The Madras High Court has come to the rescue of an 84-year-old woman, who had been running from pillar to post to prove she is alive after her daughter-in-law obtained a death certificate in a bid to grab her property. The high court bench in Madurai took up the issue on its own after a media report on the octogenarian’s plight and directed cancellation of the death certificate of A Thottiyamal, hailing from Ramanathapuram district.
A division bench comprising Justices KK Sasidharan and PD Audikesavalu Wednesday impleaded the woman’s daughter-in-law and grandson in the case and also directed the authorities to cancel the death certificate issued in her name on September 27, 2016 and an enquiry into the matter.
The bench also directed the Ramanathapuram municipal Commissioner and district registrar to file their replies and cancelled the inam settlement by obtaining the woman’s signature by giving false information and transferring the land to her grandson Praveen Kumar’s name.
According to the report, Thottiyammal had been living with her son A Doss, who was a sheristadar in the district court, and had 12 cents of land. She also had three daughters.
Her son died in an accident in 2016. Earlier, he had transferred the land to his son Praveen Kumar by an inam settlement without informing Thottiyamal, who was 81 then. She alleged that she was misled by her son, who forged the signatures of her three daughters in the settlement. After Doss’s death, his wife Meenakshi, a school teacher, produced a legal heir certificate to claim benefits though Thottiyammal was alive.
The report said the elderly woman realised she was defrauded and lodged a police complaint, but no action was taken. Even after a directive from a local court in Ramanathapuram to take action against Meenakshi, nothing was done, it added.