The Madras High Court has ruled that if a pensioner goes missing for more than two years, then his wife is entitled to receive the family pension, provided she executes necessary undertaking including indemnity bond.
Disposing of a petition filed by Muniammal, whose husband, a retired armyman, went missing in 2013, Justice S Vaidhyanathan said as per a government order, once an employee disappears, the benefit should go to the legal heirs after necessary undertaking was executed including indemnity bond.
Muniammal's husband disappeared on March 9, 2013, and she lodged a complaint the same day. On March 12, 2015, police gave a certificate that the man was not traceable.
The judge said as per the contention of the government, in another case, a person cannot be deemed to be dead since such a presumption has to be taken only after two years. In this case the petitioner was entitled to get pension as it was more than two years since her husband went missing.
The judge said the petitioner should be paid terminal benefit payable on account of disappearance of her husband within three months. She must be paid pension (from March 9, 2013) till March 12, 2015 and then family pension from that date, the court said.