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Gauhati High Court dismisses second wife’s petition for family pension

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The Gauhati High Court has dismissed a petition filed by a man’s second wife seeking family pension.

It is the case of the petitioner that the petitioner is the wife of one Biren Deka, who was working in the Irrigation Department as a Handyman and had passed away on 10.08.2016. The petitioner claims to have three children also.

The claim of the petitioner has been contested by the respondents including the private respondent by filing an affidavit.

P. Mahanta, counsel for the Private Respondent, submitted that the claim of the petitioner appears to be a misconceived one inasmuch as it is the Private Respondent, who is first wife of the deceased employee and as per law, it is the Private Respondent, who is entitled to the family pension.

After hearing the parties and on perusal of the records, A Single Bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Medhi has noticed that the parties are Hindu by religion and as per the Hindu Marriage Act, there is no concept of bigamy and rather the same is an offence under the Indian Penal Code and also a ground for divorce.

The counsel for the petitioner fairly submitted that the children are also major and therefore, though some relief could have been given to the children in case they were minor, that situation is also not there , observed the Court.

“In that view of the matter, this Court has no other option but to dismiss this petition inasmuch as a second wife is not entitled to family pension in existence of the first wife in this case of which the facts are admitted and the parties are Hindus by religion,” the order reads.

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