At, High Court of Madhya Pradesh Bench at Gwailor
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ROHIT ARYA
For the Petitioner: Akshay Jain, Advocate.For the Respondent: Manish Syal, Advocate.
1. Petitioner-employee with the Madhya Pradesh State Legal Services Authority has approached this Court against denial of reimbursement of medical claim of his dependent widowed mother by the impugned communications dated 19/09/2014 and 18/07/2014 (Annexure P/1). The claim has been denied for the reason that petitioner's mother, namely; Mrs. Santhosh is in receipt of family pension from the dep
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
artment after death of her husband where her husband was working, therefore, she cannot be said to be 'wholly dependent" member of the family of the petitioner as defined under rule 2(d) of the Madhya Pradesh Civil Services (Medical Attendance) Rules, 1958 (For short, 'the Rules, 1958) which reads as under:
"2(d) "Family" means -
(i) The wife or husband of a government servant;
(ii) The parents, legitimate children including children adopted legally and step children of such government servant residing with and wholly dependent on that government servant."
2. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case ofState of Madhya Pradesh and others v. M.P. Ojha and another, AIR 1998 SC 659has outlined attributes of the meaning "wholly dependent" in the context of the aforesaid Rules and in paragraph 14 it has been held as under:
"The expression "wholly dependent" is not a term of art. It has to be given its due meaning with reference to the Rules in which it appears. We need not make any attempt to define the expression "wholly dependent" to he applicable to all cases in all circumstances. We also need not look into other provisions of law where such expression is defined. That would likely to lead to results which the relevant Rules would not have contemplated. The expression "wholly dependent" has to be understood in the context in which it is used keeping in view the object of the particular Rules where it is contained. We cannot curtail the meaning of "wholly dependent" by reading into this the definition as given in SR 8 which has been reproduced above. Further, the expression "wholly dependent" as appearing in the definition of family as given in Medical Rules cannot be confined to mere financial dependence. Ordinarily dependence means financial dependence but for a member of family it would mean other support, may be physical, as well. To be "wholly dependent" would therefore include both financial and physical dependence.
3. Juxtaposition with the facts of the aforesaid case, there is similarity inasmuch as in the case in hand, the dependent is mother aged about 60 years. She has no one to support her. Petitioner being son has to look after his mother who is residing with him. Under such circumstances, her dependency upon the son (petitioner) though she is in receipt of family pension after death of her husband cannot be denied.
4. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of State of Madhya Pradesh (supra) has taken the same view where father was 70 years old and was sick and, therefore, he was held to be wholly dependent on his son. The mere fact of getting pension by the father was not held to be a factor to conclude that he was not wholly dependent upon the son.
5. Respectfully following the interpretation given to the words "wholly dependent" in the definition of "family" under clause 2 (d) of the same Rules by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, this Court is of the view that the respondents were not justified having denied the claim for reimbursement of medical expenses incurred for treatment of the mother by the petitioner on the ground that she does not fall within the meaning of "family" because she is receiving the family pension after death of her husband.
6. Consequently, the impugned orders are quashed. The respondents are directed to reimburse the medical expenses incurred by the petitioner for treatment of his mother, within a period of two months from the date of production of certified copy of order passed by this Court.