Saturday, June 4, 2022

'No Concept Of Bigamy In Hindu Religion; Second Wife Not Entitled To Family Pension In Presence Of First Wife': Gauhati High Court

The Gauhati High Court has observed that in the Hindu religion, there is no concept of Bigamy and therefore, a second wife is not entitled to a family pension in the existence of the first wife.

The bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Medhi observed thus in a case wherein Petitioner had moved the Court seeking family pension claiming herself to be the wife of one Biren Deka.

She submitted that his husband was working in the Irrigation Department as a Handyman and had passed away in August 2016 therefore, she is entitled to a family pension. She submitted before the Court that she has three children.

On the other hand, the claim of the petitioner had been contested by the respondents including respondent no. 6 by filing an affidavit. Respondent no. 6, submitted that she is the first wife of the deceased employee and as per law, she is entitled to the family pension.

After hearing the parties and on perusal of the records, the Court noted that the parties are Hindu by religion and as per the Hindu Marriage Act there is no concept of bigamy rather the same is an offence under the Indian Penal Code and also a ground for divorce. 

The Court also noted that the children (born out of a second wife) are also major and therefore, though some relief could have been given to the children in case they were minor, but that situation is also not there.

In that view of the matter, this Court observed that it has no other option but to dismiss the petition inasmuch as a second wife is not entitled to family pension in the existence of the first wife in this case of which the facts are admitted and the parties are Hindus by religion.

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