Live-in-relationship: Is a woman entitled to her partner’s pension
New Delhi, June 10: Is a woman having a live-in relationship with a man, entitled to his retirement and pension benefits after his death and following the demise of his legally wedded wife, who is none other than her own sister?
This question has been raised in the Madras High Court and a single judge has referred the matter to a larger bench for adjudication.
S Kaliyaperumal, working in TANGEDCO (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, state-run electricity monolith) in Kumbakonam, married Susila and she was declared as his nominee in official records. As she was suffering from cancer, she permitted her sister Malarkodi to marry her husband and all the three were living under one roof with their three sons and three daughters. Susila later died and her husband applied for making Malarkodi as the legal nominee in 2015 and his sons and daughters had also consented to make Malarkodi the nominee.
Before the electricity corporation effected the change, Kaliyaperumal too died the same year. But, the TANGEDCO did not take any decision. Hence, the present writ petition from Malarkodi. Justice S Vaidyanathan, before whom the petition came up for hearing recently, observed that the matter has to be referred to a larger bench to arrive at a finality.
Due to continued live-in relationship, whether a woman attains the status of a wife to get pensionary and other terminal benefits due to the deceased person were among the issues that needed to be looked into, the judge said pointing out women are to be respected and protected.
The registry was directed to place the matter before the Chief Justice to constitute a bench for deciding the issue.