29 November 2022

Mumbai: The first wife of a man who secured an order for a reversal of divorce is also entitled to his death – cum terminal benefits, the Bombay high court held. A bench of the high court directed that she, along with his mother and two daughters, will receive equal payment from his employer.

Chief justice Dipankar Datta and justice Madhav Jamdar on October 14 passed the order on petitions by the widow and a daughter of the man, an employee of Air In dia Engineering Services Limited ( AIESL ) who died in harness in September 2020.

share of death benefits: HC
share of death benefits: HC

The couple’s marriage was dissolved by divorce decree in January 2007. On the wife’s appeal, the HC in April 2015 set aside the divorce decree. Therefore, marital ties were restored. The controversy arose because the husband had nominated his mother and his daughter to receive the benefits in case of his death and not her. The first wife con tended in HC that she was the legally wedded wife on the date of his death and, thus, entitled to her share in the death – cum – terminal benefits. The judges noted that there was another claimant who had intervened in the matter. She is the man’s daughter of his second Marriage that took place during the subsistence of his first marriage and hence being contrary to provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, is void marriage.

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