NEW DELHI: In a first of its kind order, the Supreme Court has given relief to widow of a CRPF constable, who had remarried and asked the authorities to restore the family pension to her.
The widow’s pension was stopped following the Rajasthan High Court order on a writ petition by mother of the deceased constable. The court had ordered discontinuation of pension on the ground that the widow had remarried.
A bench of Justices Prafulla C Pant and D Y Chandrachud expressed surprise over the proceedings in the high court which did not implead the woman as a party to the case. The high court had also directed recovery of pension paid to her.
Feeling aggrieved, widow had filed an appeal before the Supreme Court.
The court said, “Rule 54 of the Family Pension Rules, 1964 provides that the childless widow of the deceased Government employee shall continue to be paid family pension even after her remarriage, subject to the condition that the family pension shall cease once her independent income from all other sources becomes equal to or higher than the maximum prescribed family pension in the Central Government.” As per the widow, her first husband who was serving in CRPF died in 1983, she re-married in 1989 and after that she was given ordinary pension.
Meanwhile her second husband too died in 2009 and the mother of the deceased constable also died in 2012.
On this, the bench observed, “We are inclined to accept the case of the appellant that she is actually entitled to the family pension and she is wrongly deprived of the same under the directions passed by the High Court in the writ petition in which she was not a party.”
“The family pension awarded to the appellant is restored from February, 2012 and no recovery shall be made from the appellant in respect of pension already paid to her,” the court noted.