Also prevents remarried daughter-in-law from walking away with lion’s share

In a significant case decided by the Madras High Court Bench here, Amsammal, a 64-year-old woman from Madurai, has succeeded in getting doubled the compensation ordered by a motor accident claims tribunal in favour of her nine-year-old granddaughter who lost her father, a government servant, in a road accident in February 2011.

What’s more, the elderly woman also prevented her remarried daughter-in-law, also a government servant, from walking away with a lion’s share of Rs.10 lakh from the total compensation amount of around Rs.20 lakh.

Allowing a civil appeal filed by her, Justice K. Kalyanasundaram reduced the compensation amount awarded to the mother of the minor girl to around Rs. 4 lakh.

The judge pointed out that the girl’s father Senthilkumar had died when a private bus hit against his two-wheeler on February 12, 2011.

The same year, his wife, daughter and mother made a joint claim for a compensation of Rs.22 lakh.

Subsequently, the victim’s wife got remarried. In 2013, the tribunal directed a company with which the bus was insured to pay Rs.19.67 lakh to the claimants.

Rs. 6 lakh for daughter

Of the total amount, Rs. 10 lakh was awarded to the accident victim’s wife, Rs.6 lakh was awarded to his minor daughter and the rest of Rs. 3.67 lakh to his mother.

Aggrieved over the apportionment, the aged woman moved the present appeal stating that her daughter-in-law should not have been given a major share of the compensation.

Pointing out that her daughter-in-law had married another individual after her son’s death and was also receiving family pension, the appellant claimed that it was her minor granddaughter who was in real need of money in view of the expenses that might have to be incurred for her upbringing as well as future needs such as higher education, marriage and so on.

Accepting the contention, Mr. Justice Kalyanasundaram ordered that 60 per cent of the total compensation awarded by the tribunal should go to the minor girl and the rest should be divided equally between the appellant and her daughter-in-law.

Deposit it in bank

The entire share of the minor should be deposited in a nationalised bank till she attained majority and the interest accrued should be used for her upbringing, he added.

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