Law and justice are of supreme importance in any society, because, whatever the level of economic development, if there is no justice, fairness and rule of law, there will be dissatisfaction, oppression and anarchy. In a recent order by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, it was ruled that a wife is eligible for family pension even if she murders husband. While this has raised many eyebrows, law has its justification to rule so.
Wife eligible for family pension in any condition
Recently the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered in the case hearing of Baljeet Kaur, a woman who was booked for a murder in 2009, and convicted in 2011, that wife is eligible for family pension even if she murders husband.
“Nobody butchers the hen giving golden eggs. The wife cannot be deprived of the family pension even if she murders her husband. Family pension is a welfare scheme that was launched to provide financial help to the family in the event of a government employee’s death. Wife is entitled to family pension even if she is convicted in a criminal case,” the court observed while hearing a Haryana case on January 25.
Case of Baljeet Kaur of Ambala
The decision came during the hearing of a petition filed by a woman named Baljeet Kaur of Ambala, who was convicted for murder in 2011.
She told the court that her husband Tarsem Singh was a Haryana government employee who died in 2008.
In 2009, she was booked for murder and convicted two years later.
She was getting the family pension till 2011 but the Haryana government stopped the pension after her conviction and the court set aside the order and directed the concerned department to release the petitioner’s family pension within two months along with the dues.
Wife eligible for pension
“Family pension is a welfare scheme that was launched to provide financial help to the family in the event of a government employee’s death. Wife is entitled to family pension even if she is convicted in a criminal case,” said Justice Sandhawalia.
She also said, “It is not disputed that the petitioner has committed the offence of murder and is on bail and her sentence has been suspended.”
“Therefore, she requires to maintain herself and cannot be denied financial assistance. It is not a bounty as such and is her right on account of the services rendered by her husband to the government,” Justice Sandhawalia observed.
Holding that the order denying pension to the petitioner due to her conviction was unrelated to her husband’s death, she was allowed to receive her pension by the Court.