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Govt staff’s parents don’t cease to be dependants aftertheir marriage: HC

Chennai, Dec 6: Making it clear that parents of government employees continue to be dependants even after their marriage, the Madras High Court has quashed a communication rejecting reimbursement claim of Rs 5.72 lakh under a health insurance scheme by an employee for his father’s surgery.

Justice Anand Venkatesh said a clause in the Tamil Nadu government’s June 30, 2016 order that the parents of an employee would be treated as a ‘family member’ under the new health insurance scheme only till the marriage of the employee and not thereafter sounded illegal and illogical.

The parents of an employee would not cease to be parents after the marriage of the employee, the judge said.

“Unfortunately, even though this society is moving towards a state where the parents are disregarded after marriage, this court does not expect the government to give a similar treatment for the parents of employees, who get married,” he said.

Noting that the clause cannot be read in isolation and cannot be given a literal meaning, since it would end up with disturbing consequences, the judge said the only way to read it is that parents would remain family members till they continue to be the dependants of the employee.

If not, the poor parents would be left in the lurch during the evening of their life, more particularly, considering the cost of medical care prevailing at present, he said.

Quashing the April 25, 2019 letter of Perambalur district treasury officer, the judge directed him to reconsider the insurance claim and reimburse it within four weeks.

According to the petitioner R Kathiravan, working as an assistant agricultural officer, he has paid a private hospital bill of Rs 5.72 lakh for a surgery his father underwent for the removal of a tumour in September 2018.

However when he submitted his reimbursement claim, it was rejected on the ground that the father of the petitioner is not entitled for any medical reimbursement because the employee was married.


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