Patna High Court Denies 96-Year-Old Widow’s Family Pension Claim, Citing Significant Delay and Lack of Documentation


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Published on: December 28, 2023 at 11:50 IST

The division bench, comprising Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Rajiv Roy, asserted that the claim, raised more than three decades after the events in question, was unduly delayed.

The Court noted, “The petitioner herein also does not have any substantiating material to indicate that she was married to the Judicial Officer.”

Smt. Rudra Maya Sinha, the petitioner, asserted that she was the wife of the late Ram Kishore Prasad Sinha, who served as a Judicial Magistrate in Bihar for 13 years. However, the Court remarked that the petitioner failed to provide substantial evidence supporting her marriage to the deceased officer.

The Court highlighted that, according to the petitioner’s admission, her husband was initially married to another woman, with whom he had two children. The petitioner, however, did not produce any documentation regarding the first wife’s death. Moreover, there was a lack of evidence substantiating the petitioner’s marriage to the deceased Judicial Officer.

The petitioner claimed that her husband received a five-year extension after retirement and ultimately retired in May 1963. The court inferred that the actual retirement might have occurred five years earlier, and in 1963, his extension came to an end. Ram Kishore Prasad Sinha passed away on June 20, 1989, while still receiving a pension.

The court emphasized that the petitioner’s reliance on a passport and Aadhar card, issued long after her husband’s death, lacked relevance as these documents did not establish the deceased’s service in the judicial sector.

Additionally, the Court noted that, at the time of the husband’s retirement, there was no provision for granting family pension under the Bihar Pension Rules, 1950.

Family pension provisions were introduced from April 1, 1964, under the Family Pension Scheme for State Government Employees, 1964, predating the pensioner’s death.

The Court concluded, “For want of any substantiating materials to prove the petitioner’s marriage and even to establish the service rendered by her husband and also the gross delay which has occurred, commends us to reject the writ petition.”

The court rejected the writ petition, and the case is titled Smt. Rudra Maya Sinh vs. The Registrar General and Ors,

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