• search
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

Explained: Can a second wife claim pension of deceased husband

|

New Delhi, Jan 27: Coming to the rescue of the second wife of a deceased doctor, the Madras High Court has directed the Director of Local Fund Audits to sanction family pension with effect from the date of her husband's death.

C Sarojini Devi had challenged the order of the Director of Local fund Audits, Chennai, refusing to grant family pension on the ground that the marriage between the petitioner and doctor, a deceased government employee, was not valid and she cannot be considered to be the legal representative.

Explained: Can a second wife claim pension of deceased husband

Citing a Supreme Court judgment, Justice Anand Venkatesh allowed her petition and said, "... this court has to necessarily lean towards the presumption of marriage rather than branding the petitioner as a concubine."

Explained: How the chief guest for Republic Day parade is picked?

"This will be the most appropriate way to deal with the facts of the present case if justice has to be done to the petitioner," the judge said, quashing the order.

The doctor, A Chinnasamy married Sarojini Devi in 1975 during the subsistence of his first marriage and had three children through her.

After the first wife died in 1997, he nominated the petitioner on May 11, 1999, to receive the family pension after his death.

It was submitted that the petitioner lived with Chinnasamy for nearly 12 years even after the death of the first wife.

The special government pleader said the petitioner cannot be considered to be the deceased government employee's legal heir.

Citing an apex court judgment, the judge said the supreme court has held that "the law presumes in favour of marriage and against concubinage when a man and woman have cohabitated continuously for a long time."

Explained: Why J&K dropped Sher-e-Kashmir from name of police medals

It was very easy to brand the petitioner as a concubine and deprive her of her livelihood. However, the fact remains that she lived with the deceased from 1975 up to his death in 2009, Justice Venkatesh said.

This means that the petitioner lived with him for nearly 34 years, the judge said, adding she also gave birth to three children.

If the petitioner had made this claim when the first wife was alive, then obviously she will not be entitled to the pension since her relationship is not recognized by law, the court said.

After the first wife died, the petitioner lived with Chinnasamy till his death.

"During this period, it can always be construed that the petitioner and the deceased Dr A Chinnasamy were living as husband and wife and their long co-habitation itself raises that presumption of marriage."

Besides Chinnasamy had also nominated the petitioner to receive the family pension, the court said.

Quashing the order, the judge directed officials to sanction family pension with effect from the date of Chinnasamy's death on January 20, 2009.

Officials should disburse the pension arrears within 12 weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the order, the judge said, adding the petitioner shall be continued to be paid the family pension till her lifetime.

For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Enable
x
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more
X