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Allahabad High Court rejects plea seeking family pension for second wife on the grounds of illegal marriage

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The Allahabad High Court while dismissing the petition observed that the first wife being the legally entitled dependent of late husband was rightly given pensionary benefits and after the death of the first wife, further pensionary benefits in terms of family pension cannot be given to the second wife whose marriage was not permissible otherwise in law.

A Single Bench of Justice Ajit Kumar passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Smt Vimala Devi.

Petitioner claims to be the second wife of late Virendra Singh, who retired from the post of Head Constable, UP Civil Police.

The claim of the petitioner is that the first wife was getting family pension after the death of her late husband and since first wife Ram Beti has now died on March 11, 2018, petitioner became entitled for family pension.

Upon a pointed query being made to the counsel for the petitioner as to whether the second marriage was ever registered or not, counsel for the petitioner would very fairly concede that the second marriage took place during the lifetime of the first wife.

The Standing Counsel submitted that the second marriage got rendered void in the event of the first wife still surviving and the bigamy is an offence for a government employee.

“Having heard counsel for the respective parties and their arguments raised across the bar, I find that the marriage of the applicant had taken place during the lifetime of the first wife of her late husband Virendra Singh and so the second marriage was null and void and petitioner would not, therefore, be entitled to any post retirement dues of her late husband which were disbursed in favour of his first wife.

It is an admitted case of the petitioner that the first wife was getting pension. First wife being the legally entitled dependent of late Virendra Singh was rightly given pensionary benefits and after the death of Ram Beti, the first wife, the further pensionary benefits in terms of family pension cannot be given to the second wife whose marriage was not permissible otherwise in law.

In view of the above, I do not find any justification for the claim of the petitioner for family pension”, the Court observed, while dismissing the petition.

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