Lawstreet Journal

Madras HC: Second wife eligible for pension after death of first

Lawstreet Journal 29 Jan 2020 12:31am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Madras HC: Second wife eligible for pension after death of first

The Madras High Court on January 23, 2020 observed that family pension cannot be denied to second wife of a pensioner, on the ground of invalid marriage, particularly when there has been cohabitation between the two for a long period of time. The bench comprising of Justice Anand Venkatesh made the observation while directing the state government to extend the family pension benefit to the petitioner, who was the second wife of a government doctor.

The case relates to a petition filed by C Sarojini Devi. She married her husband A Chinnasamy who was working with the Morappur Panchayat Union in Dharmapuri district. 

Chinnasamy had married Sarojini Devi in 1975, while he was still married to his first wife Pancholai. He had three children with his former wife who died in 1997 due to ill health. After her death, the husband nominated his second wife to receive his pension, in 1999. He died in 2009. When Devi applied for pension, her application was brushed off citing the reason that her marriage to Chinnasamy was invalid.

After hearing the matter, Justice N Anand Venkatesh said there will be no difficulty in concluding that the marriage between Devi and Chinnasamy was ‘illegal and not recognised by law’.

It is very easy to brand the petitioner as a concubine and deprive her of her livelihood. However, the fact remains that the petitioner had lived with the deceased for nearly 34 years. The petitioner also gave birth to three children. If the petitioner had made this claim when… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Madras High Court   pension  
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