The P&H High Court has held that the Woman who performs ‘Kareva Marriage’ after the death of her husband is not entitled to grant of pension under the Haryana Pension to Widows and Destitute Women Scheme.
What is Karewa Marriage?
Karewa marriage is a type of widow marriage which is mostly prevalent in Haryana and Punjab.
In this marriage, widown after the death of her husband is asked in the presence of others and her late husband’s near relatives, whether she would like to remarry and so, with whom. Her choice is expected to be limited to the brothers or first cousins of her late husband.
Suman vs. State of Haryana & Others:-
The Petitioner’s husband died on 04.04.2007. The petitioner (Suman) claimed pension under the Widow Pension Scheme i.e., one of the social security schemes promulgated by the State of Haryana. The aim of the scheme is specifically stated to be a provision for social security to women who are unable to sustain themselves from their own sources and are in need of financial assistance from the State.
The eligibility criteria of the Haryana Pension to Widows and Destitute Women Scheme. is reads as under:-
“Eligiblity Criteria: A woman of age 18 years and above is eligible for grant of pension under the scheme if she is domicile of Haryana and has been residing in Haryana State for the last one year at the time of submission of application and her own income from all sources is below `2,00,000/- per annum and further any one of the three conditions are fulfilled:
i) She is a widow; or
ii) She is destitute without husband, parents and son(s); or
iii) She is destitute due to desertion or physical/mental incapacity of,
(a) Husband, in case of married woman; or
(b) Parents, in case of other women.”
The P&H High Court while referring to the above mentioned scheme said that the pension was released to the petitioner under a social security scheme followed by the State with a categoric aim to provide for women who are rendered destitute due to the death of physical/mental incapacity or desertion by their husband.
Also, the Court said that it is not denied that the petitioner herself had submitted application clearly stating that she wished the pension being received by her to be stopped as she had performed Kareva marriage three years after the death of her husband on 04.04.2007.
Further, the Court said that the argument raised by counsel for the petitioner, that Kareva marriage is not a marriage, is clearly devoid of any merit and is totally unsubstantiated.
Furthermore, the Court on the basis of above clarified that the petitioner is not eligible to draw pension under the Haryana Pension to Widows and Destitute Women Scheme Rules, 1988-1989 having solemnized Kareva marriage with her brother-in-law (Devar). However, the Court restrained the Government from recovering the amount already released to her after the Petitioner’s re-marriage.
Read Complete Order: Click Here