The Bombay High Court on Wednesday made it clear that the relationship of marriage with the first wife, if not legally terminated, would not entitle the second wife to the pension of her deceased husband. Where the second marriage took place without the legal dissolution of the first marriage.
A division bench of Justices S J Kathawala and Milind Jadhav dismissed the plea of Solapur resident Shamal Tate challenging the state government’s decision to deny him pensionary benefits.
According to the High Court order, Tate’s husband Mahadev, a peon in the Solapur District Collector’s office, died in 1996. The marriage was fixed even before Mahadev’s death. After his death, Tate and Mahadev’s first wife made an agreement that the former would receive about 90 percent of the deceased person’s retirement benefits, while the latter would receive a monthly pension.
Application was rejected four times
Meanwhile, after the death of Mahadev’s first wife from cancer, Tate wrote to the state government demanding that he be given the arrears of Mahadev’s pension. After much deliberation, the state government rejected four applications made by Tet between 2007 and 2014. The application said that Tate approached the High Court in 2019 claiming that she was the mother of three children of Mahadev and the society knew them as husband and wife, she was eligible to receive the pension. But since their first wife, she should get a pension.
Court’s seal on the decision of the state government
The bench said that the state government is right to say that only a legally married wife is entitled to a family pension. The court also said that the settlement was not done in a legal manner, hence it would not be valid. Only the first wife is eligible for this.
Women Army officers can get pension even after one year of retirement
Women officers have not received a pension despite a Supreme Court order in February 2020, which paved the way for giving pension benefits to women officers with service tenure of 20 years. Whereas about 15 short-service commissioned women officers of the Indian Army can get pension even after almost a year of retirement after 20 years of service. To this, a senior Defense Ministry official said that the issue has been resolved and women officers will get pension soon.