Emphasizing a substantial delay exceeding 30 years in the filing of the claim and a lack of supporting documentation to substantiate both her marital status and her late husband's service history, the Patna High Court recently dismissed a Writ Petition filed by a 96-year-old widow, claiming to be the wife of a retired Judicial Officer, seeking family pension.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Rajiv Roy noted that the claim had been made after more than a 30-year delay and refused to pass any orders. The Bench observed, "For want of any substantiating materials to prove the petitioner’s marriage and even to establish the service rendered by her husband and also the gross delay which has occurred, commends us to reject the writ petition. The writ petition, hence, would stand rejected. "

The 96-year-old widow petitioner submitted that her late husband had served the State of Bihar as a Judicial Magistrate for a duration of 13 years. Following his retirement, he purportedly received a five-year extension. The Petitioner further contended that the judge ultimately retired in May 1963. However, it was emphasized that at the time of her husband's retirement, the Bihar Pension Rules, 1950, did not include any provision for the grant of a family pension.

Considering the submissions. the Court referred to the Bihar Pension Rules, 1950 and stated, "The provision for family pension was introduced with effect from 1st April, 1964 vide Family Pension Scheme for State Government Employees, 1964, before the death of the pensioner. The claim made now after more than 30 years is grossly delayed."

The Court also observed, "The petitioner herein also does not have any substantiating material to indicate that she was married to the Judicial Officer. Even according to the petitioner, her husband was first married to another lady, from which marriage, they had two children. The first wife is said to have died, but the date of death or the death certificate is not produced. The petitioner’s marriage to the deceased employee is also not substantiated."

Further on the annexures provided by the Petitioner, containing the passport issued to her and the AADHAR Card which indicated that her spouse is Ram Kishore Prasad Sinha, the Court stated, "First of all, it is to be noticed that there is nothing to indicate that Ram Kishore Prasad Sinha is the person who was serving in the judicial service of the State. Further, both these documents are issued long after the death of the Judicial Officer who is said to have retired from the service of the State."

The Court accordingly dismissed the Writ Petition.

Cause Title: Rudra Maya Sinha v. Registrar General & Ors. [Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.7594 of 2023]

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