Thursday, 22 December 2016

Whether widow is entitled to get provident fund money of her deceased husband after her remarriage?

Mr.S.K.Mani, learned Counsel for the respondent agreed with regard
to the legal point raised by the learned Counsel for the appellant. In fact,
he very fairly produced the judgment of this Court in Selvi v. K.Alagarsamy
reported in 2010 (2) TN MAC 328, wherein, after discussing various provisions
of Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and Hindu Widows Re-marriage Act, 1856, the  
right of the widow not only to remarry, but also to inherit the property of
the late husband has been declared and the women including widows are treated 
as co-parcener on par with the males.
        5. Paragraph 24 of the said judgment is extracted hereunder:
        "24. The Honourable Supreme Court in Cherotte Suganthan (Died) through 
LRs. and others v. Cherotte Bharathi and others, 2008 (2) LW 102 analysed the
overriding effect of Hindu Succession Act (1956) on Hindu Widows Remarriage
Act, 1856. It was held that Section 2 of the Hindu Widows Remarriage Act,
1856 would not prevail over the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956
Act having regard to Sections 4 and 24 thereof. It is further held that Hindu
Widows were brought on equal footing in the matter of inheritance and
succession along with the male heirs. Section 14(1) of the Act, stipulates
that any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or
after the commencement of the Act, will be held by her as a full owner
thereof. All the aforesaid Acts namely, Hindu Widows Remarriage Act, 1856,
Hindu Succession Act, 1956, Hindu Widow Remarriage (Repeal) Act, 1983 and Act   
39 of 2005 which deleted Section 24 of Hindu Succession Act with effect from
09.09.2005, recognise the right of the widows not only in remarriages but
also in inheriting the properties of the late husband. In nut-shell, the
women including widows are treated as co-parcener on par with the males."

        6. It is very disheartening to note that the appellant lost her second
husband within fifteen days of the remarriage and her position has not been
improved any more. 
        7. As stated above, she is entitled to a share in the Provident Fund
amount on par with the respondent, who is the mother of the deceased husband.
BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT               

DATED: 15.12.2016  

CORAM   

MR.JUSTICE N.KIRUBAKARAN             

C.M.A(MD)No.1397 of 2006   
and 
M.P(MD)No.1 of 2006  

Yashodha                              
Vs.

Chellammal                                     



        The appellant is the widow of one Jeyaraman, who was employed in Hotel 
Sangam at Trichy. During his service, he was contributing for the Provident
Fund Scheme. Later, he died on 28.05.2001. Thereafter, the respondent filed
Succession O.P.No.10 of 2004 before the Principal Subordinate Court, Trichy,
seeking a Certificate in favour of the respondent empowering her to obtain
the amount lying with the Provident Fund authorities. The said petition was
allowed, against which, the widow preferred this appeal.

        2. Heard the learned Counsel for the appellant and the learned Counsel
for the respondent.

        3. The contention of the learned Counsel for the appellant is that
there is no bar for the appellant to remarry after the death of her husband,
which she had done rightfully. The bar under Section 24 of the Hindu
Succession Act, 1956, to inherit the properties of her husband as his legal
representative has been deleted and therefore, there is no bar for the
appellant to claim her share in the Provident Fund amount as a legal
representative.

        4. Mr.S.K.Mani, learned Counsel for the respondent agreed with regard
to the legal point raised by the learned Counsel for the appellant. In fact,
he very fairly produced the judgment of this Court in Selvi v. K.Alagarsamy
reported in 2010 (2) TN MAC 328, wherein, after discussing various provisions
of Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and Hindu Widows Re-marriage Act, 1856, the  
right of the widow not only to remarry, but also to inherit the property of
the late husband has been declared and the women including widows are treated 
as co-parcener on par with the males.
        5. Paragraph 24 of the said judgment is extracted hereunder:
        "24. The Honourable Supreme Court in Cherotte Suganthan (Died) through 
LRs. and others v. Cherotte Bharathi and others, 2008 (2) LW 102 analysed the
overriding effect of Hindu Succession Act (1956) on Hindu Widows Remarriage
Act, 1856. It was held that Section 2 of the Hindu Widows Remarriage Act,
1856 would not prevail over the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956
Act having regard to Sections 4 and 24 thereof. It is further held that Hindu
Widows were brought on equal footing in the matter of inheritance and
succession along with the male heirs. Section 14(1) of the Act, stipulates
that any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or
after the commencement of the Act, will be held by her as a full owner
thereof. All the aforesaid Acts namely, Hindu Widows Remarriage Act, 1856,
Hindu Succession Act, 1956, Hindu Widow Remarriage (Repeal) Act, 1983 and Act   
39 of 2005 which deleted Section 24 of Hindu Succession Act with effect from
09.09.2005, recognise the right of the widows not only in remarriages but
also in inheriting the properties of the late husband. In nut-shell, the
women including widows are treated as co-parcener on par with the males."

        6. It is very disheartening to note that the appellant lost her second
husband within fifteen days of the remarriage and her position has not been
improved any more. 
        7. As stated above, she is entitled to a share in the Provident Fund
amount on par with the respondent, who is the mother of the deceased husband.

        8. Therefore, the order passed in Succession O.P.No.10 of 2004 by the
learned Principal Subordinate Judge, Trichy, dated 25.04.2006, is set aside
and this Civil Miscellaneous Appeal is allowed, holding that the
appellant/widow is equally entitled to a share on par with the
respondent/mother of the deceased husband in the Provident Fund amount in all
other dues. No costs. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petition is
closed.

To
The Principal Subordinate Court,
Trichy..

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