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Madras High Court Recognizes Mother’s Claim to Deceased Son’s pensionary Benefits

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Published on: 26 September 2023 at 11:30 IST

The Madras High Court, Madurai Bench, has affirmed that a mother, as both a senior citizen and a legal heir, is entitled to a portion of her son’s terminal and pensionary benefits.

A writ petition was filed, requesting the court to instruct the respondents to release the terminal benefits of the petitioner’s son.

Justice L. Victoria Gowri, presiding over a Single Bench, remarked, “The argument put forth by the learned Special Government Pleader is untenable because the mother/petitioner, as a senior citizen and one of the four legal heirs of the late Subramanian, is entitled to a ¼ share in all of her son’s terminal and pensionary benefits.”

In this particular case, the petitioner’s son served as a Superintendent in the Ex-Service Welfare Department and passed away while in service. He left behind his mother (the petitioner), his wife, and two minor children. The petitioner claimed that during her son’s lifetime, he and his wife lived separately, and multiple matrimonial cases were pending in various courts.

To cover the medical expenses for her son’s liver ailment, the petitioner borrowed money from various individuals, incurring significant costs. After her son’s passing, the petitioner sent a comprehensive representation to the respondents, seeking her share of her son Subramanian’s terminal benefits. However, her request was not addressed, leading her to file a writ petition with the High Court.

In light of the aforementioned circumstances, the High Court issued the following order: “… this Court hereby directs the first and second respondents to consider the petitioner’s representation, dated 30.06.2023, and issue appropriate orders to disburse the petitioner’s share of her son Subramanian’s terminal and pensionary benefits in accordance with the law, within twelve (12) weeks from the date of receiving a copy of this order.”

Consequently, the High Court granted the writ petition.

Case Title: Kalyani v. The Additional Director, Director of Ex-Service Men Welfare & Ors.