In a significant observation, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday said only the first wife of a man would be entitled to his money. The HC however, said that children from both the marriages would be entitled to claim a share.
A bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Justice Madhav Jamdar was dealing with a plea filed by the second wife of a state railway police officer, who died of Covid 19. The wife along with her daughter sought share in the Rs 65 lakh compensation, to be paid by the Maharashtra government, as per its policy decision for public servants, who would die due to Covid19, while on duty.
The daughter sought her share for protecting herself and her mother from starvation and homelessness.
Apart from the second wife and her daughter, the bench was petitioned by the first wife of the deceased police officer.
During the course of the hearing, state's counsel Jyoti Chavan apprised the judges of a ruling of the HC's Aurangabad bench, which has held that only the first wife is entitled to the money of her husband and not the second one.
Having noted the ruling, Justice Kathawalla said, "The law says that the second wife might not get anything. But the daughter from the second wife, and the first wife and the daughter from the first marriage will be entitled to the money."
Meanwhile, the bench was further informed by the counsel of the second wife that the first wife was very much aware of her husband's second marriage. The counsel even highlighted the fact that the second wife and the cop lived in the official staff quarters, provided by the state in Dharavi.
These claims were however, denied by the first wife.
The bench accordingly, ordered the first wife and her daughter, to clarify if they had any information of the deceased cop's second marriage. The matter is likely to be heard on Thursday.