30 Aug 2021 8:02 AM GMT
The Madras High Court has observed that for a woman to claim the benefits of EPF Pension scheme after her deserted husband, it is necessary for her to lodge an FIR and get a police certificate as to whether he is alive or not.A single bench of Justice S Vaidyanathan made this observation while disposing of a writ petition filed by a woman, who was seeking the pensionary benefits under...
The Madras High Court has observed that for a woman to claim the benefits of EPF Pension scheme after her deserted husband, it is necessary for her to lodge an FIR and get a police certificate as to whether he is alive or not.
A single bench of Justice S Vaidyanathan made this observation while disposing of a writ petition filed by a woman, who was seeking the pensionary benefits under the Employees Pension Scheme after her son died. The petitioner said that her husband had deserted the family in 2005. Therefore, she prayed for a direction to the EPF authorities to release the pensionary benefits to her as per the nomination made by her son, without insisting on her husband's particulars.
The counsel for the EPFO told the bench that in terms of 16 (5)(aa) of the Employees Pension Scheme 1995 , in case of non-nomination, the father of the deceased would be entitled to get full pension and in the event of death of the father, mother would be entitled to pension till she survives. He further submitted that the writ petitioner should have filed FIR pertaining to the complaint given by her on account of missing of her husband and if his whereabouts are not found, she ought to have obtained certificate from the police, thereafter produce the same in order to enable the EPF authorities to process the papers and extend pensionery benefits to the petitioner. Since, the same has not been done, EPF will not be in a position to release any amount against the provisions of pension scheme 1995.
The petitioner's counsel voiced the apprehension that the police may not entertain the complaint now as the petitioner's husband deserted her 15 years ago.
The bench observed that the petitioner should have obtained the clearance from the police to claim the benefits. It noted that as per the scheme, the father of the deceased is entitled to pension and in the event of demise of the father, mother-wife is entitled to pension till she is alive.
"Since, the deceased is a Bachelor, the writ-petitioner ought to have given the complaint on missing of her husband and ought to have obtained a certificate from the police, in order to get pensionery benefits, but the same has not been done", the bench observed.
However, to redress the grievance of the petitioner, the Court allowed her to make a complaint before the police with respect to the missing of her husband within one month from the date of receipt of the copy of the court order. The police officers should accept such a complaint when it is made by the petitioner, and they are to verify and issue a certificate as to whether the person is alive or not traceable, the bench directed.
"On a production of said certificate, writ petitioner who is the mother of the deceased shall be extended with the pensionery benefits, as the narrow interpretation of Section 16 (5)(aa) cannot be given, more so, in the peculiar circumstances of the case", the bench observed.
Also Read : FIR Not Necessary For Issuance Of Heirship Certificate If Person Missing More Than 7 Years: Kerala High Court
Case Title : S Revathi v. The Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, EPFO, Chennai
Appearances : Advocate M.Balamurualikrishnan for the petitioner; Advocate K Ramu for EPFO
Click here to read/download the order