The Hon’ble Supreme Court on Monday announced a mother-in-law who lives with her son-in-law is a “legal representative” within the meaning of the Motor Vehicle Act and is entitled to compensation in the context of a petition.
A bench of Justice SA Nazeer and Krishna Murari said that it is not uncommon in Indian society for the mother-in-law to live with her daughter and son-in-law in old age and to be dependent on her son-in-law for her support.
The bench concluded, “The mother-in-law in this document may not be the legal heir of the deceased, but she certainly suffered his death. Therefore, we do not hesitate to claim that she is a ‘legal guardian’ under Section 166 of the MV Act and you have the right to maintain a claim “.
The remarks come from an appeal by a man’s wife, who died in a car accident in 2011, against a Kerala High Court order that found the mother-in-law, who lived with her son-in-law, was not the deceased’s legal representative and also reduced the amount of compensation.
The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal had awarded the petitioners Rs. 74,50,971 in compensation, but the high court had reduced it to 48,39,728 rupees.