Stating that the emotional loss of a child would have a devastating effect on the bereaved family, the Supreme Court has enhanced compensation amounts by Rs 75,000 each to the immediate kin of 29 school children who perished in a tragic bus mishap on the Yamuna river in 1997.
The apex court concurred with the plea of the aggrieved families' that the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) and the Delhi High Court had failed to consider the non-pecuniary loss sustained by them on account of emotional trauma and the loss of future earning capacity of the children.
"Human life cannot be measured only in terms of loss of earning or monetary losses alone. There are emotional attachments involved and loss of a child can have a devastating effect on the family which can be easily visualised and understood.
"Perhaps, the only mechanism known to law in this kind of situation is to compensate a person, who has suffered non-pecuniary loss or damage as a consequence of the wrong done to him, by way of damages/monetary compensation," a Bench of Justices S B Sinha and Mukundakam Sharma observed while allowing an appeal filed by the claimants.
On November 18, 1997, the children travelling in a bus drowned into Yamuna river, after the vehicle broke the railings at Wazirabad Yamuna Bridge and fell into the river.