The Supreme Court has issued notice in a batch of special leave petitions which raised the issue whether Motor Accident Compensation under head “Love and Affection” can be granted?
As reported by Livelaw, the bench comprising Justices Indu Malhotra and Ajay Rastogi noted that the Constitution Bench decision in National Insurance Company Ltd Vs Pranay Sethi and Ors. 2017 (16 ) SCC 680 does not provide for such a head. It was further noticed that the issue is seen covered in United India Insurance Co. Ltd. vs. Satinder Kaur @ Satwinder Kaur & Ors. followed in New India Assurance Company Limited versus Somwati2020 (9) SCC 644, wherein it has been held that compensation can be awarded only for loss of consortium, and not for loss of Love and Affection.
In Somwati, it was observed that ‘loss of love and affection’ is comprehended in ‘loss of consortium’, hence, there is no justification to award compensation towards ‘loss of love and affection’ as a separate head.
Satinder Kaul (a three judge bench judgment) had held,
Several Tribunals and High Courts have been awarding compensation for both loss of consortium and loss of love and affection. The Constitution Bench in Pranay Sethi (supra), has recognized only three conventional heads under which compensation can be awarded viz. loss of estate, loss of consortium and funeral expenses.
In Magma General (supra), this Court gave a comprehensive interpretation to consortium to include spousal consortium, parental consortium, as well as filial consortium. Loss of love and affection is comprehended in loss of consortium. The Tribunals and High Courts are directed to award compensation for loss of consortium, which is a legitimate conventional head. There is no justification to award compensation towards loss of love and affection as a separate head.