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A Widow Entitled To Compensation Even After Remarriage

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Bombay High Court ruled recently, a widow entitled to compensation even after remarriage within a year of husband’s death in a road accident. The court asked the insurance company to pay Rs 30 lakh to the widow.

Key Takeaways:

  • Justice RD Dhanuka upheld the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal order. The Justice directed the New India Assurance and one other responsible to pay the widow.
  • The insurance company contended that Mahendra Sonawane’s widow, Sushma was not dependent on husband’s income at the time of filing the claim thus the widow is not entitled to the claim.
  • Under a similar judgement, a division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice R Y Ganoo ordered 20 percent of compensation amount will go to Sunita, the widow (name changed). Sunita has since remarried and looks after the couple’s child.

The judgement

As per the report of Mumbai mirror, Justice RD Dhanuka upheld the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal order. The Justice directed the New India Assurance and one other responsible to pay the widow. The enhanced amount of INR 29,51,0000 fixed by HC. Further, the amount includes the enhanced rate of interest from seven percent to nine percent, for eight years.

Also read: Kargil War Widow Usha: Here’s What Women Empowerment Looks Like

The insurance company contended that Mahendra Sonawane’s widow, Sushma was not dependent on husband’s income at the time of filing the claim thus the widow is not entitled to the claim.

The insurance company contended that Mahendra Sonawane’s widow, Sushma was not dependent on husband’s income at the time of filing the claim thus the widow is not entitled to the claim. The court rejected the contention. The court further held that the status of the wife as dependent on husband’s income on the date of death. Further, the court held that the widow continues to represent the estate of her husband and thus entitled to make claims to compensation irrespective of her marital status.

Sonawane was headed towards Nashik in February 2007 with his mother in a car when a truck coming from opposite direction switched lane and crashed with the car. Both mother and son died on the spot. The wife later approached Motor Accident Claims tribunal. The tribunal ruled in her favour. However, Sushma approached HC for enhancement of compensation while the insurance company appealed against it.

Similar Case

According to Times of India, Sandeep Purandare who died six years ago, a division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice R Y Ganoo ordered 20 percent compensation amount will go to Sunita, the widow (name changed). Sunita has since remarried and looks after the couple’s child.

“Sunita to receive interest to take care of her daughter’s expenses. Sandeep’s mother entitled to receive rest of the 20 percent of compensation.”

The court ordered that 60 percent of the compensation (to be paid by the insurance company and the owner of the dumper involved in the accident) would go to the couple’s 11 years old child. Sunita to receive interest to take care of her daughter’s expenses. The Sandeep’s mother is entitled to receive rest of the 20 percent of compensation.

Also read: Odisha Woman Solemnises Marriage Of Daughter-In-Law Widowed At 20

The accident tribunal had awarded the family a compensation of Rs 30 lakhs. Later, the HC increased the compensation to INR 66.98 lakhs along with interest. Further, the HC ordered that the family will be paid INR 30000 as litigation charges.

Image credit: HT