Kerala HC slams KSRTC’s ‘economic value of housewife’ argument to deny compensation

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Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi archives

Kochi: The Kerala High Court slammed the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) for denying compensation to an accident victim on the ground that she is a housewife and does not earn any income.

The High Court not only called the role of the housewife to that of a nation builder, but also ordered for a good compensation to be paid to her.

Justice Devan Ramachandran said that such a stand by the transport body was 'outrageous' and urged that accident compensation should be same for a housewife and a working woman as the former also invests her time for the family and ensures that the next generation is fostered with the highest levels of excellence.

He also went on to point out that the life of human beings can never be tested on the scales of their monetary worth but by their contribution and selflessness.

Specifically on the role of a housewife, the judge said that her contributions as a mother and wife is invaluable.

"At the outset, I must say that the contentions of the KSRTC, that a housewife earns no income and therefore, not eligible for compensation for disability and loss of amenities, is outrageous and beyond comprehension. The role of a mother and wife at home is beyond compare, and she is a true nation builder. She invests her time for the family and ensures that the next generation is fostered with the highest levels of excellence; and her efforts can never be taken trivially or brushed aside, as being without monetary value. The lives of human beings are never tested on the scales of their monetary worth, but by their contribution and selflessness," the court said.

The court made this directive while hearing an appeal moved by a housewife challenging the order of the Motor Vehicle Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) that awarded her only Rs 40,214 as compensation for the grievous injuries she sustained on account of a rash application of brake by a KSRTC bus driver.

The woman instead sought Rs 2 lakh as she had to undergo extensive treatment and trauma for a long period of time after the incident.

This prompted her to approach the High Court with an appeal and the judge termed it as outrageous stand taken by the KSRTC, granting the petitioner a compensation of Rs 1,64,654, instead of Rs 40,214 awarded earlier. IANS

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