Thursday, September 29, 2016

फैमिली पेंशन पर पहला हक विधवा का, वसीयत के अभाव में मृतक की संपत्ति का बराबर-बराबर बंटवारा किया जा सकता है, लेकिन पेंशन का नहीं : सुप्रीम कोर्ट

नई दिल्ली। (एसएनबी) सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने कहा है कि सरकारी कर्मी की मृत्यु होने पर उसकी विधवा को ही पेंशन दी जा सकती है। विधवा के होते हुए परिवार के किसी अन्य सदस्य को पेंशन नहीं दी जा सकती। वसीयत के अभाव में मृतक की संपत्ति का बराबर-बराबर बंटवारा किया जा सकता है, लेकिन पेंशन का नहीं। जस्टिस अनिल दवे और एल नागेश्वर राव की बेंच ने पंजाब और हरियाणा हाईकोर्ट के फैसले को खारिज करते हुए मृतक की पत्नी को पारिवारिक पेंशन देने का आदेश दिया। हाईकोर्ट ने मृतक की विधवा तथा उसकी मां को पेंशन की रकम का 50-50 प्रतिशत देने का आदेश दिया था। सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने कहा कि फैमिली पेंशन के नियम उत्तराधिकार कानून से भिन्न हैं। हिंदू उत्तराधिकार अधिनियम में विधवा और मां का सम्पत्ति पर बराबर का अधिकार है। अगर व्यक्ति बिना वसीयत किए स्वर्ग सिधार गया है तो अधिनियम के अनुसार प्रथम श्रेणी के वारिस होने के कारण मां और विधवा सम्पत्ति पर समान अधिकार रखते हैं।

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                        CIVIL APPEAL NO.9823 OF 2016
               (Arising out of  S. L. P. (C) No.21187 of 2015)

NITU                                    … APPELLANT
SHEELA RANI & ORS.                      … RESPONDENTS
                               J U D G M E N T

1.    Leave granted.

2.    The learned counsel appearing for the respondents  waived  service  of
notice and at the request of the learned counsel, the appeal  was  heard  on
the same day.

3.    Being aggrieved by an Order dated 21st April, 2015 passed by the  High
Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh in C.R. No.6012 of 2014,  the  widow
of a government employee has approached this Court  with  a  grievance  that
she is not being paid full pension in accordance with the provisions of  the
Family Pension Scheme, 1964 (hereinafter referred to  as  ‘the  Scheme’)  of
the Government of Punjab.

4.    The facts giving rise to the present litigation, in  a  nutshell,  are
as under :

      Shri Yashpal, the husband of the appellant, was serving as a  Computer
DOD in the  office  of  the  District  Malaria  Officer  under  the  Haryana
Government.  Upon his death, family pension payable to the  widow  had  been
determined at  Rs.2,153/-  per  month.   Respondent  No.1,  who  is  a  real
contesting respondent, is the mother of late Shri Yash Pal, who  filed  Suit
No.30/SC of 2005 in the Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division),  Rohtak  for
getting a succession certificate so that she can get the pension, which  was
payable in respect of the services rendered by late Shri  Yash  Pal  to  the
Government of Haryana.  In the said suit, the appellant appeared and made  a
claim that she, being the widow of late  Shri  Yash  Pal,  was  entitled  to
pension, whereas sister of late Shri Yash Pal, who was also a respondent  in
the said suit filed a written statement stating that she  had  no  objection
if succession certificate was issued in favour of respondent no.1.

5.    After hearing the parties concerned, the learned Civil  Judge  (Senior
Division), Rohtak dismissed the suit by coming  to  a  conclusion  that  the
mother, who was the plaintiff in the said case and the sister of  late  Shri
Yash Pal were not entitled to  succession  certificate  and  held  that  the
present appellant, who was respondent No.3  in  the  said  suit,  being  the
widow of the deceased, was entitled to  succession  certificate  so  far  as
pension payable in respect of the services rendered by late  Shri  Yash  Pal
was concerned.  The said judgment was delivered on 25th April, 2013.

6.    Being aggrieved by the aforestated judgment,  Civil  Appeal  No.88  of
2013 was filed by Respondent No.1 i.e. the mother of late Shri Yash  Pal  in
the Court of  Additional  District  Judge,  Rohtak.   The  said  appeal  was
dismissed by the judgment and order dated 2nd July, 2014.

7.    Being aggrieved by the  judgment  delivered  by  the  first  appellate
Court, the respondent mother filed Civil Revision,  being  C.R.  No.6012  of
2014, before the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh.

8.    After hearing the parties concerned, the High Court allowed  the  said
Revision Petition by observing that the respondent mother  was  entitled  to
the succession certificate in view of the provisions of  Section  8  of  the
Hindu Succession Act as she was also one of the  heirs  of  late  Shri  Yash

9.    Being aggrieved by the aforestated order passed  by  the  High  Court,
the present appeal has been filed by the appellant  –  widow  of  late  Shri
Yash Pal.

10.   The learned counsel appearing for the  appellant  submitted  that  the
appellant is the only person who is entitled  to  the  pension  as  per  the
provisions of the Scheme.  The learned counsel  submitted  that  pension  is
paid in pursuance of the aforestated Scheme and  therefore,  pension  cannot
be treated as other assets of the deceased and according to  the  provisions
of the Scheme, only the appellant  is  entitled  to  the  pension.   In  the
circumstances,  according  to  the  learned  counsel,  the  High  Court  has
committed an error by observing that all legal heirs have  a  share  in  the
pension payable in respect of the services rendered by late Shri Yash Pal.

11.   The learned counsel relied upon the provisions  of  the  Scheme  which
provide that only the widow is entitled to the pension and  none  else.   He
referred to the provisions of the Scheme and  submitted  that  the  impugned
order passed by the High Court deserves to be quashed and set  aside  as  it
is not in consonance with the provisions of the Scheme.

12.   On the other hand, the learned counsel appearing  for  the  respondent
mother submitted that she being a class-I heir of a Hindu and as  late  Shri
Yash  Pal  died  intestate,  she  is  entitled  to  one-half  share  of  the
properties of late Shri Yash Pal, as he was survived by his  widow  and  the
mother.  The learned counsel, therefore, submitted that the  impugned  order
passed by the High Court is just and proper.

13.   The learned counsel appearing for the State supported the case of  the
appellant and submitted that in the  Scheme,  the  term  “family”  has  been
defined and in the instant case, the widow  of  the  deceased  is  the  only
person who  is  entitled  to  pension  and  therefore,  the  impugned  order
deserves to be quashed and set aside so that the entire  amount  of  pension
can be paid to the appellant.

14.   We have heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties  and  have
also perused the provisions of the Scheme.

15.   Let us look at the provisions of the Scheme,  in  pursuance  of  which
the pension is to be paid in respect of services rendered by late Shri  Yash
Pal.  Clause 4(ii) of the Scheme defines the term “family”, which  reads  as
under :-

4(ii).      “Family” for the purpose of this scheme includes  the  following
relatives of the officer:-

wife, in the case of a male officer;

husband, in the case of a female officer;

minor sons;

unmarried minor daughters;

widowed/legally divorced daughters; and

the parents of an unmarried officer.”

16.   So far as the  respondent  mother  is  concerned,  she  has  not  been
included in the definition of the term “family” for the reason that  as  per
the provisions of sub-clause (f), parents of an unmarried officer  would  be
a part of the family and therefore,  the  respondent  mother  would  not  be
included in the family of late Shri Yash Pal as he was married.

17.   So far as the provisions  of  the  Hindu  Succession  Act,  1956,  are
concerned, it is true that the properties of a  Hindu,  who  dies  intestate
would first of all go to the persons enumerated in class I of  the  schedule
as per the provisions of Section 8 of the said Act and therefore, so far  as
the properties of late Shri Yash Pal are concerned, they  would  be  divided
among the respondent mother and the appellant wife,  provided  there  is  no
other family member of late Shri Yash  Pal  alive,  who  would  fall  within
class 1 heirs, but position  in  this  case,  with  regard  to  pension,  is

18.   It is pertinent to note that in this case the pension is to  be  given
under the provisions of the Scheme and therefore, only  the  person  who  is
entitled to get the pension as per the Scheme would get it.   Similar  issue
had arisen before this Court in the case of Violet Issaac  (Smt.)  v.  Union
of India (1991) 1 SCC 725 and after  considering  the  relevant  provisions,
this Court came to the conclusion that family pension does not form part  of
the estate of the deceased and therefore, even an employee has no  right  to
dispose of the same in his Will by giving a  direction  that  someone  other
than the one who is entitled to it,  should  be  given  the  same.   In  the
instant case, as per the provisions of the Scheme, the  appellant  widow  is
the only family member who is entitled to the  pension  and  therefore,  the
respondent mother would not get any right in the  pension.   Of  course,  it
cannot be disputed that if there are other assets left  by  late  Shri  Yash
Pal, the respondent mother would get 50% share, if late Shri  Yash  Pal  had
not prepared any Will and it appears  that  late  Shri  Yash  Pal  had  died
intestate  and no Will had been executed by him.

19.   For the aforestated reasons, in our opinion, the High Court  committed
an error by giving a direction that the respondent mother  should  also  get
50% share in the pension.  In view of the aforestated  legal  position,  the
entire pension would be payable to the appellant widow.

20.   In the circumstances, the impugned  order  is  set  aside  and  it  is
directed that the pension shall be paid only to the appellant widow and  not
to the respondent mother.

21.   The appeal stands disposed of as allowed with no order as to costs.

                                        (ANIL R. DAVE)

                               (L. NAGESWARA RAO)
SEPTEMBER 28, 2016. 

संबन्धित खबरों के लिए क्लिक करें

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