The Supreme Court on Tuesday said a child adopted by a government servant’s widow after his death would not be entitled for family pension.
A bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and B.V. Nagarathna noted that a child is born to the deceased government servant after his death has to be contrasted with a case where a child is adopted by the widow of a government servant after his death.
“The former category of heirs are covered under the definition of family since such a child would be a posthumous child of the deceased government servant. The entitlement of such a posthumous child is wholly distinct from a child being adopted subsequent to the demise of the government servant by the surviving spouse,” the bench said in its judgment.
The bench upheld the Bombay High Court order passed in November 2015, which held that under the Rule 54 (14) (b) of the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 (CCS (Pension) Rules), the adopted child would not be entitled for the family pension.
The top court said: “It is necessary that the scope of the benefit of family pension be restricted only to sons or daughters legally adopted by the government servant, during his/her lifetime. The definition of ‘family’ is narrowly worded under the CCS (Pension) Rules, in the specific context of the entitlement to ‘family pension’ and in relation to the government servant.”
It added, “therefore, the word ‘adoption’ in Rule 54(14)(b)(ii) of the CCS (Pension) Rules, in the context of grant of family pension, must be restricted to an adoption made by a government servant during his/her lifetime and must not be extended to a case of adoption made by a surviving spouse of the government servant after his/her death”.
The top court said that the deceased government servant would have had no relationship with the adopted child which would have been adopted subsequent to his demise, as opposed to a posthumous child.
The top court dismissed the appeal filed by adopted son Shriram Shridhar Chimurka.
Chimurkar was serving as a superintendent in the National Sample Survey Organisation at Nagpur. He retired on attaining superannuation in 1993. As he died issueless in 1994, his wife adopted the appellant in April 1996.
The adopted son claimed a family pension payable to the family of the deceased government employee, from the Centre, which was rejected by the government.