SC settles long dispute between wives of Mysuru man

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has played the role of a true guardian in resolving a long-pending dispute between the two women who claimed to be legally wedded wives of a Mysuru man and fought to claim job benefits, including compassionate appointment, after his death.

Chamundamma, 52, and Lakshmi, 44, claimed themselves to be the legally-wedded wife of Javara Naika, who worked as a police constable at KSRP, Mysuru and died on September 7, 2008.

Javara Naika declared Lakshmi alias Lakshamma as his wife in all his official records and bequeathed all his assets to her and their two children after their marriage on June 17, 1988. He nominated her in insurance records as well. Chamundamma, for her part, produced the marriage invitation card and claimed her marriage with him took place in 1983. She produced voter-ID card and ration cards in support of her plea.  She further claimed that she had two children with Naika.

After going through the case records, the Karnataka High Court declared Chamundamma as the legally-wedded wife of Javara Naika. She was found to be entitled to family pension and her son for compassionate appointment.

But since Lakshmi lived with him at his police quarters and took care of him till his last and borne children for him and got recognised as wife in the society, she should not remain destitute in view of deprivation of legitimate status of a wife, the HC has said and directed the amounts disbursed as death benefits should remain with her, it said.

As the matter reached the top court, a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph and Navin Sinha suggested both the parties to amicably settle their dispute with the one party getting the compassionate appointment and another one all other benefits.

On persuasion, both the parties agreed. Chamundamma's son would get the compassionate appointment, while Lakshmi will avail all other benefits.

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