Thursday, September 30, 2021

Financial dependency not sole criterion for legal representatives to claim compensation: Kerala High Court

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The Court opined that the Motor Vehicles Act which is a social welfare legislation and courts must, therefore, adopt a beneficial rule of construction favourable to those in whose interest the enactment has been passed.

"Keeping in mind that the enactment is a beneficial and social welfare legislation, impels me to hold that dependency is only a criterion for a legal representative to claim compensation for loss of dependency under Section 166 of the Act, 1988, and is not the ‘be all end all’ criteria to claim compensation under the other pecuniary, non-pecuniary and conventional heads of compensation,

"Even if dependency is a relevant criterion to claim compensation for loss of dependency, it does not mean financial dependency is the ‘ark of the covenant’. Dependency includes gratuitous service dependency, physical dependency, emotional dependency, psychological dependency, and so on and so forth, which can never be equated in terms of money."

The Court also took strong objection to the contention that a daughter, once married would no longer be dependent on her mother.

"It would be preposterous to accept the contention that a 25-year-old daughter would be no longer dependent on her 49-year-old mother because she was given in marriage. The bond between a mother and a daughter is eternal. I reminisce the quotation of Cardinal Mermillod ‒ “No matter how old she may be, sometimes a girl just needs her mom,

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