Lawstreet Journal

“Live-in Partner Cannot Have Better Claim Than Lawfully Married Wife”: Kerala High Court on Service Benefits

Lawstreet Journal 29 Jun 2021 12:24am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary “Live-in Partner Cannot Have Better Claim Than Lawfully Married Wife”: Kerala High Court on Service Benefits

While deciding a matrimonial appeal, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court announced that when there is evidence of long cohabitation with two women simultaneously, one pursuant to a ceremonial marriage and the other not so, the presumption of valid marriage leans in favour of the former.

Division Bench of Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Kauser Edappagath observed, “It is true that the parties to a live-in relationship or non-formal relationship who have lived together for an extended period of time could be brought within the purview of laws relating to maintenance and domestic violence and could be considered as husband and wife for the said limited purpose. But, parties to such a relationship cannot be elevated to marital status. A female partner in a live-in relationship cannot have a better claim than a legally married wife.”

The appellant Rajeeve approached the Court aggrieved by the order of a Family Court disentitling her of family pension and other death benefits of a late government employee, who she claims to be her husband.

The brief background of the matter is that an employee of South Western Railways, S. Reghunathan passed away on 31/1/2009 while in service. After his death, both the appellant and the respondent raised rival claims before the Railways for his service benefits. Both of them claimed to be the legally wedded wives of late Reghunathan and with two children each born in their respective wedlock. As such, they asserted their entitlement to receive the family pension… Continue Reading...

Tagged: kerala high court  
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