The divorced daughter of a freedom fighter with no pensionable income: Calcutta HC

The High Court of Calcutta recently pointed out that the widowed or divorced daughter of a freedom fighter is entitled to her pension and that exclusion is contrary to article 14 of the Constitution.

In a judgment delivered earlier this month, Judge Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya said that when it comes to girls without an independent source of income, widowed / divorced girls are on an equal footing with a girl. single as the heir to the deceased freedom fighter.

“Everyone’s marital status is ‘single’. Thus, the criterion for excluding widowed / divorced daughters, as proposed by Respondent No. 1, is untenable in the eyes of the law, ”the order reads.

Twin condition

Under clause 5.2.5 of Samman’s central pension disbursement guidelines, “the widowed / divorced daughter is not entitled to Samman’s pensions”. The clause specifies that in order to transfer the pension to the spouse or to the daughter, a double condition must be fulfilled, namely to be single and not to have an independent source of income.

The court, in its order, pointed out that the directives issued by the Home Office as being contrary to Article 14 after observing that “the general exclusion of widowed / divorced girls, including even those who do not have no personal income instead of maintenance or the like, is clearly outside Article 14, which enshrines the guarantee to all citizens of India. ”

“Thus, as in the case where an unmarried girl who has no income is not eligible for the pension, widowed / divorced daughters are on an equal footing with the daughters of the deceased and will not be eligible for pension. anyway if they have an independent source of income, which could very well be alimony or alimony, ”reads the order of April 7, 2021.

The case concerns a lawsuit in which the petitioner, being the daughter of a deceased freedom fighter, was receiving a pension under the scheme until her death on 4 December 2012. After the death of the father, the widowed mother of the petitioner had requested the granting of a pension, but her representation remained in abeyance for a long time. The mother died in 2019, leaving the applicant who had obtained a divorce judgment on March 19, 1999. She had since resided at the paternal home with her son.

Thelma J. Longworth

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