Madurai: Madras High Court Bench here has ruled
that the widow of a government pensioner could be granted
family pension by relaxing the relevant rules even if her
husband had not declared her as his nominee before his death.
Justice K Chandru gave the ruling while ordering family
pension to a widow who managed to get a divorce decree,
originally obtained by her husband in 2003, reversed by the
Court in August last though her husband died in January 2010.
The widow, Malarvizhi, had filed the present petition in
2010 seeking a direction to the Accountant General`s office to
grant family pension to her towards services rendered by her
husband as a secondary grade teacher in an elementary school
in Sivaganga district until his retirement in February 2002.
In his counter, Tiruppattur Treasury Officer stated that a
nominee entered in the government employee`s service register
was the only person eligible to receive family pension.But
the petitioner`s husband Poovalingam did not nominate anyone
till his retirement.
The officer said Poovalingam had filed a divorce case
against the petitioner before the Sivaganga Sub-Court and
obtained a favourable decree in March 2003. The divorce decree
was also confirmed by Sivaganga District Court in Dec2003.
However,the judge said pursuant to the filing of the
counter in the present writ plea, the High Court allowed a
second appeal filed by the petitioner and reversed the divorce
decrees passed and confirmed by the lower courts.
Therefore, in the light of the subsequent development there
was no legal impediment in holding that the petitioner was the
wife of Poovalingam.In so far as the absence of her name in
the nominee`s column was concerned, the judge said that he had
decided a similar issue in another case in 2007 itself.
The judge held that family pension could not be denied on
technicalities such as the pensioner`s failure to nominate
especially when the object of the family pension scheme was to
enable the family of the deceased Government servant to
survive even after his death.
The judge ordered authorities to grant family pension to
Malarvizhi within twelve weeks.