Legal Analysis on Equitable Distribution of Family Pension

Delve into a comprehensive legal analysis by the court regarding the equitable distribution of family pension in a recent case. The court’s judgment delves deep into the nuances of nomination rights, settlement deeds, and statutory provisions while emphasizing the importance of balancing the equities in such matters.


  • The deceased Ram Chandra Nirola had three children from his second marriage.
  • Appellant no.1 was the first wife of the deceased.
  • The deceased executed a settlement deed on 30.06.2008 dividing his properties between his two wives before his retirement in 2009.
  • Appellant no.1 was denied family pension as per the settlement deed.
  • The denial of succession certificate under Section 372 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 by the District Judge, East District, Gangtok was affirmed by the High Court.

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  • Mr. Manish Goswami, learned counsel for the appellants, argues that equitable distribution of the family pension between the two wives was a statutory right of appellant no.1 under Rule 40(6) of the Pension Rules.
  • Reliance was placed on Vidhyadhari & Ors. vs Sukhrana Bai & Ors. (2008) 2 SCC 238 to support the submission that the nomination in favor of the respondent to the exclusion of the appellant was valid.
  • The deceased solemnized his second marriage with respondent no.1 on 09.05.1987 when the Hindu Marriage Act was not in force in the State of Sikkim.
  • Rule 27 of the 1963 Rules was cited and considered in the respective submissions.

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  • Rule 40(6) does not give a statutory right to appellant no.1 for an equal share in family pension.
  • The deceased did not nominate appellant no.1 for the family pension, as mentioned in the settlement deed.
  • Rule 38 allows for nomination for death-cum-retirement gratuity only, not for family pension.
  • The deceased wanted to prevent future disputes between his wives and their progeny by executing the settlement deed.
  • The second marriage of the deceased with respondent no.1 does not invalidate her right to family pension.
  • Appellant no.1 may have waived her right to family pension in favor of benefits received under the settlement deed.
  • The Sikkim Rules on marriage registration do not apply unless it is asserted that the second marriage was solemnized under them.
  • Family pension was not considered as part of the estate of the deceased.
  • Debarring the appellant no.1 based on the settlement deed was not justified.
  • The rule outlined does not impact the validity of marriages that were not solemnized under its provisions.
  • The rule also does not directly or indirectly affect the validity of any other modes of contracting marriage.
  • The deceased executed a settlement deed for his movable and immovable properties.
  • The settlement deed was accepted and acted upon by the appellant no.1.
  • Balancing the equities in case the settlement deed had not been executed.

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  • The appeal has been dismissed by the court.
  • The court finds no merit in the appeal.
  • Decision of the court is final and not subject to review.


Case Number: C.A. No.-001835-001835 / 2020

Click here to read/download original judgement

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