Ex-serviceman’s widow left in lurch as her name goes missing from husband’s death certificate

Bheemaiah did not get his second marriage to Kamala Kumari either documented in the army records or registered by the Registrar of Marriages, says legal representative of the widow.

The death certificate of an ex-serviceman bearing the name of his deceased wife while ignoring the existence of a living widow has deprived the latter her of family pension.

The living widow Ms. Kamala Kumari had married Ex Havildar Meederira C. Bheemaiah of Brigade of Guards in Kodagu in May 2016, a little over a year after his first wife P.A. Damayanthi, an employee of Forest Department, passed away in March 2015.

After his retirement from the Army, Mr. Bheemaiah was re-employed with BEL, a public sector undertaking, in Bengaluru, where he documented Ms. Kamala Kumari as his wife in the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Pension Payment Order for family pension. Upon his retirement from BEL a few years ago, Mr. Bheemaiah returned to Kodagu, but died in October 2021.

However, Mr. Bheemaiah’s death certificate bears only the name of his first wife Damayanthi, leaving Ms. Kamala Kumari in the lurch.

Mr. Mandetira N. Subramani, president of VeKare Ex-Servicemen’s Trust in Mysuru, which has taken up Ms. Kamala Kumari’s case, alleged that relatives of Mr. Bheemaiah’s first wife late Damayanthi, had misrepresented the local Revenue Inspector and Village Accountant so that the death certificate showed only Ms. Damayanthi as his wife, “deliberately ignoring existence of the living second wife Mrs. Kamala Kumari”.

Though Ms. Kamala Kumari had complained to the Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu and Department of Sainik Welfare and Resettlement, Government of Karnataka, she has not been able to resolve her woes.

Mr. Subramani, however, said Mr. Bheemaiah did not get his second marriage to Ms. Kamala Kumari either documented in the army records or registered by the Registrar of Marriages. “The only reason he hid the fact of his second marriage from official records is, he knew that if he declares that he has remarried, his family pension from Forest Department of Karnataka Government would be stopped from the date of his second marriage…. ”, said Mr. Subramani quoting Ms. Kamala Kumari, who claimed that she came to know of her husband’s objective to conceal the second marriage only after his demise.

Mr. Subramani, who has now represented Ms. Kamala Kumari’s case to the Defence Minister, Chief of Army Staff and Chief Minister of Karnataka, has sought the deputation of a Junior Commissioned Officer to Mr. Bheemaiah’s village to help the hapless widow secure a proper death certificate bearing the name of a living wife to facilitate her to claim a pension from not only the Army, but also from the EPF.

News Courtesy: The Hindu

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