The Jammu and Kashmir HC recently in the case of Sonika Sharma vs Union of India has held that “Family pension” is a right under the law which can be taken away only if permitted by the law. Widow cannot be denied family pension after husband’s death on the ground that during his lifetime, divorce proceedings were ongoing between the couple.”
In the instant. matter, a plea was filed by the widow seeking her deceased husband’s pension who worked in the Border Security Force (BSF) as a constable till 2015. The widow was the sole heir as her husband’s parents were dead and the couple did not have any children. The application for the sanction of pension was rejected on the ground that her name was not found in the pension records of the deceased. It was also stated that a divorce petition was also pending.
Justice Rahul Bharti while rejecting the reasoning and stated that the respondents’ stand was nothing but frivolous and without any legal basis. He further ordered the authorities to sanction and grant family pensions under the rules in favour of the petitioner along with all retrospective benefits. “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,” the judgement read.