Chennai: “Is a woman having a live-in relationship with a man, entitled to his retirement and pension benefits after his death and following the demise of his legally wedded wife, who is none other than her own sister?” The question has been put in the Madras High Court and a single judge has assigned the matter to a larger bench for adjudication.
S Kaliyaperumal, working in TANGEDCO (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, state-run electricity monolith) in Kumbakonam, was married to Susila and she was declared as his nominee in official records. Sushila’s sister Malarkodi was permitted to marry Sushila’s husband as she was suffering from cancer. All the were living under one roof with their 3 sons and 3 daughters.
Susila later passed away and her husband applied for making Malarkodi the legal nominee in 2015 and his sons and daughters had also consented to make Malarkodi the nominee. Before the electricity corporation concerned about the change, Kaliyaperumal too died the same year. However, the TANGEDCO did not take any decision. Therefore, the present writ petition from Malarkodi.
The petition was considered before Justice S Vaidyanathan. It was recommended that the matter should be referred to a larger bench to arrive at a finality.
Due to the continued live-in relationship, it is necessary to examine whether a woman receives the status of wife to receive a pension, as well as other terminal benefits due to the deceased, the judge points out that women should be respected and protected.
The registry was directed to put the matter before the Chief Justice to form a bench for deciding the issue.