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Kamalbai and Ors. Vs. The State of Maharashtra and Ors. - (High Court of Bombay) (28 Oct 2021)

Only the legally wedded is entitled to a family pension, if governed by Maharashtra Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1982



In present writ petitions, the Petitioners are widows. They had performed the second marriage during the subsistence of the first marriage of their husbands. All the Petitioners are claiming the same relief of family pension on the death of their husbands under Rule 116(6) (a) (1) of the Maharashtra Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1982.

The Hindu Marriage Act governs the marriage of the Petitioners. The law is settled that, a Hindu cannot perform second marriage during the subsistence of his first marriage. The same rule is also applicable to the public servant unless the custom or his religion permits. The Hon'ble the Full Bench has considered all the relevant laws and pension rules that prohibit the public servant from performing second marriage during the subsistence of his first marriage. It is the positive case of the Petitioners that they got married to their husbands during the subsistence of their husbands' first marriage. Therefore, their marriage is void ab initio.

The recognition of the law cannot be evaded by agreements. Such agreements neither create any right in favour of the parties nor bind the third party. Thus, the contention that the agreement in the family entitles the Petitioner to family pension has no force of law.

The law is settled that, only the legally wedded is entitled to a family pension, if governed by Rules, 1982. The Petitioners are widows but not legally wedded wives. The impugned orders passed in all the petitions are lawfully correct and proper and do not warrant interference. Petitions dismissed.


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