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How to find who is the legally wedded wife of a deceased government servant?

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

Online advising since Oct. 2014

Service & Labour

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Question: How to find who is the legally wedded wife of a deceased government servant? After the death of a Central Government Servant, two claimants submitted their claims for family pension and other terminal benefits. No divorce papers were submitted either by the first wife or second wife. Both claimants submitted the affidavits which indicated a legally wedded wife. It is very difficult to process the family pension case to the right claimant. Now, our Account Office has requested to provide the legally wedded wife certificate from the first class magistrate.

Sir/Mam, My question is: 1. If both claimants submit the legally wedded certificate from the first class magistrate, because both claimants have all required documents for issuing the said certificate, then how to decide who is actual or right claimant? 2. Whether we may ask both claimants to submit the legally wedded certificate from the competent court i.e. civil court, who can decide?

Asked from: Uttar Pradesh

You said that both wives have sworn affidavits that they are the legally wedded wife of a deceased employee. If the deceased was a Hindu then it is not possible that he had two wives at the same time.

You have wrongly asked them to produce a certificate from the first class Magistrate. There is no law which empowers the Magistrate to issue such an affidavit. 

In this situation, you should take the affidavits of both wives. Thereafter, asked them to produce evidence that as per the customs and usages prevailing in their community your husband could solemnise more marriages than one. 

If they fail to provide the evidence of such costumes and usages then you should give all benefits to that woman who is married first. Both wives are still surviving therefore, according to Section 5 and 11 of the Hindu Marriage Act, subsequent marriage is void. 

You should decide the matter on the above principle and let them approach the court for their claims. If the court passes any order in their litigation then you should act accordingly.

shivendra pratap singh advocate

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate (Lucknow)

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