Whether second wife in bigamous marriage can claim pension in case of death of her husband?
It was argued by the learned counsel for the respondent that a second wife was deceived by deceased husband and she begotten a daughter from the deceased and therefore, it is necessary for the Court to take a gender protectionist view and grant her pension. This argument of the learned counsel for the respondent is one sided and may appear convincing superficially, but it does not stand to reason after close scrutiny. The Courts have empathy for a woman who is deceived by a man, however, she may take recourse under the other enactments for redressal. So far as husband is a Government servant
and matter is covered under the rules, then the Curt cannot take other view than permissible in law. The Division Bench in the case of Chanda Hinglas Bharati has made a reference to similar argument and has rightly observed that “showing sympathy to a woman like the petitioner would result in depriving a legitimate wife of her right to receive full family pension. This is the gender positive view towards the legally wedded wife. The case of second wife may be unfortunate but I am of the view that Court cannot pass verdict in her favour. While doing justice, injustice should not be caused to a person having a rightful claim. Thus, I fully rely on the ratio laid down in the case of Chanda Hinglas Bharati and hold that marriage contracted with second lady in subsistence of first marriage or spouse is living, then second lady from the Hindu/Christians cannot claim as a widow entitled to pension subject to personal law or as stated in Rule 26 of Maharashtra Civil Services (Conduct) Rules. IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION FIRST APPEAL NO.577 OF 2015 WITH CIVIL APPLICATION NO.1770 OF 2015 Draupada @ Draupadi Jaydeo Pawar and Others ... Appellants vs. Indubai d/o. Kashinath Shivram Chavan and Another ... Respondents