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[MACT] SC holds Income of housewife was rightly assessed at Rs. 5000/- per month: Also finds her entitled to Future Prospects at 40%

The SC on June 18, 2020 {RAJENDRA SINGH vs NATIONAL INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED AND OTHERS} held that it is not possible to quantify any amount in lieu of the services rendered by the wife/mother to the family i.e. the husband and children. It was held, however, for the   purpose   of   award   of   compensation   to   the dependants,   some   pecuniary   estimate   has   to   be made of the services of the housewife/mother. It was held that in that context, the term “services” is required to be given a broad meaning and must be construed by taking into account the loss of personal care and attention given by the deceased to her children as a mother and to her husband as a wife. It was held that they are entitled to adequate compensation in lieu of the loss   of   gratuitous   services   rendered   by   the deceased.

It was further held by the Bench, comprising of Justice Navin Sinha and Justice B.R. Gavaithat the fact that the horse cart may have been in middle of the road at the time of the accident, no fault can be attributed to the deceased   holding   them   liable   to   contributory   negligence   and denial   of   full   compensation.   The Court held that  how   the deceased who were passengers in the horse cart can be held liable in any manner. It was held that the deduction of 50% towards contributory negligence in both the appeals is therefore totally unjustified   and   unsustainable. The findings with regard to contributory negligence against both the deceased were therefore set aside by the SC.  

In the present case, the appellants had claimed further enhancement of compensation before the SC from the one that was awarded by Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.

The SC held that MACT rightly assessed   the   notional income of the housewife at Rs.5,000/­ per month. It was held that the compensation on that basis with a deduction of 1/4th i.e. Rs. 15,000/­ towards personal   expenses   with   a   multiplier   of   17   is   assessed   at Rs. 7,65,000/­. It was held that if  the   deceased   had   survived her skills as a matured and skilled housewife in contributing to the welfare and care of the family and in the upbringing of the children would have only been enhanced by time and for which reason the Court held that the appellants shall be entitled to future prospects at the rate of 40% in addition to the loss of consortium and future expenses already granted. The SC therefore assessed the total compensation payable to the appellants in the first appeal qua deceased housewife at Rs. 11,96,000/­.

It was held that the second deceased was a school going child aged about 12 years. It was also held that the income of the minor girl child is incapable of precise fixation. The SC, however, held that the   entirety   of   the   facts   and circumstances of the case does not persuade it to enhance the same any further from Rs. 2,95,000/­ by granting any further compensation under the separate head of “future prospects” to second deceased who was school going child of 12 years at the time of death.

The Civil Appeal was allowed in above terms by the SC.

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