Court says housewife’s services invaluable, awards Rs 15L to kin

Shalini Narayan Posted online: Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : Asserting that the services of a housewife are “invaluable and cannot be computed in terms of money”, a local court has directed an insurance company to compensate a woman’s family with Rs 15 lakh.

The woman, a housewife, was mowed down by a truck while she was travelling with her husband and her two children four years ago.

In its order, the court of Additional District Judge Kiran Bansal said, “In India, the courts have recognised that the contribution made by the wife to the house is invaluable and cannot be computed in terms of money. The gratuitous services rendered by wife with true love and affection to the children and her husband, and the managing of household affairs cannot be equated with the services rendered by others. A wife/mother does not work by the clock. She is in constant attendance of the family throughout the day and night, unless she is employed and is required to attend the employer’s work for particular hours...”

“She takes care of all the requirements of her husband and children, including cooking of food, washing of clothes, etc. She teaches children and provides invaluable guidance to them for their future. A housekeeper or domestic help can do the household work such as cooking food, keeping the house clean, but she can never be a substitute for a wife/mother who renders selfless service to her husband and children,” Judge Bansal said.

On November 23, 2010, the woman, her husband and two children were on a motorcycle near Seelampur when a tempo rammed them, killing the woman. The tempo was insured with Iffco Tokio General Insurance Company.

The court, subsequent to the arguments put forth by both parties, assessed that the fatal injuries the woman sustained in the accident was “due to rash and negligent driving of the offending vehicle (tempo)”.

As such, the court concluded that the woman’s family had to be compensated Rs 15,41,750. The amount is to be paid by the insurance company.

“Award is passed and directing Iffco Tokio General Insurance Company to pay the claimants a sum of Rs 15,41,750,” the court said.