Society might not recognise live-in relationships, but courts do. A Motor Accidental Tribunal (MACT) has directed an insurance company to give 40 per cent of the compensation amount to the live-in partner of the man who died in a road accident. Sixty per cent of the compensation will, however, go to the lawfully wedded wife of the deceased, said the court.
In a recent order, Additional Sessions Judge JPS Malik directed New India Assurance Company to give a compensation of Rs 7 lakh (approx with interest) to the dependents of deceased Om Prakash (32) who died in an accident near Gurgaon Road 13 years ago.
The order came on the petition moved by one Balwinder Kaur who claimed to be a legally wedded wife of the deceased but failed to prove it before the court.
“In these circumstances, I hold that Balwinder Kaur is not the legally wedded wife of the deceased. However, some live-in relationship between the two cannot be ruled out. Accordingly, I decide that 60 per cent of the compensation shall be payable to the legally wedded wife and her two children while 40 per cent will go to Kaur and her two children,” Malik said.
The accident dates back to June 6, 1995, when Prakash, a contractor, was going on his two-wheeler on the National Highway 8 to Gurgoan Road when a speeding truck hit him from behind killing him on the spot.
His wife Meera Devi, who lived in Jaipur at the time of the accident, had filed a case against the insurance company in Jaipur while Balwinder filed it in Delhi. Meera later withdrew it from Jaipur court and filed an affidavit in New Delhi claiming that she is the only wife of the deceased and her two children are the only legal heirs of the compensation amount.