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Report No. 111

5.4. Scope of relatives entitled to compensation-proposal for extension.-

(a) It may be noted that in India, sisters and brothers are recognized dependants under the Workmen's Compensation Act1 and also under the Railways Act.2 In our view, the wider list of relatives3 adopted in England is suitable for India also. In the context of the Fatal Accidents Act, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, and their issues should be included.

(b) In fact, having regard to Indian sentiments, there could be scope even for including a widowed daughter-in-law living with the deceased. Cases are not uncommon where the widowed daughter-in-law, not having an independent source of income, was economically dependent on the father-in-law who had died as a result of the injury. Even in England4, the inclusion of the widowed daughter-in-law and mother-in-law had been suggested in the debates on legislation proposed on the subject, though the suggestion does not seem to have been implemented. Inclusion of the widowed daughter-in-law within the category of persons entitled to compensation would be eminently desirable in Indian conditions. The same logic applies to a deceased brother's widow. The list should, therefore, be expanded to cover these two relatives also.

1. Section 4(1) and 8(5), Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923.

2. Section 82A, Indian Railways Act, 1890.

3. Para. 5.2, supra.

4. See H.L. Debates, Vol. 216, Col. 1079-1080.

5.5. On the basis of the above discussion, the following relatives should be covered for the purposes of section 1A, second paragraphs:1

(a) wife or husband,2

(b) child,3 including step-child, adopted child,4 and illegitimate child5 and grand-children or persona of like description,6

(c) parent, including step-parent, and grand-parent,

(d) brother,7 including that by half-blood or uterine blood, and his issue,

(e) sister,8 including that by half-blood or uterine blood, and her issue,

(f) aunts and uncles and their issues,9

(g) widowed daughter-in-law,10

(h) widow of brother.11

1. See Appendix 1, clauses 4(1) and 4(3).

2. As to divorced spouses, see paragraph 5.1, infra.

3. See para. 10.6, infra and Appendix 1, Clauses 2(1) and 2(2).

4. See para. 10.1, infra and Appendix 1, Clause 2(1).

5. See Appendix 1, Clause 2(2) and para. 10.4(i), infra.

6. Para. 10.4(ii), infra.

7. Para. 5.4(a), supra.

8. See para. 5.4(a), supra.

9. See para. 5.4(a), supra.

10. Para. 5.4(b), supra.

11. Para. 5.4(b), supra.

The Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 Back

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