Second wife, Children and Pension entitlement


       Only a lawyer can understand this ‘logic’.

         Second wife has no claim on family pension BUT Second wife’s kids can claim pension share. Extracts from two news reports  

Second wife has no claim on family pension: HC
3 Mar 2008, 0000 hrs IST , Shibu Thomas , TNN
 MUMBAI: It’s not just society that looks down on a second marriage. In tune with the laws of the land, the Bombay High Court, too, has frowned on such relationships.

In an important judgment, a division bench of the court recently held that a second wife has no claim over the family pension of a government employee.

The bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and Roshan Dalvi dismissed a petition filed by a Pune resident who had laid claim to the family pension of her “husband” after his death.

The petition was filed by Leelabai Bhegade, who claimed to be the second wife of Vithal Bhegade. Bhegade, who had retired from the Pune Ordnance Factory in 1983, died in 2000, followed by his first wife Laxmi in 2002.

Leelabai then applied for the family pension. The government rejected her plea. The Central Administrative Tribunal, too, dismissed her application and she approached the high court.

Advocate J M Tanpure contended that the ration card, as well as electoral rolls, showed Leelabai as Bhegade’s second wife.

Advocate S S Pakale, representing the Union government, cited a series of laws as well as provisions against bigamy. Most important was the Hindu Marriage Act enacted in 1955.

Section 11 of the Act says a second marriage by a Hindu man during the lifetime of his first wife will be deemed null and void. Further, Rule 21 of the Central Civil Service (Conduct) Rules bars a government employee from entering into a second marriage when his or her spouse is still alive.   

2nd wife has no claim on family pension: HC  

Shibu Thomas | TNN  Mumbai:

      It’s not just society that looks down on a second marriage. In tune with the laws of the land, the Bombay high court, too, has frowned on such relationships. In an important judgment, a division bench of the court recently held that a second wife has no claim over the family pension of a government employee.
   The bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and Roshan Dalvi dismissed a petition filed by a Pune resident who had laid claim to the family pension of her ‘‘husband’’ after his death.
   The petition was filed by Leelabai Bhegade, who claimed to be the second wife of Vithal Bhegade. Bhegade, who had retired from the Pune Ordnance Factory in 1983, died in 2000, followed by his first wife Laxmi in 2002. Leelabai then applied for the family pension. The government rejected her plea. The Central Administrative Tribunal, too, dismissed her application and she approached the high court.
   Advocate J M Tanpure contended that the ration card, as well as electoral rolls, showed Leelabai as Bhegade’s second wife. Advocate S S Pakale, representing the Union government, cited a series of laws as well as provisions against bigamy. Most important was the Hindu Marriage Act enacted in 1955. Section 11 of the Act says a second marriage by a Hindu man during the lifetime of his first wife will be deemed null and void. Further, Rule 21 of the Central Civil Service (Conduct) Rules bars a government employee from entering into a second marriage when his or her spouse is still alive.

      Second wife’s kids can claim pension share


       Mumbai: In a case where the Bombay HC dismissed the petition filed by a second wife to claim pension of her dead husband, advocate S S Pakale, representing the government, also pointed out that the department of pension and pensioners’ welfare had made it clear through one of its directives in 1987 that the second wife would not be entitled to family pension as a legally wedded spouse.
   The court agreed with the government’s stand on the legal position of a second wife. The judges also referred to the SC’s decision of 2000 in the Rameshwari Devi versus State of Bihar case.
   In that instance, the SC had held that while minor children from a second marriage could claim a share of the family pension till they turned adults, the second wife was not entitled to it.
   The court also observed that Leelabai had failed to prove that she was married to Bhegade, as he had not nominated her to receive the pension. Moreover, Leelabai had applied for the pension only after his first wife had died. This created doubts about her claims, the court said.

Justice HR Khanna: An Upright and Fearless Judge


justice-hr-khanna.png          India has much to be grateful to Justice HR Khanna.

       A man who stood by his principles against odds and his peers.

        Lone dissenter judge during Emergency all but forgotten

Extracts from an article in TNN. Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN  
   Seldom does a judge play such a vital role — make citizen’s fundamental rights inviolable and later, show the lamp to luminaries who went with the tide and blinked when these very rights were being consigned to the darkest of nights in the life of a democracy. He was Justice H R Khanna.
   He was a distinguished presence on the Benches of the SC, which delivered two landmark judgments. They continue till date to be the spirit behind judicially-protected fundamental rights wick. Keshavananda Bharati judgment of April 24, 1973, codified the inviolability of a citizen’s fundamental rights. These cannot be changed or abridged as per the whims and fancies of a political party commanding brute majority in Parliament.
   

     Justice Khanna, being part of this verdict, felt it should not be too easy or too difficult to amend the Constitution. Giving glimpses of great foresight, he said: ‘‘No generation has a monopoly of wisdom nor has a right to put fetters on future generations to mould the machinery of governments. If no provisions were made for amendment of the Constitution, the people would have recourse to extra-constitutional methods like revolution to change the Constitution.’’


   Two years later, proclamation of emergency by the then PM Indira Gandhi made fundamental rights an illusion. The government of the day brutalized a nation under the cloak of emergency, and through its macabre powers. In the life of any great institution, there comes a moment to prove its mettle. Such an opportunity came before the Supreme Court in 1976, during those dark days, in the form of a case titled ‘ADM Jabalpur vs Shiv Kant Shukla’.
   It provided the perfect wicket for a five-judge bench of Chief Justice A N Ray and Justices Khanna, M H Beg, Y V Chandrachud and P N Bhagwati to bat on even though the weather was inclement. They simply had to follow Keshavananda Bharti case judgment to state that the government could not violate citizen’s right to life. The next-generation luminaries on the bench, except Justice Khanna, caved in and agreed with the then attorney general Niren De that if a policeman killed a passerby just for fun, there would be no remedy available to the kin as right to life had zero value during emergency.

   All of them — Justices Ray, Beg, Chandrachud and Bhagwati simply flowed with the tide. Showing the lamp to these luminaries was Justice Khanna, who penned the golden line — fundamental rights, especially the right to life, cannot be violated even during Emergency.

      The dissent cost him heavy. The government carried the day with the help of a 4:1 majority but was wounded by Justice Khanna’s sharp pen. It wreaked vengeance by appointing Justice Beg as CJI in 1977 by superseding Justice Khanna.

        One of the finest tributes to Justice Khanna came from the ‘New York Times’ two days after the verdict. In its April 30, 1976 editorial, NYT wrote: ‘‘If India ever finds its way back to the freedom and democracy that were proud hallmarks of its first 18 years as an independent nation, someone will surely erect a monument to Justice H R Khanna of the Supreme Court. It was Justice Khanna who spoke out fearlessly and eloquently for freedom this week in dissenting from the court’s decision upholding the right of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s government to imprison political opponents at will and without court hearings… the Indian Supreme Court’s decision appears close to utter surrender.’’
   Surrender it was. But, we did get back to democracy. Lamentably, no one cared to build a monument for Justice Khanna. But, does anyone build a monument for a monument, which Justice Khanna was?
   dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com