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In The High Court Of Judicature At … vs The Secretary on 11 August, 2018

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
DATED : 11.08.2018
CORAM
THE HON’BLE DR.JUSTICE S.VIMALA
W.P.NO.6943 of 2018
S.Thenmozhi Elizabeth …. Petitioner
Vs
1. The Secretary
Government of Tamilnadu
Social Welfare Department
Fort St.George, Chennai 600 009.

2. The Commissioner
Employees Provident Fund Organization
No.37, Royapettah High Road, Chennai-600 014.

3. The Manager
Employees Provident Fund Organization
No.37, Royapettah High Road, Chennai-600 014. …. Respondents

Prayer : Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a Writ of Mandamus to direct the second and third respondent to disburse the proportionate share in the PF amount in the P.F.Account No.TN/MAS/0052834/000/0000127 of the late Mr.A.J.Sebastian Raj in respect of Allen Smith and Christen Jones, who are the sons of the petitioner and late Mr.A.J.Sebastian Raj, without insisting the Guardianship Certificate from the court of law from the petitioner who is the natural guardian.
` For Petitioner : Mr.K.P.Sathish Kumar
For Respondents : Mr.N.Sreenivasan for R1
Mr.V.Sundareswaran
Standing Counsel for EPFO R2 R3

O R D E R

The petitioner herein has filed the writ petition seeking direction to the second and third respondents to disburse the proportionate share in the Provident Fund amount in the P.F.Account of the petitioner’s husband late Mr.A.J.Sebastian Raj in respect of Allen Smith and Christen Jones, who are the sons of the petitioner, without insisting the Guardianship Certificate from the court of law, from the petitioner, who is the natural guardian.

2. The short issue to be decided in this case is whether the petitioner, who is the mother, is entitled to receive the PF amount payable to her deceased husband on behalf of their two minor sons, without producing the guardianship certificate.

The brief facts leading to the filing of the present writ petition is as follows.

3. The petitioner’s husband Mr.A.J.Sebastian Raj was working in a hospital and was holding Provident Fund and Pension account in his name. He died on 12.12.2016, as per the death certificate enclosed along with the writ petition. He died leaving behind his wife, the petitioner and two sons by name Allen Smith aged 18 years and Christen Jones aged 14 years. The legal heirship certificate is also filed in support of the claim made that they are the legal heirs of the deceased. The pension amount has already been disbursed to the petitioner and her two sons. The provident fund amount has to be released by the second respondent. It is claimed that the second respondent is refusing to release the provident fund amount on the ground that guardianship certificate of petitioner’s two sons is not produced.

4. Heard Mr.P.Sathish Kumar, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, Mr.N.Sreenivasan, learned counsel for the first respondent and Mr.V.Sundareswaran, learned counsel appearing for the second and third respondents.

5. The issue arising for consideration is when the mother is the natural guardian, whether the authorities are right in insisting upon the production of guardianship certificate in order to disburse the provident fund amount. It is appropriate to look into Para 73(3) of the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952 which reads as follows:-

”72(3) If the person to whom any amount is to be paid under this Scheme is a minor for whose estate a guardian under the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890, has been appointed, the payment shall be made to such guardian.Where no guardian under the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890 has been appointed, the payment shall be made to the guardian, if any, appointed under sub-paragraph 4A of Paragraph 61. Where no guardian under the the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890, or under sub-paragraph 4A of Paragraph 61 has been appointed, the payment shall be made to the natural guardian and in the absence of a natural guardian, to such persons as the Commissioner (where the amount does not exceed Rs.20000 or the Chairman of the Central Board, if the amount exceeds Rs.20000) considers to be the proper person representing the minior and the reeipt of such person for the amount paid shall be a sufficient discharge thereof.”

6. The scheme do not provide that the natural guardian should produce the guardianship certificate in order to get the provident fund amount. The word “guardian” means a person having care of the person of the minor or office property or of both his person and property, as per Section 4(2) of the Guardianship and Wards Act, 1890. It is not in dispute that the mother is the natural guardian of the wards. Therefore, it is not proper for the second respondent to insist upon the production of the guardianship certificate, for disbursing the provident fund amount of to the petitioner.

7. The second respondent is hereby directed to disburse the amount due to the legal heirs of the petitioner viz., the two sons of the deceased, as claimed in the petition without insisting upon the guardianship certificate, within a period of three weeks from the date of receipt of copy of this order.

8. Accordingly, this writ petition stands disposed of. No costs.

11-08-2018
kst

Note : Issue the order copy today (11.08.2018)

To

1. The Secretary, Government of Tamilnadu
Social Welfare Department, Fort St.George,
Chennai 600 009.

2. The Commissioner
Employees Provident Fund Organization
No.37, Royapettah High Road, Chennai-600 014.

3. The Manager, Employees Provident Fund Organization
No.37, Royapettah High Road, Chennai-600 014.

DR.S.VIMALA, J.

kst

W.P.No.6943 of 2018

11.08.2018

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