Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: In a unique case, the Bombay High Court recently allowed a woman to claim a right on the pension of her husband, who had not made her a nominee for the pension benefits. The HC has ordered the pension authorities to disburse the amount within 4 weeks.

A bench of Justices Ranjit More and Nizamooddin Jamadar, last week allowed the petition by Usha Kolge, who was the second wife of Daulat Kolge, who was a government servant.

Daulat had taken voluntary retirement from his services in 1992 and died in 2016. In his pension plan and all the documents related to the scheme, Daulat had not named his second wife as a nominee or a dependant.

Instead, the records showed Daulat had named his three children from his first wife and not Usha. All the children are now above 25 years old and thus were disentitled to avail the benefits of their father’s pension.

Accordingly, the trio gave up their right in the pension benefits and also submitted a no objection certificate (NOC) before the competent authorities. The NOC was endorsed to allow Usha to avail the pension benefits.

However, the authorities denied giving such a right to Usha, who was not shown or named as a nominee or even a dependent neither in the scheme documents nor on record.

Trashing the contentions of the authorities, the judges, after considering the facts of the case, allowed Usha to avail all the benefits of her husband’s pension.

“We find merit in the petition. Though it is a fact that in the nomination paper deceased Daulat had nominated his children, however, they are not entitled to a family pension because they have already attained majority and even crossed the age of 25 years and got married.”

“The trio by filing an affidavit has accepted this position. Under these circumstances the ground of opposition by the authorities that Usha is not entitled to pension as deceased Daulat had nominated his children in the pension papers has no substance,” the judges said.

The bench referred to the documents pertaining to the marriage of Daulat and Usha, in 1994 — over two years after his first wife’s death. “Thus, in the totality of circumstances, we are more than satisfied that Usha is entitled to the family pension after the death of her husband Daulat and we accordingly direct the respondent authorities to release the same as expeditiously as possible, preferably within four weeks,” the judges ruled.

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