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Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – ss.163A and 166 r/w 168; Second Schedule – Bus carrying school children met with accident and fell into river from bridge – Death of 29 children – Most of them were in the age group of 10 to 18 years – Claim for compensation by parents of deceased children – Courts below awarded pecuniary compensation, on basis of Second Schedule and relevant multiplier under the Act, which in majority of the cases ranged from Rs.1,55,000/- to Rs.1,65,000/- – Though Tribunal did not award any non-pecuniary compensation, the High Court awarded non-pecuniary damages of Rs.75,000/- – On appeal, held: Pecuniary damages seeks to compensate losses which can be translated into money terms like loss of earnings, actual and prospective earning and other out of pocket expenses – On facts, no reason to differ with Courts below in respect of award of pecuniary compensation – As regards non-pecuniary damages, the same include immeasurable elements such as pain, suffering, loss of amenity and enjoyment of life and on facts, High Court rightly enhanced compensation in this category by Rs.75,000/- – However, compensation must also be granted with regard to future prospects of the children, which aspect was overlooked by both the Courts below – The records showed that the children were good in studies and studying in a reasonably good school and naturally, their future prospect was presumably good and bright and hence, it would be appropriate to grant further amount of Rs.75,000/- (which is roughly half the pecuniary compensation) as compensation for future prospects of the children. A bus carrying school children met with accident and fell into the Yamuna river from the bridge. Consequent to the accident, 29 children died. The parents of the deceased children i.e. the appellants filed claim petitions on account of fault liability and sought for payment of compensation under section 163A r/w Second Schedule of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal held that the accident took place due to negligence of the driver (respondent no.1) and, therefore, he alongwith the owner and the insurer (respondent nos.2 and 3) were jointly and severally liable to pay compensation and thereafter awarded a sum of Rs.1,55,000/- in case of children between age group of 10 to 15 years and Rs.1,65,000/- in case of children between 15 to 18 years. In case of children aged less than 10 years, Rs.1,05,000/- was awarded in one case and in two other cases Rs.1,30,000/- and Rs.1,31,000/- respectively was awarded. Additional Rs.1,000/- was awarded in case of the third child aged less than 10 years, as in some other cases, for loss of books. The compensation figure included Rs. 5,000/- each towards funeral and last rites. As per the Second Schedule of the Act, the balance amount was awarded for loss of dependency that was calculated on notional income of Rs. 15,000/- per annum of which Rs. 5,000/- was deducted towards personal living expenses. The Tribunal applied multiplier of 15 for children below 15 years and multiplier of 16 for children between 16 and 18 years respectively. It awarded interest @ 6% for four years. On appeal, the High Court, by the impugned judgment, held that the appellants were entitled to enhancement of compensation in all the cases by Rs.75,000/- and Rs.1000/- (if not already awarded by the Tribunal) and interest @ 7.5% p.a. from the date of filing of the claim petition till payment. =Disposing of the appeals, the Court HELD: 1.1. Compensation in law is paid to restore the person, who has suffered damage or loss in the same position, if the tortuous act or the breach of contract had not been committed. The law requires that the party suffering should be put in the same position, if the contract had been performed or the wrong had not been committed. The law in all such matters requires payment of adequate, reasonable and just monetary compensation. [Para 10] [99-F-G] 1.2. In cases of motor accidents the endeavour is to put the dependents/claimants in the pre-accidental position. Compensation in cases of motor accidents, as in other matters, is paid for reparation of damages. The damages so awarded should be adequate sum of money that would put the party, who has suffered, in the same position if he had not suffered on account of the wrong. Compensation is therefore required to be paid for prospective pecuniary loss i.e. future loss of income/dependency suffered on account of the wrongful act. [Para 11] [99-H; 100-A-B] 1.3. However, no amount of compensation can restore the lost limb or the experience of pain and suffering due to loss of life. Loss of a child, life or a limb can never be eliminated or ameliorated completely. Pecuniary damages cannot replace a human life or limb lost. Therefore, in addition to the pecuniary losses, the law recognises that payment should also be made for non pecuniary losses on account of, loss of happiness, pain, suffering and expectancy of life etc. The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 provides for payment of “just compensation” vide section 166 and 168. It is left to the courts to decide what would be “just compensation” in facts of a case. [Para 12] [100-B-D] 1.4. For calculating pecuniary loss or loss of dependency, it is the multiplier method which should be applied. The said method is based upon the principle that the claimant must be paid a capital sum, which would yield sufficient interest to provide material benefits of the same standard and duration as the deceased would have provided for the dependents, if the deceased had lived and earned. The multiplier method is based upon the assessment that yearly loss of dependency should be equal to interest that could be earned in normal course on the capital sum invested. The capital sum would be the compensation for loss of dependency or the pecuniary loss suffered by the dependents. Uniform application of the multiplier method ensures consistency and certainty and prevents different amounts being awarded in different cases. [Para 13] [100-D-G] 1.5. For calculating the yearly loss of dependency the starting point is the wages being earned by the deceased, less his personal and living expenses. This provides a basic figure. Thereafter, effect is given to the future prospects of the deceased, inflation and general price rise that erodes value and the purchasing power of money. To the multiplicand so calculated, multiplier is to be applied. The multiplier is decided and determined on the basis of length of dependency, which must be estimated. This has to be necessarily discounted for contingencies and uncertainties. [Para 14] [100-H; 101-A-B] Sarla Dixit v. Balwant Yadav (1996) 3 SCC 179; Managing Director TNSTC Ltd. v. K. T. Bindu (2005) 8 SCC 473; T. N. State Transport Corp. Ltd. v. S. Rajapriya (2005) 6 SCC 236; New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Charlie (2005) 10 SCC 720 and United India Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Patrica Jean Mahajan (2002) 6 SCC 281 – relied on. 2.1. The real problem that arises in the cases of death of children is that they are not earning at the time of the accident. In most of the cases they were still studying and not working. However, under no stretch of imagination it can be said that the parents, who are appellants have not suffered any pecuniary loss. In fact, loss of dependency by its very nature is awarded for prospective or future loss. [Para 15] [101-D-E] 2.2. Under the Second Schedule of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, in case of a non-earning person, his income is notionally estimated at Rs.15,000/- per annum. The Second Schedule is applicable to claim petitions filed under Section 163A of the Act. The Second Schedule provides for the multiplier to be applied in cases where the age of the victim was less than 15 years and between 15 years but not exceeding 20 years. Even when compensation is payable under Section 166 read with 168 of the Act, deviation from the structured formula as provided in the Second Schedule is not ordinarily permissible, except in exceptional cases. [Para 16] [101-H; 102-A-B] Abati Bezbaruah v. Dy. Director General, Geological Survey of India (2003) 3 SCC 148; United India Insurance Company Ltd. v. Patricia Jean Mahajan (2002) 6 SCC 281 and UP State Road Transport Corp. v. Trilok Chandra (1996) 4 SCC 362, relied on. Taff Vale Rly. Co. v. Jenkins (1911-13) All England Reporter 160, referred to. 3. In factual position of the present case, the date of accident is 18.11.1997. Prior to this, the Second Schedule of the Act was already introduced w. e. f. 14.11.1994. Thus, the notional income mentioned in the Second Schedule and the multiplier specified therein can form the basis for the pecuniary compensation for the loss of dependency in the present cases. No fact and reason was highlighted during the arguments why the Second Schedule should not apply in the present cases. The Second Schedule also provides for deduction of 1/3rd consideration towards expenses; which the victim would have incurred on himself if he had lived. As compensation for loss of dependency is to be calculated on the basis of notional income because the deceased was a child. It by necessary implication takes into account future prospects, inflation, price rise etc. Therefore keeping in view of Second Schedule of the Act, this Court do not see any reason to differ with the view taken by the Tribunal as well as the High Court in so far as award of pecuniary compensation to the dependents/claimants is concerned. [Paras 17 and 18] [102-D-G] 4.1. As regards non-pecuniary compensation, it is extremely difficult to quantify the same as it is to a great extent based upon the sentiments and emotions. But, the same could not be a ground for non-payment of any amount whatsoever by stating that it is difficult to quantify and pinpoint the exact amount payable with mathematical accuracy. Human life cannot be measured only in terms of loss of earning or monetary losses alone. There are emotional attachments involved and loss of a child can have a devastating effect on the family which can be easily visualized and understood. Perhaps, the only mechanism known to law in this kind of situation is to compensate a person who has suffered non-pecuniary loss or damage as a consequence of the wrong done to him by way of damages/monetary compensation. When a victim of a wrong suffers injuries he is entitled to compensation including compensation for the prospective life, pain and suffering, happiness etc., which is sometimes described as compensation paid for “loss of expectation of life”. This head of compensation need not be restricted to a case where the injured person himself initiates action but is equally admissible if his dependant brings about the action. [Para 24] [105-G-H; 106-A-D] 4.2. The injury inflicted by deprivation of the life of a child is extremely difficult to quantify. In view of the uncertainties and contingencies of human life, what would be an appropriate figure, an adequate solatium is difficult to specify. The courts have therefore used the expression “standard compensation” and “conventional amount/sum” to get over the difficulty that arises in quantifying a figure as the same ensures consistency and uniformity in awarding compensations. [Para 25] [106-E-F] 4.3. While quantifying and arriving at a figure for “loss of expectation of life”, the Court have to keep in mind that this figure is not to be calculated for the prospective loss or further pecuniary benefits that has been awarded under another head i.e. pecuniary loss. The compensation payable under this head is for loss of life and not loss of future pecuniary prospects. Under this head, compensation is paid for termination of life, which results in constant pain and suffering. This pain and suffering does not depend upon the financial position of the victim or the claimant but rather on the capacity and the ability of the deceased to provide happiness to the claimant. This compensation is paid for loss of prospective happiness which the claimant/victim would have enjoyed had the child not died at the tender age. [Para 26] [106-G-H; 107-A-B] R. D. Hattangadi v. Pest Control (India) (P) Ltd. (1995)1 SCC 551 and Common Cause, A Registered Society v. Union of India (1999) 6 SCC 667, relied on. Ward v. James (1965) I All E R 563, referred to. Halsbury’s Laws of England 4th Edition, Vol. 12, page 446, referred to. 5.1. In addition to awarding compensation for pecuniary losses, compensation must also be granted with regard to the future prospects of the children. It is incumbent upon the Courts to consider the said aspect while awarding compensation. [Para 31] [108-G-H; 109-A] 5.2. In the present case, the claim with regard to future prospect should have been addressed by the courts below. While considering such claims, child’s performance in school, the reputation of the school etc. might be taken into consideration. In the present case, records shows that the children were good in studies and studying in a reasonably good school. Naturally, their future prospect would be presumed to be good and bright. Since they were children, there is no yardstick to measure the loss of future prospects of these children. But they were performing well in studies, natural consequence supposed to be a bright future. Therefore, denying compensation towards future prospects seems to be unjustified. Keeping this in background, facts and circumstances of the present case, it would be appropriate to grant compensation of Rs. 75,000/- (which is roughly half of the amount given on account of pecuniary damages) as compensation for the future prospects of the children, to be paid to each claimant within one month of the date of this decision. This amount i.e. Rs. 75,000/- is over and above what has been awarded by the High Court. [Para 32] [109-B-G] General Manager, Kerala S.R.T.C. v. Susamma Thomas (1994) 2 SCC 176; Sarla Dixit v. Balwant Yadav (1996) 3 SCC 179; Lata Wadhwa v. State of Bihar (2001) 8 SCC 197; M.S.Grewal v. Deep Chand Sood (2001) 8 SCC 151 and State of Haryana v. Jasbir Kaur, (2003) 7 SCC 484, relied on. 6. Pecuniary damages seeks to compensate those losses which can be translated into money terms like loss of earnings, actual and prospective earning and other out of pocket expenses. In contrast, non-pecuniary damages include such immeasurable elements as pain and suffering and loss of amenity and enjoyment of life. In this context, it becomes duty of the court to award just compensation for non-pecuniary loss. It is difficult to quantify the non-pecuniary compensation, nevertheless, the endeavour of the Court must be to provide a just, fair and reasonable amount as compensation keeping in view all relevant facts and circumstances into consideration. The High Court in present case rightly enhanced the compensation in this category by Rs. 75,000/-. [Para 34] [110-H; 111-A-E] 7. With respect to the interest, the Tribunal had directed for payment of interest for only four years at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of filing of the claim petition till the award and in case payment was not made within 30 days then further interest at the rate of 6% from the date of award till payment. In appeal, the High Court awarded 7+ % per annum from the date of filing of the petition till payment. The interest awarded by the High Court is just and proper, so the same need not be disturbed. [Para 35] [111-F-G] Case Law Reference: (2001) 8 SCC 197 relied on Para 9 (1996) 3 SCC 179 relied on Para 14 (2005) 8 SCC 473 relied on Para 14 (2005) 6 SCC 236 relied on Para 14 (2005) 10 SCC 720 relied on Para 14 (2002) 6 SCC 281 relied on Para 14 (1911-13) All Eng.Reporter 160 referred to Para 15 (2003) 3 SCC 148 relied on Para 16 (2002) 6 SCC 281 relied on Para 16 (1996) 4 SCC 362 relied on Para 16 (1965) I All E R 563 referred to Para 21 (1995) 1 SCC 551 relied on Para 22 (1999) 6 SCC 667 relied on Para 23 (2001) 8 SCC 151 relied on Para 29 (1994) 2 SCC 176 relied on Para 31 (1996) 3 SCC 179 relied on Para 31 (2003) 7 SCC 484 relied on Para 33 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 3608 of 2009. From the Judgment & Order dated 17.5.2006 of the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi MACT Nos. 194, 195, 196, 167, 199, 200, 201-202, 203-204, 207-208, 209-210, 213, 214, 215, 217, 221, 222, 228-229, 231-232, 233-234 and 742-743 of 2005. WITH C.A. Nos. 3609 & 3607 of 2009. Kailash Vasdev, T. Harish Kumar, Yudhister Singh, Ashok Mathur (NP) and Rohit Minocha for the Appellants. Pankaj Bala Verma (for Kiran Suri), P.R. Sikka, Dhiraj, Reeta Dewan Puri, Mohd. Wasi (for P.N. Puri), Ravi Kumar Tomar, (for Jitendra Kumar), and Vipin Gogia (for Jaspreet Gogia) for the Respondents.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL No. 3608 OF 2009 (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 17525 of 2006) R. K. Malik & Anr. …..Appellants Versus Kiran Pal & Ors. …..Respondents With CIVIL APPEAL No. 3609 OF 2009 (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 1686 of 2007) And CIVIL APPEAL No. … Continue reading

Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – ss. 166 and 163A; Second Schedule Clause (6) – Fatal motor accident – Of non-earning mother/house-wife – Claim petition u/s. 166 – Compensation to her dependants – Criteria for determination – Held: The claimants are entitled to compensation – The services of non- earning mother/house-wife cannot be compared with that of a house- keeper/servant/employee, but monetary values should be put to the services rendered by them – Though s. 163A does not apply, in terms, to claim u/s. 166, yet in the absence of a definite criteria for determination of compensation payable to the dependants of non-earning house-wife/mother, it would be reasonable to rely upon the criteria specified in clause (6) of the Second Schedule and then to apply appropriate multiplier – Suggestion to Parliament to amend the provisions of the Act and the related laws for giving compensation to the dependents of woman/home-maker – Legislation. Words and Phrases – `Services’ – Meaning of. A woman, aged about 39 years, died in a motor accident. The Appellant No. 1 (husband) and appellant No. 2 (son) filed a petition u/s. 166 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, seeking compensation of Rs. 19,20,000/- . The Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal held that the claimants were entitled to compensation. While determining the quantum of compensation, it held that in view of clause (6) of Second Schedule of the Motor Vehicles Act, the income of the deceased could be assessed at Rs. 5,000/- p.m. (Rs. 68,000 p.a.) and after making deduction of Rs. 20,000 towards personal expenses and applying multiplier of 15, the total loss of dependency was assessed as Rs. 6 lakhs. However, the tribunal reduced the amount of compensation to Rs. 2,50,000/-. The appeal, preferred by the claimants was dismissed by the High Court. In the instant appeal, the question for determination was as to what should be the criteria for determination of the compensation payable to the dependants of a woman who dies in a road accident and who does not have regular source of income. =Allowing the appeal, the Court HELD: Per G.S. Singhvi, J. 1. It is not possible to quantify any amount in lieu of the services rendered by the wife/mother to the family i.e. husband and children. However, for the purpose of award of compensation to the dependents, some pecuniary estimate has to be made of the services of housewife/mother. 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. They are entitled to adequate compensation in lieu of the loss of gratuitous services rendered by the deceased. The amount payable to the dependants cannot be diminished on the ground that some close relation like a grandmother may volunteer to render some of the services to the family which the deceased was giving earlier. [Para 24] [333-H; 334-A-C] 2. It is highly unfair, unjust and inappropriate to compute the compensation payable to the dependents of a deceased wife/mother, who does not have regular income, by comparing her services with that of a house- keeper or a servant or an employee, who works for a fixed period. The gratuitous services rendered by wife/mother to the husband and children cannot be equated with the services of an employee and no evidence or data can possibly be produced for estimating the value of such services. It is virtually impossible to measure in terms of money the loss of personal care and attention suffered by the husband and children on the demise of the house-wife. [Para 32] [338-E-G] 3. Section 163A of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 contains a special provision for payment of compensation on the basis of a structured formula as indicated in the Second Schedule of the Act, which contains a table prescribing the compensation to be awarded with reference to the age and income of the deceased. The note appended to column (1) of the Second Schedule makes it clear that from the total amount of compensation, 1/3rd is to be deducted in consideration of the expenses which the victim would have incurred towards maintaining himself, had he been alive. Clause (6) of the Second Schedule lays down that in the cases of fatal and disability in non-fatal accidents, income of the non-earning person should be taken as Rs.15,000/- per annum and that of spouse shall be taken as 1/3rd of the income of the earning/surviving spouse. [Para 14] [326-G-H; 327-A-B] 4. Though, Section 163A does not, in terms, apply to the cases in which claim for compensation is filed u/s. 166 of the Act, in the absence of any other definite criteria for determination of compensation payable to the dependents of a non-earning housewife/mother, it would be reasonable to rely upon the criteria specified in clause (6) of the Second Schedule and then apply appropriate multiplier. [Para 32] [338-H; 339-A-B] General Manager Kerala State Road Transport Corporation v. Susamma Thomas (Mrs.) and Ors. 1994 (2) SCC 176; U.P. S.R.T.C. v. Trilok Chandra 1996 (4) SCC 362; Sarla Verma (Smt.) and Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation and Anr. 2009 (6) SCC 121 – relied on. Deepal Girishbhai Soni v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd. (2004) 5 SCC 385; Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Meena Variyal (2007) 5 SCC 428; Minu B. Mehta v. Balkrishna Ramchandra Nayan (1977) 2 SCC 441; Gujarat SRTC v. Ramanbhai Prabhatbhai (1987) 3 SCC 234; Sarla Verma (Smt.) and Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation and Anr. (2009) 6 SCC 121; Raj Rani and Ors. v. Oriental Insurance Company Limited and Ors. (2009) 13 SCC 654; Ningamma and Anr. v. United Insurance Company Limited (2009) 13 SCC 710 – referred to. 5. In the instant case, appellant No.1 in his deposition had categorically stated that the deceased was earning Rs.50,000/- per annum by paintings and handicrafts, the respondents did not lead any evidence to controvert the same. Notwithstanding this, the tribunal and the High Court altogether ignored the income of the deceased. The tribunal did advert to the Second Schedule of the Act and observed that the income of the deceased could be assessed at Rs.5,000/- per month (Rs.60,000/- per annum) because the income of her spouse was Rs.15,416/- per month and then held that after making deduction, the total loss of dependency could be Rs.6 lacs. However, without any tangible reason, the tribunal decided to reduce the amount of compensation by observing that the deceased was actually non-earning member and the amount of compensation would be too much. The High Court went a step further and dismissed the appeal by erroneously presuming that neither of the claimants was dependent upon the deceased and the services rendered by her could be estimated as Rs.1250/- per month. The reasons assigned by the tribunal for reducing the amount of compensation are wholly untenable and the approach adopted by the High Court in dealing with the issue of payment of compensation to the appellants was ex facie erroneous and unjustified. [Paras 33 and 34] [339-E-H; 340-A-B] 6. The appellants are entitled to compensation of Rs.6 lacs. Respondent No.1 is directed to pay the said amount of compensation along with interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of filing application u/s. 166 of the Act till the date of payment. [Para 35] [340-C-D] Lata Wadha and Ors. v. State of Bihar and Ors. 2001 (8) SCC 197; M.S. Grewal and Anr. v. Deep Chand Sood and Ors. (2001) 8 SCC 151; Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay v. Laxman Iyer and Anr. (2003) 8 SCC 731; A. Rajam v. M. Manikya Reddy 1989 ACJ 542 ; Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd., v. Shamsher Singh Manu-JK-0180-2002; National Insurance Company Ltd. v. Mahadevan, Minor Buvanadevi, Minor Venkatesh and Parameswaran (2009) ACJ 1373; Chandra Singh and Ors. v. Gurmeet Singh and Ors.(2003) VII AD (Delhi) 222; Krishna Gupta and Ors. v. Madan Lal and Ors. 96 (2002) DLT 829; Captan Singh v. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. and Ors.112 (2004) DLT 417; Amar Singh Thukral v. Sandeep Chhatwal 112 (2004) DLT 478 – referred to. Berry v. Humm and Co. (1915) 1 K.B. 627; Regan v. Williamson (1976) 1 W.L.R. 305; Mehmet v. Perry (1977) 2 All ER 52 – referred to. Kemp and Kemp on Quantum of Damages, (Special Edition – 1986) – referred to. Per Asok Kumar Ganguly, J. (Supplementing) 1. Despite the clear constitutional mandate to eschew discrimination on the grounds of sex, in Article 15(1) of the Constitution, in its implementation, there is a distinct gender bias against women in various social welfare legislations and also in judicial pronouncements. [Para 1] [340-E-F] 2. Clause 6 of the Second Schedule to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 provides for notional income of those who had no income prior to accident. Clause 6 has been divided into two classes of persons, (a) non-earning persons, and (b) spouse. Insofar as the spouse is concerned, the income of the injured in fatal and non-fatal accident has been categorized as 1/3rd of the income of the earning and surviving spouse. It is, therefore, assumed if the spouse who does not earn, which is normally the woman in the house and the home-maker, such a person cannot have an income more than 1/3rd of the income of the person who is earning. This categorization has been made without properly appreciating the value of the services rendered by the home-maker. To value the income of the home-maker as one-third of the income of the earning spouse is not based on any apparently rational basis. [Para 3] [340-G-H; 341-A-C] 3. In the Census of 2001, it appears that those who are doing household duties like cooking, cleaning of utensils, looking after children, fetching water, collecting firewood have been categorized as non-workers and equated with beggars, prostitutes and prisoners who, according to census, are not engaged in economically productive work. As a result of such categorization about 36 crores (367 million) women in India have been classified in the Census of India, 2001 as non-workers and placed in the category of beggars, prostitutes and prisoners. This entire exercise of Census operation is done under an Act of Parliament. The approach of equating women, who are home- makers, with beggars, prostitutes and prisoners as economically non- productive workers by statutory authorities betrays a totally insensitive and callous approach towards the dignity of labour so far as women are concerned and is also clearly indicative of a strong gender bias against women. It is thus clear that in independent India also, the process of categorizing is dominated by concepts which were prevalent in colonial India and no attempt was made to restructure those categories with a gender sensitivity which is the hallmark in the Constitution of India. [Paras 4, 7 and 8] [341-D-E; 342-B-D] 4. Women are generally engaged in home-making, bringing up children and also in production of goods and services which are not sold in the market but are consumed at the household level. Thus, the work of women mostly goes unrecognized and they are never valued. Therefore, in the categorization by the Census, what is ignored is the well known fact that women make significant contribution at various levels including agricultural production by sowing, harvesting, transplanting and also tending cattles and by cooking and delivering the food to those persons who are on the field during the agriculture season. [Paras 10 and 11] [342-E-H; 343-A] 5. The gender bias has also been reflected in the judgment of the High Court whereby the High Court has accepted the tribunal’s reasoning of assessing the income of the victim at Rs.1,250/- per month. Even if one goes by the formula under clause (6) of the Second Schedule, income of the victim comes to Rs.5,000/- per month. [Para 13] [343-B] National Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Minor Deepika rep. by her guardian and next friend, Ranganathan and Ors. (2009) 6 MLJ 1005 – referred to. 6. It has to be recognized that the services produced in the home by the women for other members of the household are an important and valuable form of production. It is possible to put monetary value to these services. Alternative to imputing money values is to measure the time taken to produce these services and compare these with the time that is taken to produce goods and services which are commercially viable. One has to admit that in the long run, the services rendered by women in the household sustain a supply of labour to the economy and keep human societies going by weaving the social fabric and keeping it in good repair. If these services are taken for granted and no value is attached to this, this may escalate the unforeseen costs in terms of deterioration of both human capabilities and social fabric. [Paras 23 and 25] [346-G-H; 347-E-F] 7. The time spent by women in doing household work as home-makers is the time which they can devote to paid work or to their education. This lack of sensitiveness and recognition of their work mainly contributes to women’s high rate of poverty and their consequential oppression in society, as well as various physical, social and psychological problems. The courts and tribunals should do well to factor these considerations in assessing compensation for housewives who are victims of road accident and quantifying the amount in the name of fixing `just compensation’. [Para 26] [347-G-H; 348-A] 8. Parliament is required to have a rethinking for properly assessing the value of home-makers and householders work and suitably amending the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act and other related laws for giving compensation when the victim is a woman and a home-maker. Amendments in matrimonial laws may also be made in order to give effect to the mandate of Article 15(1) in the Constitution. [Para 28] [348-D] Case Law Reference: In the Judgment of G.S. Singhvi, J: (2004) 5 SCC 385 Referred to. Para 15 (2007) 5 SCC 428 Referred to. Para 16 (1977) 2 SCC 441 Referred to. Para 16 (1987) 3 SCC 234 Referred to. Para 16 2009 (6) SCC 121 Referred to. Para 17 (2009) 13 SCC 654 Referred to. Para 18 (2009) 13 SCC 710 Referred to. Para 18 (1915) 1 K.B. 627 Referred to. Para 20 (1976) 1 W.L.R. 305 Referred to. Para 21 (1977) 2 All ER 52 Referred to. Para 22 2001 (8) SCC 197 Referred to. Para 25 (2001) 8 SCC 151 Referred to. Para 26 (2003) 8 SCC 731 Referred to. Para 26 1989 ACJ 542 Referred to. Para 27 Manu-JK-0180-2002 Referred to. Para 28 (2009) ACJ 1373 Referred to. Para 29 (2003) VII AD (Delhi) 222 Referred to. Para 30 96 (2002) DLT 829 Referred to. Para 30 112 (2004) DLT 417 Referred to. Para 30 112 (2004) DLT 478 Referred to. Para 30 1994 (2) SCC 176 Relied on. Para 32 1996 (4) SCC 362 Relied on. Para 32 2009 (6) SCC 121 Relied on. Para 32 In the Judgment of Asok Kumar Ganguly, J: (2009) 6 MLJ 1005 Referred to. Para 13 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 5843 of 2010. From the Judgment & Order dated 30.4.2004 of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad in First Appeal from Order number 2408 of 2003. Sanjay Singh, Sharve Singh, Ugra Shankar Prasad for the Appellant. Hetu Arora, Pramod Dayal, Nikunj Dayal Arun Kumar Beriwal, Vishnu Mehra (for B.K. Satija) for the Respondent.

REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.5843 OF 2010 (Arising out of SLP(C) No.19655 of 2004) Arun Kumar Agrawal and another ……Appellants Versus National Insurance Company and others ……Respondents JUDGMENT G.S. Singhvi, J. 1. Leave granted. 2. What should be the criteria for determination of the compensation payable to … Continue reading

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