Homemakers on a higher pedestal than earning members, says Madras HC

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Homemakers on a higher pedestal than earning members, says Madras HC

Legal Correspondent
CHENNAI 04 SEPTEMBER 2020 00:08 IST
UPDATED: 04 SEPTEMBER 2020 02:45 IST

‘Compensation in accident cases must be given based on family status of housewives’
Homemakers stand on a higher pedestal compared to earning members of a family because their contribution towards the well-being of others is immeasurable, the Madras High Court has said.

It held that in motor accident cases, injured housewives should be awarded compensation by considering the family status, income of their husbands and other factors.

Justice S.M. Subramaniam held so while enhancing the compensation awarded by a motor accident claims tribunal to a homemaker from ₹8.46 lakh to ₹14.07 lakh.

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The claimant Bhuvaneswari, of Salem, had lost her tongue and suffered permanent disability due to injuries on her ribs and spinal cord when a speeding private bus knocked her down when she was waiting at a bus stop in 2017.

The victim was 39 years old at the time of the accident and now she could neither walk without support nor sit for long hours. Since she was a homemaker, the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal fixed her notional income to be ₹4,500 a month to arrive at a compensation amount.

Dissatisfied with such an approach, she had come on appeal before the High Court.

Holding that she was justified in seeking enhancement of the compensation amount, Justice Subramaniam said when a homemaker dies or becomes permanently disabled, the impact on the family would be much higher than the death of an earning member because the love and affection showered by her could not be expected from a paid domestic help.

“Therefore, they stand on a higher pedestal than that of the earning member in a family. Thus, mitigating factors, family status, income of the husband and other aspects are to be considered while fixing the compensation for homemakers,” the judge concluded.

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