In a case that dates back to 2003, the Ahmedabad civil court finally dispensed a judgement, Wednesday, that allows a remarried widow to benefit from her first husband’s pension and allowances.
A jawan with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Rajesh Palsapagar, died in a road accident in Amravati in December 2003. Posted in Ranchi, he was on leave when tragedy struck the family. The CISF, during course of the trial, maintained that despite repeated notices on succession, the family did not respond. Finally, in 2011, Palaspagar’s parents, Vimlabai and Sheshrao, residents of Ahmedabad, approached the city civil court claiming they were legal heirs to Rajesh’s post-death benefits. The amount was tallied at Rs 2.08 lakhs since Rajesh had put in 12 years of service.
The claim, however, was challenged by Rajesh’s widow, Varsha, who remarried in September 2007 and was living with her husband in Maharashtra. However, the deceased’s parents disputed the claims on grounds that Varsha had remarried.
Finally, on Wednesday, city civil judge Bena Chauhan held that both, Palaspagar’s widow and mother, were entitled to equal shares because Section 8 of the Hindu Succession Act (1956) brackets the mother and widow as Class I heirs of a deceased male.
Further, the court cited an order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay HC to underline that the status of the widow is important when succession opens up. The jawan died in 2003 and Varsha married only in 2007.