Q: My father, a government servant, died in harness in 1995. My mother gets family pension. I have an older sister who was married while my father was in service. Ever since her husband died in an accident in 2005 she, with her two children, has been living with my mother. They are all dependent on my motherís income. Would my sister be eligible for the family pension after my motherís death? If yes, what is the procedure to ensure that?
Pradeep Mahapatra, via email
A: A dependent widowed or divorced daughter of a deceased central government employee is eligible for family pension provided she fulfils the eligibility conditions required at the time of the death of her parent. In your case, your mother may intimate the concerned authorities that she is nominating your sister as the next eligible person entitled to the family pension. Or else, after her demise your sister can apply for it by filling an application form online or at the concerned office.
Q: My sister-in-law, 57, has three brothers and three sisters. Her parents are dead. She has not been able to take care of herself from the time she was 25 due to mental illness. Who has the onus of taking care of her? Her siblings are not willing to take the responsibility. Is there any law that will force them to take joint responsibility? Else, is there any provision by which a judge or police or some competent authority can ensure that she is taken care of in a mental hospital free of cost for the rest of her life? Is she eligible for any financial help from the government?
Durga Das, Calcutta
A: The provisions of The Mental Health Act, 1987, deal with the treatment and care of mentally ill persons. Section 25 of the act empowers the magistrate to pass orders in case of those who are not under proper care or are neglected by a relative. The magistrate may ask such a relative to give an undertaking to take proper care of the person. However, in certain circumstances, the magistrate may send the person to a licensed psychiatric hospital or nursing home at the cost of either the relatives or the personís income from any property that he or she may have. In exceptional cases the government does bear all the costs incurred in the concerned hospital or nursing home.