Bengaluru: Karnataka High Court rules second wife, too, entitled for pension share

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24-12-2023

    Second wife of a deceased railways employee entitled to pension

    High Court emphasized rights of families depend on Pension Rules

    Court directed second wife should also receive a 50% share of pension

The Karnataka High Court, on December 20, ruled that the second wife of a deceased Indian Railways employee is entitled to a share of the pension as per the governing rules.

This decision overturned an earlier order that had allocated 50% of the family pension to the first wife and her children without considering the second wife’s claim.

The first wife and her family argued that the second wife was not legally wedded according to the Hindu Marriage Act, asserting that only a legally wedded wife could receive pension benefits. The High Court, however, emphasized that the rights of employees or their families depend on the Pension Rules, clarifying that if such rules exist, pension will be granted accordingly.

The court highlighted that the relevant Pension Rule grants the right to one or more widows to claim family pension, with the provision that it should be divided equally among the widows of the deceased employee if there is more than one wife.

The bench cautioned that the second wife’s entitlement is based solely on the existence of rules allowing it, emphasizing that without such rules, she would not be entitled to family pension. Consequently, the court directed that the second wife should also receive a 50% share of the pension.

Bengaluru: Karnataka High Court rules second wife, too, entitled for pension share

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    Second wife of a deceased railways employee entitled to pension

    High Court emphasized rights of families depend on Pension Rules

    Court directed second wife should also receive a 50% share of pension

The Karnataka High Court, on December 20, ruled that the second wife of a deceased Indian Railways employee is entitled to a share of the pension as per the governing rules.

This decision overturned an earlier order that had allocated 50% of the family pension to the first wife and her children without considering the second wife’s claim.

The first wife and her family argued that the second wife was not legally wedded according to the Hindu Marriage Act, asserting that only a legally wedded wife could receive pension benefits. The High Court, however, emphasized that the rights of employees or their families depend on the Pension Rules, clarifying that if such rules exist, pension will be granted accordingly.

The court highlighted that the relevant Pension Rule grants the right to one or more widows to claim family pension, with the provision that it should be divided equally among the widows of the deceased employee if there is more than one wife.

The bench cautioned that the second wife’s entitlement is based solely on the existence of rules allowing it, emphasizing that without such rules, she would not be entitled to family pension. Consequently, the court directed that the second wife should also receive a 50% share of the pension.

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