Supreme Court to hear plea on right of divorced daughter

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Supreme Court has agreed to examine whether a divorced daughter of a freedom fighter, without an independent source of income, is eligible for family pension.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice U.U. Lalit, advocate Dushyant Parashar argued that a divorced daughter of a freedom fighter is no different from an unmarried daughter.

Mr. Parashar argued that if an unmarried daughter was eligible for family pension, it would be both progressive and socially constructive that an orphaned and dependent divorcee daughter of a person, who has sacrificed his life and limb for Independence, is given pension as a means of sustenance and not rendered destitute.

In a recent hearing, Tulsi Devi, represented by Mr. Parashar, informed the court that she was the divorced daughter of Gopal Ram, a freedom fighter. She said she was entirely dependent on her parents for financial support.

After her father's death, her ailing mother had even written to the Prime Minister in January 2018 to continue giving the family pension under the Freedom Fighter Scheme as it was only the means of financial support for her daughter.

Mr. Parashar quoted from a favourable Punjab and Haryana High Court order of 2016 which concerned identical facts as Tulsi Devi’s. In that case, the High Court had said it would be “a travesty to exclude a divorced daughter. There would be no rationality to the reason that the unmarried daughter can be included in the list of eligible dependents and a divorced daughter would stand excluded, particularly when she is the sole eligible dependent and thus, qualifies for the benefit”.

The apex court has scheduled Tulsi Devi's case for detailed hearing and final disposal in the second week of April.

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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 6:00:29 PM |

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