the proposition that the consortium is payable
only to the wife.
39. The Three-Judge Bench in United India
Insurance Company Ltd. (Supra) has categorically
laid down that apart from spousal consortium,
parental and filial consortium is payable. We feel
ourselves bound by the above judgment of Three
Judge Bench. We, thus, cannot accept the submission
of the learned counsel for the appellant that the
amount of consortium awarded to each of the
claimants is not sustainable.
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.3093 OF 2020

THE NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED Vs
SMT. SOMWATI 


Author: ASHOK BHUSHAN,J.
Dated:SEPTEMBER 07, 2020.

Leave granted.
2. These appeals raising common questions of law
have been heard together and are being decided by

this common judgment. For deciding these appeals,
it is sufficient to notice the facts in detail in
Civil Appeal No…………………/2020(arising out of
SLP(C)No.23478 of 2019), New India Assurance
Company Limited Versus Smt. Somwati and Others and
brief facts in other appeals.
3. All these appeals have been filed by three
Insurance Companies, i.e., New India Assurance
Company Limited, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance
Company Ltd. and The Oriental Insurance Company
Ltd. questioning the judgments of the High Courts
arising out of the award by Motor Accident Claims
Tribunal (MACT) with regard to the compensation
awarded in favour of the claimants under two heads,
i.e., “Loss of Consortium” and “loss of love and
affection.”
Civil Appeal NO…………………/2020(arising out of
SLP(C)No.23478 of 2019), New India Assurance
Company Limited versus Smt. Somwati and Others
4. Ram Jiyawan, the husband of Smt. Somwati died
in a Motor Vehicle accident on 06.12.2001 leaving
behind his widow Smt. Somwati and seven minor

children. Claim petition No.7 of 2002 was filed
under Section 166 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988,
claiming compensation of Rs.15,25,000/-. The MACT
by award dated 22.03.2003 allowed a claim of Rs.
1,67,000/- with 9% interest. An appeal was filed
by Smt. Somwati Devi and others in the High Court
being F.A.F.O.No.1894 of 2003. The High Court
allowed the appeal of the claimants and awarded a
compensation of Rs.12,54,000/-. Against the
judgment of the High Court dated 25.02.2019, this
appeal has been filed by the Insurance Company. The
grant of compensation under two heads has been
challenged in this appeal, i.e., item No. (vi) and
(viii), which are to the following effect:-
“(vi)Loss of love and affection=
Rs.4,00,000/-(Rs.50,000/- to each of the
eight claimants).
(viii) Loss of Parental Consortium to
claimant/appellant nos.2 to 8=
Rs.2,80,000/-(Rs.40,000/- to each of the
claimants).”
5. This Court while issuing notice on 24.04.2019
passed following order:-
“O R D E R
Delay condoned.

Issue notice returnable in four weeks
limited to the issue whether both
consortium and loss of love and affection
could have been awarded by the High Court
in this case.
Dasti service, in addition, is
permitted.
Until further orders, there shall be
stay of 2 payment of the compensation
amount payable to the claimants towards
clause (vi) of the impugned judgment which
reads as under :
“Loss of love and affection=Rs.
4,00,000/- (Rs. 50,000/- to each of the
eight claimants)”
6. In pursuance of notice issued by this Court,
the respondents have appeared and filed reply as
well as written submissions.
Civil Appeal No……../2020(arising out of
SLP(C)No.4801 of 2020), New India Assurance Company
Limited Versus Sangita Devi and Others
7. Sanjay Kumar, husband of the respondent
Sangeeta Devi died of Motor Vehicle accident on
12.01.2015. Claim Petition bearing MACP No.862 of
2016 was filed by the respondents, which claim
petition was allowed by Motor Accident Claims
Tribunal, granting a compensation of Rs.17,71,000/-

with interest of 9%. Claimants filed an appeal in
the High Court. The High Court following the
judgment of this Court in Magma General Insurance
Company ltd. Versus Nanu Ram @ Chuhru Ram and Ors.,
(2018) 18 SCC 130, granted compensation for 'loss
of love and affection' at the rate of Rs.50,000/-
to each of eight claimants and similarly, under the
head ‘Loss of consortium’ at the rate of
Rs.40,000/- to all the eight claimants. Aggrieved
by the judgment of the Delhi High Court, Insurance
Company has filed appeal challenging the order of
the High Court.
Civil Appeal No………………/2020(arising out of
SLP(C)No.4643 of 2020),New India Assurance Company
Limited Versus Azmati Khatoon and Others
8. Mohd. Hasibul Bassan, died in a Motor Vehicle
accident on 29.10.2007. Claim Petition was filed by
respondents which has been allowed by Motor
Accident Claims Tribunal granting a compensation of
Rs.17,32,776/- with interest. The appellant filed
an appeal in the High Court. The High Court granted
compensation under the head ‘loss of love and

affection’ at the rate of Rs.50,000/- to each seven
claimants and Rs.40,000/- each to seven claimants
under the head ‘loss of consortium’. Aggrieved by
the judgment of the Delhi High Court, Insurance
Company is in appeal.
Civil Appeal No…………………/2020 (arising out of
SLP(C)No.5441 of 2020), Cholamandalam Ms General
Insurance Company Limited Versus Umarani and Others
9. The deceased Krishnasamy met with a vehicular
accident on 07.09.2014 who subsequently died. Claim
petition was filed by the respondents which has
been allowed by Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation
Tribunal granting compensation of Rs.13,60,000/-.
Appeal was filed by the Insurance Company. The
award under the head ‘loss of consortium’, an
amount of Rs.One Lakh and award under the head
‘loss of love and affection’ an amount of Rs. Three
Lakhs was confirmed by the High Court, which is
challenged by Insurance Company in this appeal.
Civil Appeal No………………/2020(arising out of
SLP(C)No.6381 of 2020),New India Assurance Company
Limited Versus Smt. Pinki and Others
10. One Dinesh Kumar met with a motor vehicle

accident on 11.06.2014 and died. Claim Petition
filed by the respondents was allowed by the Motor
Accident Claims Tribunal granting an amount of
Rs.13,01,776/-. Claimants filed an appeal before
the High Court which enhanced the compensation. The
High Court granted compensation under the head
‘loss of love and affection’ Rs.50,000/- each to
four claimants and under the head ‘loss of
consortium’ at the rate of Rs.40,000/- each to four
claimants. Aggrieved by the judgment of the High
Court, Insurance Company is in this appeal.
Civil Appeal No………………/2020(arising out of
SLP(C)No.7556 of 2020), New India Assurance Company
Limited Versus Nanak Chand and Others
11. Gaurav died in a motor vehicle accident on
23.09.2010. Claim petition was filed by the parents
of the deceased, which was allowed granting
compensation of Rs.4,83,348/-. Claimants filed an
appeal in the High Court which was allowed. The
High Court granted compensation of Rs.50,000/- each
to both the claimants under the head ‘loss of love
and affection’ and Rs.40,000/- each to both the

claimants under the head ‘loss of consortium’.
Aggrieved by the judgment of the High Court, this
appeal has been filed.
Civil Appeal No………………/2020(arising out of
SLP(C)No.8250 of 2020),The Oriental Insurance
Company Limited Versus Smt. Rinku Devi and Others
12. Birbal Kumar met with an accident on
27.07.2008 resulting in his death. Claim petition
filed by the respondents claiming Rs.Twenty lakhs
was allowed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal
granting compensation of Rs.5,80,000/-. Insurance
company filed an appeal. The Tribunal has awarded
filial consortium at the rate of Rs.40,000/- to
each of the claimants, i.e., wife, two children and
father totaling Rs.1,60,000/-. The High Court in
the appeal filed by the Insurance Company further
enhanced the compensation under the head ‘loss of
love and affection’ at the rate of Rs.50,000/- to
each of four claimants, i.e., enhancing total
amount by Rs. Two Lakhs. Insurance Company
aggrieved by the judgment of the High Court has
come up with this appeal.

13. We have heard learned counsel for the
appellant as well as learned counsel for the
claimants.
14. In all the appeals, only issue to be
considered is with regard to award of compensation
to the claimant under two heads, i.e., (a)loss of
consortium and (b) loss of love and affection. With
regard to ‘consortium’, the question is as to
whether it is only the wife who is entitled for
consortium or the consortium can be awarded to
children and parents also.
15. Learned counsel for the appellants contends
that the Constitution Bench of this Court in
National Insurance Company Ltd. Versus Pranay Sethi
and Others, (2017) 16 SCC 680, has laid down that
there are only three conventional heads namely
(i)‘loss of estate’, (ii)‘loss of consortium’ and
(iii)‘funeral expenses’, for which the amount
determined by the Constitution Bench is
Rs.15,000/-, Rs.40,000/- and Rs.15,000/-
respectively. Thus, the total amount under

conventional head was Rs.70,000/- and the amount
under conventional heads could not exceed
Rs.70,000/-.
16. It is submitted that the amount granted under
the head ‘loss of love and affection’ is wholly
without jurisdiction and further amount granted
under the head ‘consortium’ could not be more than
Rs.40,000/- and the amount of ‘consortium’ is only
payable to wife who is entitled to Rs.40,000/- and
the Tribunals and the High Courts committed error
in awarding amount of consortium to each of the
claimant, i.e., wife, children and parents.
17. It is submitted that even after the
Constitution Bench Judgment, this Court has allowed
amounts under conventional heads as ‘loss of state’
Rs.15,000/-, ‘consortium’ Rs.40,000/- and ‘funeral
expenses’ Rs.15,000/-. It is submitted that after
the judgment of Pranay Sethi, this Court had
confined the payment under conventional heads as
per judgment of Pranay Sethi, the impugned judgment
of the High Court awarding compensation under the

head ‘loss of love and affection’ as well as
‘consortium’ to each of the claimant is contrary to
the law laid down by this Court and has to be set
aside.
18. An additional submission has been made by
learned counsel appearing for the appellant in The
Oriental Insurance Company ltd. Versus Smt. Rinku
Devi and others. Learned counsel submits that
although MACT has erred in allowing consortium to
four claimants at the rate of Rs.40,000/- but the
High Court in the appeal filed by the Insurance
Company further enhanced the compensation under the
head ‘loss of love and affection’. The compensation
could not have been enhanced on the appeal filed by
the insurance company when the claimants have not
filed an appeal. Learned counsel further submits
that the High Court further committed an error in
directing the statutory amount deposited by the
appellant along with the appeal to be deposited in
AASRA fund opened in Delhi High Court which ought
not to have been directed since the appellant has
raised substantial questions of law and the appeal

deserves to be allowed.
19. Learned counsel appearing for the claimants
refuting the submissions of counsel for the
appellant contends that the award to each of the
claimants at the rate of Rs.40,000/- under the head
‘consortium’ is in accordance with law laid down by
this Court. It is submitted that the award of
compensation under the head ‘consortium’ cannot be
given a narrow interpretation. The amount under the
head ‘consortium’ has rightly been given not only
to wife but children and parents. Learned counsel
for the claimant has supported the judgments of the
High Court.
20. Learned counsel for the parties have also
placed reliance on various judgments of this Court,
which shall be referred to while considering the
submissions in detail.
21. We have considered the submission of the
learned counsel for the parties and have perused
the record.

22. The expression ‘compensation’ is a
comprehensive term which includes a claim for the
damages. Compensation is by way of atonement for
the injury caused.
23. The claimant in a claim for award of
compensation under Section 166 of Motor Vehicles
Act, 1988, is entitled for just compensation. The
just compensation has to be equitable and fair. The
loss of life and limb can never be compensated in
an equal measure but the statutory provisions under
Motor Vehicles Act is a social piece of legislation
which has been enacted with intent and object to
facilitate the claimants to get redress for the
loss of the member of family, compensate the loss
in some measure and to compensate the claimant to a
reasonable extent.
24. We may refer to the judgment of this Court in
General Manager Kerala State Road Transport
Corporation, Trivandrum Versus Susamma Thomas(Mrs)
and others, (1994) 2 SCC 176. This court
considering the concept of compensation under Motor

Vehicle Act, 1939, laid down following in paragraph
5:-
"5....The determination of the quantum
must answer what contemporary society
“would deem to be a fair sum such as would
allow the wrongdoer to hold up his head
among his among his neighbours and say
with their approval that he has done the
fair thing”. The amount awarded must not
be niggardly since the “law values life
and limb in a free society in generous
scales”. All this means that the sum
awarded must be fair and reasonable by
accepted legal standards.”
25. In the above case also, this Court awarded the
amount under the conventional head of ‘loss of
consortium’.
26. Another judgment which needs to be noted is
the judgment of this Court in Sarla Verma (Smt) and
Others Versus Delhi Transport Corporation and
Another, (2009) 6 SCC 121, in which judgment in
paragraph 16, this Court while elaborating the
“just compensation” laid down following: -
"5....”Just compensation is adequate
compensation which is fair and equitable,
on the facts and circumstances of the
case, to make good the loss suffered as a
result of the wrong, as far as money can
do so, by applying the well-settled
principles relating to award of
compensation. It is not intended to be a
bonanza, largesse or source of profit.”
27. This court also awarded an amount under the
head ‘loss of consortium’ to the wife.
28. We need to notice the Constitution Bench
judgment in National Insurance Company Ltd.(supra)
which case notices the earlier judgments of this
Court where compensation was awarded towards loss
of consortium. In paragraph 46, the following was
laid down: -
"46. Another aspect which has created
confusion pertains to grant of loss of
estate, loss of consortium and funeral
expenses. In Santosh Devi, the two-Judge
Bench followed the traditional method and
granted Rs.5000/- for transportation of
the body, Rs.10,000/- as funeral expenses
and Rs.10,000/- as regards the loss of
consortium. In Sarla Verma, the Court
granted Rs.5000/- under the head of loss
of estate, Rs.5000/- towards funeral
expenses and Rs.10,000/- towards loss of
consortium. In Rajesh (2013) 9 SCC 54, the
Court granted Rs.1,00,000/- towards loss
of consortium and Rs.25,000/- towards
funeral expenses. It also granted
Rs.1,00,000/- towards loss of care and
guidance for minor children. The Court
enhanced the same on the principle that a
formula framed to achieve uniformity and
consistency on a socio-economic issue has
to be contrasted from a legal principle
and ought to be periodically revisited as

has been held in Santosh Devi (2012) 6 SCC
421. On the principle of revisit, it fixed
different amount on conventional heads.
What weighed with the Court is factum of
inflation and the price index. It has also
been moved by the concept of loss of
consortium. We are inclined to think so,
for what it states in that regard. We
quote: (Rajesh case):-
“17...In legal parlance,
“consortium” is the right of the
spouse to the company, care, help,
comfort, guidance, society,
solace, affection and sexual
relations with his or her mate.
That non-pecuniary head of damages
has not been properly understood
by our courts. The loss of
companionship, love, care and
protection, etc., the spouse is
entitled to get, has to be
compensated appropriately. The
concept of non-pecuniary damage
for loss of consortium is one of
the major heads of award of
compensation in other parts of the
world more particularly in the
United States of America,
Australia, etc. English courts
have also recognised the right of
a spouse to get compensation even
during the period of temporary
disablement. By loss of
consortium, the courts have made
an attempt to compensate the loss
of spouse's affection, comfort,
solace, companionship, society,
assistance, protection, care and
sexual relations during the future
years. Unlike the compensation
awarded in other countries and
other jurisdictions, since the
legal heirs are otherwise

adequately compensated for the
pecuniary loss, it would not be
proper to award a major amount
under this head. Hence, we are of
the view that it would only be
just and reasonable that the
courts award at least rupees one
lakh for loss of consortium.””
29. In paragraph 52, the Constitution Bench opined
that reasonable figures on conventional head namely
‘loss of estate’, ‘loss of consortium’ and ‘funeral
expenses’ should be Rs.15,000/-, Rs.40,000/- and
Rs.15,000/- respectively. In paragraph 52,
following has been laid down: -
“52. As far as the conventional heads
are concerned, we find it difficult to
agree with the view expressed in Rajesh.
It has granted Rs. 25,000/- towards
funeral expenses, Rs. 1,00,000/- loss of
consortium and Rs. 1,00,000/- towards loss
of care and guidance for minor children.
The head relating to loss of care and
minor children does not exist. Though
Rajesh refers to Santosh Devi, it does not
seem to follow the same. The conventional
and traditional heads, needless to say,
cannot be determined on percentage basis
because that would not be an acceptable
criterion. Unlike determination of income,
the said heads have to be quantified. Any
quantification must have a reasonable
foundation. There can be no dispute over
the fact that price index, fall in bank
interest, escalation of rates in many a
field have to be noticed. The court cannot
remain oblivious to the same. There has

been a thumb rule in this aspect.
Otherwise, there will be extreme
difficulty in determination of the same
and unless the thumb rule is applied,
there will be immense variation lacking
any kind of consistency as a consequence
of which, the orders passed by the
tribunals and courts are likely to be
unguided. Therefore, we think it seemly to
fix reasonable sums. It seems to us that
reasonable figures on conventional heads,
namely, loss of estate, loss of consortium
and funeral expenses should be Rs.
15,000/-, Rs. 40,000/- and Rs. 15,000/-
respectively. The principle of revisiting
the said heads is an acceptable principle.
But the revisit should not be fact-centric
or quantum-centric. We think that it would
be condign that the amount that we have
quantified should be enhanced on
percentage basis in every three years and
the enhancement should be at the rate of
10% in a span of three years. We are
disposed to hold so because that will
bring in consistency in respect of those
heads.”
30. In paragraph 59.8, the Court further held that
the amount of conventional head should be enhanced
at the rate of 10% every three year. In paragraph
59.8, following was held:-
"59.8. Reasonable figures on conventional
heads, namely, loss of estate, loss of
consortium and funeral expenses should be
Rs. 15,000/-, Rs. 40,000/- and Rs.
15,000/- respectively. The aforesaid
amounts should be enhanced at the rate of
10% in every three years. ”

31. The next judgment which needs to be noted is
Magma General Insurance Company Limited versus Nanu
Ram alias Chuhru Ram and others, (2018) 18 SCC 130,
the concept of consortium was explained in
paragraphs 21,22 and 23 which are as follows: -
"21. A Constitution Bench of this Court
in Pranay Sethi (supra) dealt with the
various heads under which compensation is
to be awarded in a death case. One of
these heads is Loss of Consortium. In
legal parlance, “consortium” is a
compendious term which encompasses
‘spousal consortium’, ‘parental
consortium’,and ‘filial consortium’. The
right to consortium would include the
company, care, help, comfort, guidance,
solace and affection of the deceased,
which is a loss to his family. With
respect to a spouse, it would include
sexual relations with the deceased spouse.
21.1. Spousal consortium is generally
defined as rights pertaining to the
relationship of a husband-wife which
allows compensation to the surviving
spouse for loss of “company, society,
cooperation, affection, and aid of the
other in every conjugal relation.”
21.2. Parental consortium is granted to
the child upon the premature death of a
parent, for loss of “parental aid,
protection, affection, society,
discipline, guidance and training.”
21.3. Filial consortium is the right of
the parents to compensation in the case of

an accidental death of a child. An
accident leading to the death of a child
causes great shock and agony to the
parents and family of the deceased. The
greatest agony for a parent is to lose
their child during their lifetime.
Children are valued for their love,
affection, companionship and their role in
the family unit.
22. Consortium is a special prism
reflecting changing norms about the
status and worth of actual
relationships. Modern jurisdictions
world over have recognized that the
value of a child’s consortium far exceeds
the economic value of the
compensation awarded in the case
of the death of a child. Most
jurisdictions therefore permit parents to
be awarded compensation under loss of
consortium on the death of a child.
The amount awarded to the
parents is a compensation for loss of
the love, affection, care and
companionship of the deceased child.
23. The Motor Vehicles Act is a beneficial
legislation aimed at providing
relief to the victims or their
families, in cases of genuine claims. In
case where a parent has lost their minor
child, or unmarried son or daughter, the
parents are entitled to be awarded loss of
consortium under the head of Filial
Consortium. Parental Consortium is awarded
to children who lose their parents in
motor vehicle accidents under the Act. A
few High Courts have awarded compensation
on this count. However, there was no
clarity with respect to the principles on
which compensation could be awarded on
loss of Filial Consortium.”

32. A two-Judge Bench in Magma General Insurance
Company Limited awarded the amount of Rs.40,000/-
to father and sister of the deceased. Paragraph 24
is as follows: -
“24. The amount of compensation to be
awarded as consortium will be
governed by the principles of
awarding compensation under ‘Loss of
Consortium’ as laid down in Pranay Sethi
(supra). In the present case, we deem it
appropriate to award the father and the
sister of the deceased, an amount of
Rs. 40,000 each for loss of
Filial Consortium.”
33. A three-Judge Bench in United India Insurance
Company Ltd. versus Satinder Kaur alias Satvinder
Kaur and others, (2020) SCC Online 410, had
reaffirmed the view of two-Judge Bench in Magma
General insurance Company Ltd. Three-Judge Bench
from paragraph 53 to 65, dealt with three
conventional heads. The entire discussion on three
conventional heads of three-Judge Bench is as
follows: -
"53. In Pranay Sethi (supra), the
Constitution Bench held that in death
cases, compensation would be awarded only
under three conventional heads viz. loss
of estate, loss of consortium and funeral
expenses.

54. The Court held that the conventional
and traditional heads, cannot be
determined on percentage basis, because
that would not be an acceptable criterion.
Unlike determination of income, the said
heads have to be quantified, which has to
be based on a reasonable foundation. It
was observed that factors such as price
index, fall in bank interest, escalation
of rates, are aspects which have to be
taken into consideration.
The Court held that reasonable figures on
conventional heads, namely, loss of
estate, loss of consortium and funeral
expenses should be Rs. 15,000/-, Rs.
40,000/- and Rs. 15,000/- respectively.
The Court was of the view that the amounts
to be awarded under these conventional
heads should be enhanced by 10% every
three years, which will bring consistency
in respect of these heads.
a) Loss of Estate – Rs. 15,000 to be
awarded
b) Loss of Consortium
55. Loss of Consortium, in legal parlance,
was historically given a narrow meaning to
be awarded only to the spouse i.e. the
right of the spouse to the company, care,
help, comfort, guidance, society, solace,
affection and sexual relations with his or
her mate. The loss of companionship, love,
care and protection, etc., the spouse is
entitled to get, has to be compensated
appropriately. The concept of nonpecuniary
damage for loss of consortium is one of
the major heads for awarding compensation
in various jurisdictions such as the
United States of America, Australia, etc.
English courts have recognised the right

of a spouse to get compensation even
during the period of temporary
disablement.
56. In Magma General Insurance Co. Ltd. v.
Nanu Ram & Ors., 12 this Court interpreted
“consortium” to be a compendious term,
which encompasses spousal consortium,
parental consortium, as well as filial
consortium. The right to consortium would
include the company, care, help, comfort,
guidance, solace and affection of the
deceased, which is a loss to his family.
With respect to a spouse, it would include
sexual relations with the deceased spouse.
57. Parental consortium is granted to the
child upon the premature death of a
parent, for loss of parental aid,
protection, affection, society,
discipline, guidance and training.
58. Filial consortium is the right of the
parents to compensation in the case of an
accidental death of a child. An accident
leading to the death of a child causes
great shock and agony to the parents and
family of the deceased. The greatest agony
for a parent is to lose their child during
their lifetime. Children are valued for
their love and affection, and their role
in the family unit.
59. Modern jurisdictions world-over have
recognized that the value of a child’s
consortium far exceeds the economic value
of the compensation awarded in the case of
the death of a child. Most jurisdictions
permit parents to be awarded compensation
under loss of consortium on the death of a
child. The amount awarded to the parents
is the compensation for loss of love and
affection, care and companionship of the
deceased child.

60. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is a
beneficial legislation which has been
framed with the object of providing relief
to the victims, or their families, in
cases of genuine claims. In case where a
parent has lost their minor child, or
unmarried son or daughter, the parents are
entitled to be awarded loss of consortium
under the head of Filial Consortium.
61. Parental Consortium is awarded to the
children who lose the care and protection
of their parents in motor vehicle
accidents.
62. The amount to be awarded for loss
consortium will be as per the amount fixed
in Pranay Sethi (supra).
63. At this stage, we consider it
necessary to provide uniformity with
respect to the grant of consortium, and
loss of love and affection. Several
Tribunals and High Courts have been
awarding compensation for both loss of
consortium and loss of love and affection.
The Constitution Bench in Pranay Sethi
(supra), has recognized only three
conventional heads under which
compensation can be awarded viz. loss of
estate, loss of consortium and funeral
expenses.
64. In Magma General (supra), this Court
gave a comprehensive interpretation to
consortium to include spousal consortium,
parental consortium, as well as filial
consortium. Loss of love and affection is
comprehended in loss of consortium.
65. The Tribunals and High Courts are
directed to award compensation for loss of
consortium, which is a legitimate

conventional head. There is no
justification to award compensation
towards loss of love and affection as a
separate head.
c) Funeral Expenses – Rs. 15,000 to be
awarded”
34. The Three-Judge Bench in the above case
approved the comprehensive interpretation given to
the expression ‘consortium’ to include spousal
consortium, parental consortium as well as filial
consortium. Three-Judge Bench however further laid
down that ‘loss of love and affection’ is
comprehended in ‘loss of consortium’, hence, there
is no justification to award compensation towards
‘loss of love and affection’ as a separate head.
35. The Constitution Bench in Pranay Sethi has
also not under conventional head included any
compensation towards ‘loss of love and affection’
which have been now further reiterated by three-
Judge Bench in United India Insurance Company Ltd.
(supra). It is thus now authoritatively well
settled that no compensation can be awarded under
the head ‘loss of love and affection’.

36. The word ‘consortium’ has been defined in
Black’s law Dictionary, 10th edition. The Black’s
law dictionary also simultaneously notices the
filial consortium, parental consortium and spousal
consortium in following manner:-
"Consortium 1. The benefits that one
person, esp. A spouse, is entitled to
receive from another, including
companionship, cooperation, affection,
aid, financial support, and (between
spouses) sexual relations a claim for loss
of consortium.
 Filial consortium A child's society,
affection, and companionship given
to a parent.
 Parental consortium A parent's
society, affection and companionship
given to a child.
 Spousal consortium A spouse's
society, affection and companionship
given to the other spouse.”
37. The Magma General Insurance Company Ltd.
(Supra) as well as United India Insurance Company
ltd.(Supra), Three-Judge Bench laid down that the
consortium is not limited to spousal consortium and
it also includes parental consortium as well as
filial consortium. In paragraph 87 of United India
Insurance Company Ltd. (supra), ‘consortium’ to all
the three claimants was thus awarded. Paragraph 87
is quoted below:-
"87. Insofar as the conventional heads are
concerned, the deceased Satpal Singh left
behind a widow and three children as his
dependants. On the basis of the judgments
in Pranay Sethi (supra) and Magma General
(supra), the following amounts are awarded
under the conventional heads:-
i) Loss of Estate: Rs. 15,000
ii) Loss of Consortium:
a) Spousal Consortium: Rs.
40,000
b) Parental Consortium: 40,000
x 3 = Rs. 1,20,000
iii) Funeral Expenses: Rs. 15,000”
38. Learned counsel for the appellant has
submitted that Pranay Sethi has only referred to
spousal consortium and no other consortium was
referred to in the judgment of Pranay Sethi, hence,
there is no justification for allowing the parental
consortium and filial consortium. The Constitution
Bench in Pranay Sethi has referred to amount of
Rs.40,000/- to the ‘loss of consortium’ but the
Constitution Bench had not addressed the issue as
to whether consortium of Rs.40,000/- is only
payable as spousal consortium. The judgment of

Pranay Sethi cannot be read to mean that it lays
down the proposition that the consortium is payable
only to the wife.
39. The Three-Judge Bench in United India
Insurance Company Ltd. (Supra) has categorically
laid down that apart from spousal consortium,
parental and filial consortium is payable. We feel
ourselves bound by the above judgment of Three
Judge Bench. We, thus, cannot accept the submission
of the learned counsel for the appellant that the
amount of consortium awarded to each of the
claimants is not sustainable.
40. We, thus, found the impugned judgments of the
High Court awarding consortium to each of the
claimants in accordance with law which does not
warrant any interference in this appeal. We,
however, accept the submissions of learned counsel
for the appellant that there is no justification
for award of compensation under separate head ‘loss
of love and affection’. The appeal filed by the
appellant deserves to be allowed insofar as the

award of compensation under the head ‘loss of love
and affection’.
41. We may also notice Three-Judge Bench judgment
of this Court relied by learned counsel for the
appellant i.e. Sangita Arya and others versus
Oriental Insurance Company ltd. and others, (2020)
SCC Online 513. Counsel for the appellant submits
that this Court has granted only Rs.40,000/-
towards ‘loss of consortium’ which is an indication
that ‘consortium’ cannot be granted to children. In
the above case, Motor Accident Claims Tribunal has
awarded Rs.20,000/- to the widow towards loss of
consortium and Rs.10,000/- to the minor daughter
towards ‘loss of love and affection’. The High
Court has reduced the amount of consortium from
Rs.20,000/- to Rs.10,000/-. Paragraph 16 of the
judgment is to the following effect: -
"16. The consortium payable to the widow
was reduced by the High Court from Rs.
20,000 (as awarded by the MACT) to
Rs.10,000; the amount awarded
towards loss of love and affection
to the minor daughters was
reduced from Rs.10,000 to Rs.
5,000. However, the amount of
Rs. 5,000 awarded by the MACT
towards funeral expenses was
maintained.”
42. This Court in the above case confined its
consideration towards the income of the deceased
and there was neither any claim nor any
consideration that the consortium should have been
paid to other legal heirs also. There being no
claim for payment of consortium to other legal
heirs, this Court awarded Rs.40,000/- towards
consortium. No such ratio can be deciphered from
the above judgment that this Court held that
consortium is only payable as a spousal consortium
and consortium is not payable to children and
parents.
43. It is relevant to notice the judgment of this
Court in United India Insurance Ltd. which was
delivered shortly after the above Three-Judge Bench
judgment of Sangeeta Arya specifically laid down
that both spousal and parental consortium are
payable which judgment we have already noticed
above.

44. We may also notice one more Three-Judge Bench
judgment of this Court in Civil Appeal No.2885 of
2020, M.H.Uma Maheshwari and others versus United
India Insurance Company Ltd. decided on 12.06.2020.
In the above case, the Tribunal had granted the
amount of Rs.One Lakh towards loss of consortium to
the wife and Rs.Three Lakhs for all the appellants
towards loss of love and affection. The High Court
in the above case had reduced the amount of
compensation in the appeal filed by the Insurance
Company. The High Court held that by awarding the
amount of Rs.One Lakh towards loss of consortium to
the wife, Tribunal had committed error while
awarding Rs.One Lakh to the first appellant towards
the head of ‘loss of love and affection’. Allowing
the appeal filed by the claimant, this Court
maintained the order of MACT.
45. In the above judgment although rendered by
Three-Judge Bench, there was no challenge to award
of compensation of Rs.One Lakh towards the
consortium and Rs.Three Lakhs towards the loss of
love and affection. The appeal was filed only by
the claimants and not by the Insurance Company. The
Court did not pronounce on the correctness of the
amount awarded under the head ‘loss of love and
affection’.
46. We may also notice the additional submission
advanced in Civil Appeal No….../2020 (arising out
of SLP(C)No.8250 of 2020), Oriental Insurance
Company Ltd. versus Smt.Rinku Devi & Ors. As noted
above, we have taken the view that the order of the
High Court awarding compensation towards ‘loss of
love and affection’ at the rate of Rs.50,000/- to
each of the claimants is unjustified which is
being set aside in this appeal. We, further, in the
above appeal also set aside the directions of the
High Court in paragraph 9 by which statutory amount
along with interest accrued thereon was directed to
be deposited in AASRA fund.
47. In result, all the appeals are partly allowed.
The award of compensation under the conventional
head ‘loss of love and affection’ is set aside. The
Motor Accident Claims Tribunals shall recompute the
amount payable and take further steps in accordance
with law.
48. All the appeals are partly allowed
accordingly. No costs.
.....................J.
( ASHOK BHUSHAN )
......................J.
( R. SUBHASH REDDY )
NEW DELHI,
SEPTEMBER 07, 2020.

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