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The Delhi High Court Friday set aside the order of the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal granting excessive monetary relief to a foreign woman, ruling the victim’s social status or colour of skin is immaterial while deciding the compensation for injury in a road accident.

‘The court cannot award small amounts on account of pain and sufferings to the poor persons and hefty amounts for pain and sufferings for same injury to rich persons. The value of each human life in the eyes of law has to be the same and the monetary value of the pain and suffering also to be same,’ Justice S.N. Dhingra observed.

The tribunal had awarded a compensation of more than Rs.50 lakh to a German woman who lost her arm in an accident, out of which Rs.2 lakh was given for pain and sufferings undergone by her. The high court found that the amount was excessive as in many other similar cases, much less amount was given as compensation.

‘If the courts award more compensation to foreigners because of the colour of skin or because of their being rich and award less compensation to Indians because they are poor, that amounts to travesty of justice,’ Dhingra said.

‘The tribunal seems to have been guided more by the fact that the claimant in this case was a foreign national and was having status different from that of an Indian citizen,’ he said.


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