Recently, the Madras High Court in the case of G. Pushpam v. Superintending Engineer, considered the issue as to whether the second wife of the deceased government employee is entitled to claim family pension without production of her marriage certificate. It was held that the petitioner (second wife) is entitled to claim the same without requiring to present marriage certificate before the concerned authorities if she proves herself to be the heir of the deceased.

The Petitioner filed a writ petition challenging the impugned order by the respondent refusing her to claim the pension. It was urged by the counsel of the Petitioner that although the she is the second wife of deceased,she had married him lawfully after the death of the deceased’s first wife. Therefore, the Respondent Superintendent Engineer is not justified in refusing to grant family pension to her.

After careful examination of the facts of the case, the court observed that the Petitioner has proved her eligibility as the heir of the deceased by producing documents like death certificate of her husband and birth certificate of her daughter. Therefore, the Respondent is not justified in refusing the family pension to the petitioner and the minor daughter as the pension rules of TANGEDCO make the production of the marriage certificate as a condition precedent to the grant of family pension. The Court quashed the order of the respondent and directed him to pay the family pensions with all arrears as per the rules.