Report No. 62
2.20. Uterine relationship-Recommendation.-
The question whether the words indicating relationship include uterine relationship has arisen under the Act. In one case1 from Madhya Pradesh, a workman had died in course of work. One B, a minor brother of the deceased, put in his claim for compensation. The court held that from the evidence, it appeared that B was a uterine brother of the deceased (e.g. the mother of B and the mother of the deceased was the same). The question was whether the term "minor brother" occurring in section 2(1), clause (d), included also a minor uterine brother. It was held that the term "minor brother" includes a minor uterine brother under the Workmen's Compensation Act which was a law which has "its roots in charity, sympathy and the advance of socialistic ideas."
1. G.M. Gwalior Sugar Co. v. Srilal, AIR 1958 MP 133 (134).
2.21. In a Lahore case,1 it had been held2 that a "minor brother" includes a consanguine minor brother. The Lahore case also referred to the principle of Mohammedan Law, according to which consanguine brothers and sisters are classified as residuaries (heirs).
The High Court of Madhya Pradesh has held that a consanguine brother and a uterine brother stand on the same footing as both are step-brothers. Reference was also made by the Madhya Pradesh High Court to the provision in the Indian Succession Act,3 under which (for purposes of succession) there is no distinction between those who are related to the deceased person by full blood and those related by half blood. In our opinion, the above interpretation should be codified so as to include uterine and consanguine brothers and sisters in the definition of "dependant".
1. Dependants of Kartar Singh, AIR 1931 Lah 752.
2. Mong Kyan (in re:), AIR 1931 Rang 173, takes a contrary view.
3. Section 27, Indian Succession Act, 1925.