A division bench the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) Lucknow has ruled recently that if a Gorkha soldier didn’t provide reasons for plural marriages in the service documents, the second wife would not be eligible for family pension after his death.
The case pertained to Subedar Tek Bahadur Thapa, who enlisted in 4th Gorkha Rifles on November 28, 1961, and was discharged in 1969. Upon discharge, he was granted service pension. After his death in July 2016, his second wife Pin Maya Kumal applied for the family pension. As her name and birth date didn’t match the records, the Army verified facts from the Indian embassy in Kathmandu regarding the marital status of Thapa.
As the Army denied her the family pension, Pin Maya petitioned the AFT. Maya’s counsel argued that she should get the family pension because Thapa’s first wife also died in March 2019. While acknowledging the laws of Nepal recognising plural marriages, the AFT clarified that without a proper declaration or reason for the second marriage, she was not entitled to the family pension.
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