Mumbai, Sept 4 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Friday advised the two wives of a deceased railway police personnel, a COVID-19 victim, to work out amicably how to share his assets.
A bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and M J Jamdar also accepted the submission that his first wife and daughters from both the marriages will get one-third each of the compensation due from the Maharashtra government.
Suresh Hatankar, an assistant sub-inspector of railway police in Mumbai, succumbed to the viral infection on May 30.
The state government has announced that legal heirs of a police personnel who dies due to COVID-19 while on duty would get a compensation of Rs 60 lakh -- Rs 50 lakh from the state and Rs 10 lakh from the police relief fund.
As per government lawyer Jyoti Chavan, Hatankar's family is entitled to get around Rs 66 lakh including gratuity benefits.
However, after his death, his two wives staked individual claims to the money.
Shraddha, Hatankar's daughter from the second marriage, moved the HC, seeking that she be given proportionate share of the compensation amount to save her and her mother from 'starvation' and homelessness.
At an earlier hearing, the bench led by Justice Kathawalla had observed that as per the law, the second wife might not get anything.
But Hatankar's daughters from both marriages as well as the first wife are entitled to get the compensation, it had said.
Advocate Chavan had said a judgment of the Aurangabad bench of the high court had taken the same view in a similar case.
As per Shraddha Hatankar's petition, Suresh married his first wife in 1992 and the second wife in 1998, and both marriages were registered. He has a daughter each from the two marriages.
'The parties and their Advocates have after certain discussions agreed to share the amount deposited in the Court in the ratio of 1/3rd :1/3rd : 1/3rd,' the bench said, while ruling that the money deposited in the court by the state be paid to them.
'The Court as well as the Advocates appearing for the parties are of the view that the parties in order not to waste their time and money in litigation, should arrive at an amicable settlement qua (regarding) all the movable and immovable assets of the deceased,' it said.
The court directed the parties to inform it of the settlement by September 11. PTI AYA KRK KRK