Madurai Bench of High Court of Madras, in Thilagavathi v. Deputy Commissioner of Labour and Ors., has upheld an order awarding a part of compensation paid for the death of an industrial worker to the parents of the deceased.
Justice S. Vaidyanathan observed, “The respondent has clearly stated that since the children of the deceased have completed 18 years of age and attained majority, there is a bar under the provisions of the Act to treat them as dependants of the deceased employee. Moreover, this Court finds nothing wrong in adding the parents of the deceased as dependants, as it was rightly contended by the 1st respondent that under Section 2(1) (d)(iii)(b) of the Act, it has been mentioned as “a parent other than a widowed mother”.”
The case related to the death of one Subramaniyan who, while working as machine operator at Sakthi Sugar Mills in Sivagangai, died due to injuries suffered in the course of employment. Based on a claim petition filed under Section 22 of the Workmen Compensation Act, an award of Rs. 5,75,720 was subsequently passed by the Tribunal, in favor of the wife, mother and father of the deceased employee, excluding his children due to the reason of them having attained majority. The petitioner-wife had now demanded that the entire amount be paid to her and her children.
The petitioner had submitted that since the Act contemplates a dependent to include a widow, a minor (legitimate or adopted) son, an unmarried (legitimate or adopted) daughter or a widowed mother, the parents would not be eligible for compensation to be paid to the dependents.
Rejecting such contentions, the Court upheld the order of the Tribunal and further observed, “Even assuming for the sake of argument that the children of the petitioner have got to be treated as dependants, the amount of compensation will have to be apportioned from the money payable to their mother, namely, the petitioner herein and not from the amount payable to the parents of the deceased employee,”
Read the order here.