A mother, wholly dependent on her only unmarried son, is entitled to receive family pension in the event of the son’s death in harness, the Madras High Court has ruled.
Justice D Hariparanthaman gave the ruling on August 22 last,allowing a writ petition from Mariammal, whose son Ravikumar died on December 1, 2006, after putting in 20 years service as mazdoor in Chennai Port Trust (CPT).
The CPT had released all the payments due to Mariammal. However, it refused family pension, as the term ‘mother’ had been excluded in the definition of ‘family’ in chapter X of the CPT (Pension) Rules. As per the Rules, only the wife and male and female children were eligible for family pension, it added.
Rejecting the submissions, the judge said that a reading of the categorical pronouncements rendedred by various High Courts including this High Court and the SC would make it clear that the courts had come to the aid of the parents in the matter of grant of family pension. In this case, the mother was entirely depending upon the salary of her only unwedded son.
Further more, as per the provisions of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, a statutory obligation had been cast upon the children of the parents to maintain them at their old age.
Therefore, being the only son of the petitioner, a statutory obligation was cast upon him to maintain his mother and it was not in dispute that the son till his death looked after his mother.
As a matter of fact, it was held that providing pension under the family pension schemes was a piece of welfare legislation, aimed to achieve the object of giving financial protection to the helpless parents of the deceased employee. Therefore, the petitioner is entitled to family pension and there is no justification on the part of the CPT in denying the same to her, the judge said and directed the CPT to sanction the pension with arrears within six weeks.