The Supreme Court dismissed SPLA against the high court and has affirmed a Delhi High Court judgment that a widow's right to claim remuneration under the Motor Vehicles Act for the demise of her husband in a motor vehicle accident won't abate on her re-marriage and she will be entitled to equal share as the parents of the deceased for 'loss of dependency'.
Arguments of both the parties
in the present case, the widow's in-laws challenged the order of Delhi high court that remarriage of the widow does not abate the right to compensation for loss of unnatural death of her husband.
Counsel Siddhart Dave, for the petitioner, stated that the decision of the Delhi High Court is inappropriate and the widow is not entitled to compensation after re-marriage. Counsel Siddharth Dave, to support his case that widow is not entitled to compensation after re-marriage, took precedent of case Anju Mukhi and Anr vs Satish K. Bhatia and Ors, in which it was held that,
"The main purpose of motor vehicle act is to compensate for the loss of income on the demise of a person. if the widow of demise person re-marriages then she cannot be treated dependent of a deceased person. because now dependency has been shifted to a new husband. therefore, the widow is not entitled to claim compensation after her re-marriage".
Advocate Siddhart Sharma briefed respondent Advocate that second marriage does not abate the right of compensation for loss of dependency. He placed an example of 2020 judgment of Kerala Court," while giving remuneration for the reliance of a widow, on the downfall of her significant other, under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, her remarriage won't be an unequivocal factor; that the loss of compensation ensuing to the passing of the spouse doesn't stop simply in light of the fact that she has remarried or got independent. Mr. Sankaranarayanan brought up before the High Court, the Petitioners had demonstrated their no-issue with the widow being given an equivalent offer, and that the present SLP was a late and a propelled one".
In the present case, MACT awarded only rs 1,68,39,642 to deceased representatives, out of which the widow only got 3,91,054.47.
High Court said that widow is entitled to get equal share i.e. 1/3 share of the total amount. thus, she got 56,13,214 Rs and stated that the calculation of loss of dependency was based on her dependency on her deceased husband and her loss is equal to his in-laws. Further decision to re-marry is her personal choice, no one has the right to say anything on this.