Supreme Court: Divorced Daughter Is Eligible For Pension

The Supreme Court has ruled that a divorced daughter is entitled to dependent family pension on a par with an unmarried daughter, dismissing the central government’s appeal challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment.

An apex court bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Krishan Murari refused to interfere with a July 29, 2016, judgment of a division bench of the high court.

“We are of the view that the impugned order adopts a progressive and socially constructive approach to give benefits to a daughter who was divorced, treating her at parity with the unmarried daughter. We fully agree with this view…,” the Supreme Court said.

The plea of Khajani Devi, a divorcee and daughter of a freedom fighter, for pension under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980, had been rejected by the defence ministry on the ground that it applied only to dependent parents, widows and unmarried daughters.

The high court division bench had observed: “It is not the case that the daughters are excluded altogether. An unmarried daughter finds mention in the list of eligible dependents. It would, thus, be a travesty to exclude a divorced daughter.…”

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