CHENNAI: The Madras bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Wednesday upheld Kolkata-based Ordnance Factory Board’s order rejecting the claim for family pension by the ‘second wife’ of an OFB employee.
The bench of judicial member Justice G Shanthappa and administrative member R Satapathy said the decision taken by the respondents, including OFB, in rejecting the claim of R Devaki, ‘second wife’ of M Subramaniam, for family pension was right.
The department of pension and pensioners’ welfare, the order said, had clarified that the ‘second wife’ would not be entitled to family pension as such a marriage cannot be legally solemnised when either party has a spouse living at the time. The respondents include OFB chairman and director-general and general manager of Cordite Factory in The Nilgiris. “The petitioner (Devika) cannot ask for inclusion of her name for family pension of M Subramaniam, who died on March 6, 2012, since she is his illegitimate wife and not entitled for the relief as prayed for,” said Justice Shanthappa.
An employee of the Cordite Factory, Subramaniam ‘married’ Devika in 1977 when his first wife was alive. When he applied for pension, he claimed only a single pension. However, after his first wife’s death, Subramaniam made a representation on September 10, 2010 requesting the authorities to include Devika in his pension payment order as wife by enclosing the true extract of the Hindu Marriage Register kept by the marriage registrar office in Coonoor.
The authorities rejected it saying his ‘second marriage’ happened during the life time of his first wife and such a marriage was invalid. Devika challenged this order before the CAT bench. “Any second marriage by a Hindu male after the commencement of 1955 Act during the lifetime of his first wife will be null and have no legal effect. The applicant has not proved her case,” said Justice Shanthappa and dismissed the petition.
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