86-Yr-Old Widow Gets Family Pension 49 Years Post Husband’s Death

Cuttack: The State Government was ordered by the Orissa High Court on Saturday to provide family pension benefits to an 86-year-old widow whose husband, a school teacher passed away nearly 50 years ago.

Subashini Patnaik filed a petition with the High Court in 2003 asking for the court’s direction on her family pension. Subhashini’s husband Sarat Chandra Patnaik began working as an assistant teacher at the aided educational institution Loknath Middle English School in Mahagab on August 1, 1948.

Patnaik passed away on January 8, 1974, while working at the school.

However, because aided primary school teachers had access to pension benefits as of 1 April 1982, the government authorities had rejected her request for a family pension. The benefit of a family pension for teachers’ families was also implemented as of 1 September 1988.

The position of the opposing parties is that the petitioner’s husband passed away well before the 1981 Rules went into effect, despite the fact that the said Rules only apply to employees of aided educational institutions under the Direct Payment Scheme who receive full grant-in-aid and retire on or after 1 April 1982.

If the petitioner’s husband had lived, he would have reached retirement age in April 1986, which is after 1 April 1982. As a result, he would have qualified for a pension under the 1981 Rules. Accordingly, the petitioner cannot be denied a family pension because she is his widow.

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