The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on 12th September, 2018, ordered restoration of the family pension in the name of Renu Gupta and has held in the Order that a widow of a deceased Government servant is eligible for family pension, even after her remarriage.
The Bench held that the in the case of remarriage of a widow, family pension can be given in the name of widow. The Tribunal held that, “without understanding the consequences she had requested for transfer of the family pension in her son’s name after her remarriage. However, the said family pension will become inadmissible after the son attains the age of 25 years.” The Bench rejected the contention of the Ministry of Defence and held that Renu Gupta is “legally entitled for family pension under CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972” and therefore, there is “no legal bar in re-transferring the pension in her name“.
The Petitioner, Renu Gupta, is a 47 years old widow of Late Pawan Kumar Gupta, who was a Government employee under the Ministry of Defence. In 1988, Renu Gupta was appointed as store keeper on compassionate grounds after the death of her husband. She was also granted family pension in accordance to Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 and other retiral benefits were offered. After her remarriage at her own request, the family pension was sanctioned afresh to their son, Karan Gupta in 2002.
However, in 2013, she had sent multiple requests for restoration of her family pension, which was subsequently rejected every time and she was informed that she cannot be granted the pension since she had remarried.
The Ministry of Defence claimed that Renu Gupta has already been granted family pension under CCS (Pension) Rules as per her entitlement and “The same was however transferred in the name of her son, on her own request and she cannot be allowed to change her request, intermittently, as per her whims,”.
The CAT came to her rescue and directed the Ministry of Defence to transfer the pension claim from her son’s name, to her, within a time period of 4 months stating that remarriage of a widow was not a valid ground for denying her pension of her late husband.