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Friday, May 1, 2015

the family pension becomes payable only the widow of the deceased T.Sampath so long as she remains un-married.

THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE NOOTY RAMAMOHANA RAO            

WRIT PETITION No.11154 OF 2012  

24-03-2015

Thotla Odamma and another..Petitioners

Singareni Collieries Company Limited,   Rep. by Chairman and Managing Director
Kothagudem, Karimnagar District and others. Respondents

Counsel for the Petitioners: Sri K.Vasudeva Reddy

Counsel for Respondent Nos. 1 and 2: Sri Nandigam
                                      Krishna Rao
Counsel for Respondent No.4: Sri B.Papa Rao Goud.
                               

<Gist :

>Head Note:

? Cases referred:


THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE NOOTY RAMAMOHANA RAO            
WRIT PETITION No.11154 OF 2012  
ORDER:
        This writ petition is instituted by two individuals by name
Smt.Thotla Odamma and Thotla Mahesh, the 1st respondent is  
Singareni Collieries Company Limited, while respondent
Nos.2 and 3 are the General Manager and Superintendent of Mines
thereof. The 4th respondent was one Thotla Lavanya, w/o late Sri
Thotla Sampath. The two petitioners sought for Writ of Mandamus
for declaring the action of the respondent Nos.1 to 3 in seeking to
pay the total terminal benefits of late T.Sampath to the 4th
respondent ignoring the case of the petitioners as illegal. They also
sought for consequential direction to the respondent Nos.1 to 3 to
pay the terminal benefits of late Sri T.Sampath in terms of Section
32 and 36 of Indian Succession Act.

        Heard learned counsel Sri K.Vasudeva Reddy for the
petitioners, Sri Nandigam Krishna Rao for the respondent Nos.1 to
3 and B.Papa Rao Goud for the 4th respondent. I also appreciate
the concern exhibited by the learned counsel for the petitioners
and the learned counsel for the 4th respondent. Smt.Thotla
Odamma, the first petitioner was present in the Court yesterday.
Smt.Thotla Lavanya, the 4th respondent was also present. I had
interacted with both of them for considerable period of time.

        One Sri T.Sampath was employed with Singareni Collieries
Company Limited as Badili Coal Filler and he could secure such
employment because his father, who was employed with Singareni
Collieries Company Limited, died in harness. The 1st petitioner
Smt.Thotla Odamma was the mother of T.Sampath, the 4th  
respondent herein was the wife of the deceased T.Sampath. There
appears to be some discard between the two in properly sharing
the quantum of terminal benefits liable to be paid by the Singareni
Collieries Company Limited for the untimely death of Sri
T.Sampath. Because they are not able to amicably settle the
disputes, the present writ petition came to be instituted.

        After hearing learned counsel for considerable length of time
Sri K.Vasudeva Reddy and Sri B.Papa Rao Goud would agree in  
principle that the parties in this case are governed by the Hindu
Succession Act, but not by the Indian Succession Act as Sri
T.Sampath, the deceased individual was a Hindu. Section 2 of the
Hindu Succession Act, 1956 makes it clear that it applies to any
person, who is a Hindu by religion and hence there is no difficulty
with regard to applicability of the Hindu Succession Act to the
parties. Section 8 of the Hindu Succession Act dealt with the
general rules of succession in case of male Hindu dying intestate.
It has set out clearly that the property of a male Hindu dying
intestate shall devolve as per the provisions of this chapter, firstly,
upon the heirs being the relatives specified in Class I of the
Schedule and only in the event there is no heir of Class I, then
upon the heirs being relatives specified in Class II of the schedule.
The schedule appended to this enactment included a daughter,
widow, mother as Class I heirs of a male Hindu, whereas brother
and sister are included as Class II heirs. It is therefore crystal clear
that for the property of a male Hindu dying intestate, a brother or
a sister can only succeed in the absence of Class I heirs but not
otherwise.

        In the instant case, the 2nd petitioner is stated to be the
adopted son of the 1st petitioner Smt.Thotla Odamma. I do not
wish to go into the controversy raised by the learned counsel for
the 4th respondent that such an adoption is illegal and does not
bind the 4th respondent. But at the highest, the 2nd petitioner can
only be characterized as a brother of the deceased Thotla Sampath
and in that capacity he can be, at best, described as Class II heir.
Similarly, there was one daughter to Smt.Thotla Odamma, who is
already married. She can be, at best, described as Class II heir of
the deceased. Hence, it is safe to assume that the 1st petitioner
herein and the 4th respondent being the mother and widow of the
deceased respectively are Class I heirs. Sri B.Papa Rao Goud has
also informed that the deceased has left behind a young daughter
Lasya, aged about 4 years. Therefore, the daughter of the 4th
respondent and that of the deceased T.Sampath is also a
Class I heir. Hence, the estate of the deceased T.Sampath can be
succeeded to by the 1st petitioner, 4th respondent  Widow and the
daughter of the deceased Lasya.
        In all other circumstances, rights of succession have got to
be worked out by the parties in an appropriate Court of competent
jurisdiction. But however, taking in to account and consideration
the extraordinary circumstances, in which the parties are leading
their lives in near penury conditions, I consider it appropriate to
resolve this controversy at the stage. I direct the 1st respondent
company and the other respondent Nos.2 and 3 to immediately
settle the terminal benefits and additional amount in lieu of
dependent employment payable due to the death of Sri T.Sampath,
Badli Coal Filler, who died in a motor accident outside the work
place. The terminal benefits payable to Sri T.Sampath will be
apportioned into 3 equal portions. The 1st petitioner will be entitled
to 1/3rd, while the 4th respondent is entitled to other 1/3rd. The
remaining 1/3rd amount shall be confined by the 1st respondent
company to an interest bearing Fixed Deposit in any of the
Nationalized Bank/Post Office wherever the 4th respondent was
residing, for the next 14 years period. As and when the minor child
Lasya attains the age of majority or otherwise, the said money is
liable to be released to her or the 4th respondent. The interest
accrued on the deposit, shall be made over to the 4th respondent
once in every year before the end of April. So that the same will be
utilized by the 4th respondent for the purpose of up keep, studies
and maintenance of the daughter Lasya. Let this exercise be
completed by respondent Nos.1 to 3 latest by 30.04.2015. The 1st
petitioner and 4th respondent shall open an S.B.A/c in any of the
Nationalized bank/post office, wherever they are residing and leave
the said information with the 1st respondent under registered post
acknowledgment due. The proceeds payable to the 1st petitioner
and the 4th respondent will accordingly be paid, directly to that
account.

        It is needless to mention that the family pension becomes
payable only the widow of the deceased T.Sampath so long as she
remains un-married.

        With this, the writ petition stands disposed of. No order as to
costs.
        All the miscellaneous petitions pending in this writ petition
shall stand closed.
______________________________________    
JUSTICE NOOTY RAMAMOHANA RAO          
24.03.2015 

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