Recently, Calcutta high court entitled widowed or unmarried daughters of employees, who retired or passed away before the non-government educational institution employees (death-cum-retirement benefit) scheme of 1981 came into effect, eligible for family pension.
The court made this decision based on three petitions from widowed and unmarried daughters of retired and deceased employees.
Referring to a case, the Supreme Court said that pensions are meant to serve a public purpose, and the government cannot create artificial divisions based on when someone retired. It also stated that pension payments are determined by specific rules, and the government cannot decide to give or not give a pension on their whim. If a government employee meets the requirements, they have the right to claim pension.
The court reviewed some government orders on family pensions for unmarried or widowed daughters and asked for the need for beneficial pension laws in favour of pensioners.
The court said that unmarried or widowed daughters shouldn’t be treated differently and deserve support and security, hence should be entitled to family pension. The court also emphasised the importance of socio-economic justice and social morality in providing security and livelihood to these women.
The court therefore entitled unmarried and widowed daughters of employees, who retired before 1981, eligible for family pension.