High Court ruling on widow family pension

Our Legal Correspondent Chennai | Updated on May 08, 2011

An order dated March 17, 2008 of the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner-II, Vellore, refusing to grant widow family pension to writ petitioner V.A. Yesan Basha's mother, Smt Ayesha Bi, has been set aside by the Madras High Court. The court ordered grant of pension to the legal heirs of the deceased, who had died while in service.

The petitioner had filed the petition challenging the said order of the respondent holding that petitioner's claim to grant widow family pension to her mother could not be accepted under the Employees Family Pension Scheme, 1971. Mr Justice K. Chandru, who heard the petition, held that since the petitioner's father, Abdul Majeed, who was working as beedi bundle packer in V.K. Abdul Jabbasr Sahib & Sons, Vellore, from 1967 was in service till date of his death, ie., April 9, 1982, and he had put in 15 years of service, there could never be any presumption of abandonment from service under the Beedi & Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment) Act, 1966.

Section 31 of Act was made mandatory so as to make the employer not to dispense with services of employee, who had put in six months of service except for reasonable cause and without giving such employee at least a month's notice or wage in lieu of such notice. Therefore, even if petitioner's father was on medical leave from January 18, 1982 to April 9, 1982 and he was not paid wages in terms of contract of employment, he could not have been terminated from service.

Since he died while his name was still on the rolls, it had to be deemed that he was in continuous employment. According to the 1971 Pension Scheme, since the member of the pension scheme had died while in service, his widow was entitled for family pension.

On account of death of his father, his mother Ayesha Bi being wife of late Abdul Majeed was entitled to get widow pension. When same was not paid, Ayesha Bi had filed a claim petition before the Labour Court and the said petition was dismissed as not maintainable by order dated December 5, 1995.

In view of the legal position, the writ petition would stand allowed and the impugned order would stand set aside. The respondent was directed to grant family pension to the legal heirs of late Abdul Majeed on account of widow pension to which Ms Ayesha Bi was entitled to for the relevant period.

Published on May 08, 2011

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor