12 November, 2006

Price of Life!

Recently an Ajman court ruling on “sufficient compensation” for the death of a 5 year old schoolgirl immensely disturbed me. The court had refused the Indian parent’s claim of Dhs 3 million blood money, and thus ruled that Dhs 100,000 was a sufficient compensation.

The news started me thinking on some basic moral, judicial and human issues:

  1. How does one decide the price of a life? Especially a 5 year-old school girl?
  2. What would have been the case if the schoolgirl was a national? Definitely it would have been more?
  3. Is Dhs 100,000 enough? Or for that matter is even a Dhs 3 million enough?
  4. Can money really replace the life of a child?
  5. Or is the driver really punished if he pays a blood money, sent to jail and his licence revoked for a month?

Personally I feel that the price of life can never be equated against blood money. How can one really decide the price for a life on which rested the dreams of the parents, the years of emotional journeys of giving birth and seeing a life grow up? With all due respects for the judicial system of this country, while the law of paying blood money is definitely well respected, I do not think any jury (or any person) can decide the value of this.

While the final verdict is still subject to appeal to Supreme Court, what do you think of this? Let’s hear it…

(cross-posted here)


A Blessing in Tragedy said...

According to your argument, that a price cannot be placed on a life, that family should get NOTHING because, as you stated, no one can put a price on a life.

Instead of nothing, which is what your argument's only logical conclusion could be, they got 100,000 AED. be happy. also, they, the family seem to have put a price on their kid's head, 3 million AED.

Luckily for us, in these cases in the UAE compensation for wrongful death is set. it is law. In AD it is 150,000 AED.

So, if for some reason out of my control, my little brother is killed (GOD FORBID) according to UAE law my family would get something, according to your "no one can put a price on a life" argument we'd get nothing.

Neither brings him back, but which is better?

Restless in Dubai said...

That’s what it is called “Compensation”, it is an attempt to cover the loss of a cherished one. Whether this would be different if the school girl was national, I would say it might be, and it might be not. Recently my old brother was hit by a car “A Hummer in fact”, he was miraculously saved (Thank god), the local who was driving was a 19 years old young man. We dropped charges as my brother was not harmed severely, we believed that this was gold’s willing, etc.. Now what really bothers us, is people saying ‘How much did they pay to drop the charges?’ for god’s sake, not even the whole fortune of the world would equal my brother’s nails. BUT, if he was severely injured and we needed more money to spend on his medication, I would say it is only fair to accept a contribution from the local family to help, if they can.

The bottom line is, no price for life, but some charges apply.

shansenta said...

Dear "Blessing in Tragedy"...

The argument is for the "value of the compensation" i.e. how appropriate is 100-150K for the life of a child, OR whether money is the only solution, or the best solution... especially when neither would bring the dead back!

For example, could we think of some sort of additional and mandatory "moral penance" awarded, so that the relatives of the deceased are able to morally pardon the offender, once the penance period has been concluded? etc. etc.

The argulemnt is NOT for getting nothing for your kins killed (GID FORBID)

! said...

why dont you do yourself a favor and read the UAE Law the part for what is called "blood money" !!! You will find out that it is an islamic law which was mentioned in both the Quran and the Sunnah ..

After that, do yourself another favor and google for "reasons behind blood money" there are reasons behind it !!! believe me its more than you THINK it is.. !!!!

Being a local or not does not make a difference!! why do discussions have to always COMPARE/CONTRAST between locals and nonlocals..!!! get a life and discuss the issue itself !!!

besides, if you do yoruself a favor again and go to the jail and discuss with one of the people over there and ask them for a rough figure of how many is the percentage of locals that are IN JAIL because they couldn't pay the "diyah: blood money" you'd be surprised..

AGAIN, there were many incidents where sheikhs would pay the blood money REGARDLESS who the person was and i guess we recall the latest incident, as it was mentioned here!!

BOTTOM LINE: do your research before posting !!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Said...
Those parents were trying to make money out their daughters death. Its disgusting.

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