Earning Family Pension Is A Law Given Right Which Cannot Be Denied Except By Law- J&K&L HC
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has directed the Commanding Officer 182 Battalion, BSF to sanction and grant family pension under the rules in favour of the widow along with all retrospective benefits.
The Bench of Justice Rahul Bharti observed that “The matter of earning family pension is a law given right which can be deprived to a person only in case the law is enabling/permitting such disentitlement, which is not the present case. As such, the stand taken by the respondents is nothing but frivolous without any legal basis.”
Advocate P.S. Pawar appeared for the petitioner and CGSC Ranjit Singh Jamwal appeared for the respondent-Union of India.
In this case, the petitioner, a widow had filed the Writ Petition in 2017 after her application to the Commanding Officer 182 Battalion, BSF for sanctioning and releasing of the family pension and other benefits arising and accruing upon the death of her husband, had been rejected.
During the lifetime of the husband, a marital litigation for divorce was going on between the two but on account of the demise of her husband came to abate.
The Commanding Officer rejected the application on the ground that the widow’s name was not found in the pension record of the deceased and on account of divorce petition pending, the case for process of family pension in favour of widow could not be taken up. The deceased husband was serving in the Border Security Force as constable and had retired in the year 2015.
The High Court said that the respondents were reading pension papers to be a will of the deceased to not grant family pension after his demise in favour of the petitioner.
“There is not even a single provision of law quoted in the reply/objections by the respondents as to on what basis the respondents are enabling themselves to deny the petitioner her claim for sanction and grant of family pension. If read between the lines, the respondents are, at best, reading it to be a will of Vinay Kumar Sharma not to grant family pension after his demise in favour of the petitioner but that situation cannot be allowed to be used by the respondents.” the Court observed.
Thus, the High Court held that the stand taken by the respondent authorities was nothing but frivolous without any legal basis.
Accordingly, the Court allowed the Writ Petition and directed the authorities to sanction and grant family pension under the rules in favour of the petitioner along with all retrospective benefits.
Cause Title- Sonika Sharma v. Union of India and others