The Madras High Court has held that not finding a person's name in legal heir certificate of a road mishap victim cannot be a ground to deny him compensation in cases of accident claims.
Justice S Vimala made the observation while dismissing recently a plea by Salem branch of the Oriental Insurance Company, challenging a Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal's order to the insurance company to pay Rs 1,00,000 as compensation to the relatives of Salem resident Dhamodaran, 30, who died in a road accident in October 2008.
The tribunal, however, had also ruled that the father was not entitled to receive the relief amount on the ground of his name not being there in the victim's legal heir certificate.
Finding fault with the tribunal, the judge said, "In fact, the finding that the father is not entitled to the compensation should have been more hurting than the death itself."
Referring to the Indian Succession Act and intestate succession (succession without will) which is governed by the Hindu Succession Act, the judge said, "This intestate succession has nothing to do with the entitlement to compensation, when a claim is made in respect of death arising out of the accident... The principle of compensation is based on reparation, what is lost is sought to be compensated so far as money can."
"It is clear that a father, who is a sufferer on account of loss of his son, in terms of loss of love and affection, support and money is also entitled to the compensation along with the mother and, therefore, the finding that the father is not entitled to compensation is liable to be set aside," the judge said.
After their son's death, Damodaran's parents had moved the Salem MACT, seeking a compensation of Rs 7,00,000, against which the tribunal awarded merely Rs 1,00,000.
Dismissing the appeal, the judge directed the company to deposit the award amount along with 7.5 per cent per anum interest from the date of filing the petition till the date of deposit.
On such deposit being made, both the father and the mother of the deceased are permitted to withdraw the amount, he added.