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Rajasthan HC treats foetus as living child, orders compensation for death


JAIPUR: Treating an unborn child (foetus) in the mother’s womb as a living child, the Rajasthan High Court on Sunday ordered New India Assurance to pay a compensation of Rs 2.50 lakh, in an 11-year old accident case. 

Judge Pushpendra Singh Bhati issued the order on the appeal of Sonia, a Lucknow resident who was involved in an accident while travelling with her husband from Barmer to Jodhpur on July 1, 2008. Her lawyer Anil Bhandari said a vehicle smashed into her car and caused multiple injuries to Sonia who was seven months pregnant. 

Complications with her pregnancy forced her to a surgery on July 5, 2008, after which the foetus was found dead as a result of the accident. The family lodged a compensation claim under the Motor Vehicles Act on August 9, 2010. However, it was turned down on the plea that since the foetus was found dead after the accident, it could not be proved it was killed during the mishap.  It was then that she moved the High Court.

The insurance company argued that a seven-month foetus should not be regarded as a living child and hence the mother or family cannot be paid any compensation.