Widows Must Know Their Rights | Fundamental Rights | IndianConstitution | Widows Legal Rights


Need behind legal awareness in India Legal awareness is the legal education which is the requirement of the hours as it empowers the weaker section of society who are being exploited such as widows. It helps to know their legal rights and acts through which they can stand for themselves against any kind of exploration.


Schemes & Policies Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme (IGNWPS): This Scheme provides a pension of 300 rupees every month until death to the women who fall below the poverty line. The women above 80 years of age would receive a pension of 500 rupees every month. The main objective of the scheme is to improve the livelihood of widows as insured under Art 21 of the Indian Constitution. Any women who know how to use the internet can directly log on to https://goo.gl/EMgUZf and download the form. While others can simply approach Commissioner Municipal Corporation or Nagar Panchayat in the case of the Urban area and Janapad Panchayat officer in the case of the Rural area.


Swadhar Greh Scheme: This Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Women & Child Development which targets women who are in need of support to lead there with dignity as having the right to live with dignity under Art 21 of the Indian Constitution. 30 women from every district can avail of this scheme. The objective is to rehabilitate them economically & emotionally and to provide them shelter,, clothing and care. It also enable them to start their life afresh with dignity. 


Death Gratuity: It is the one-time benefit given to the widow of a government employee on his death. If the person gave his service for less than one year then 2 times of basic pay will be given. In the case of one year or more but less than 5 years of his service then 6 times of basic pay will be given. 5 years or more but less than 11 years of service then 12 times it basic pay will be given. 11 years or more but less than 20 years of his service then 20 times if basic pay will he gave. 20 years or more of his service than half of emolument of every completed 6 months period of service subject to a maximum of 33 times of emoluments will be given. Draft National Policy for women The Ministry of Women & Child Development has prepared this draft in 2017. It works for single women and tries to provide women their full potential and ensure that they participate as an equal partner in all spheres of life.


They provide education, nutrition and health facilities. Acts and law Right to live with human dignity Article 21 of the Indian Constitution ensure the right to live with human dignity and under the infringement of the fundamental right, women can directly go to Supreme Court. Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India. In this case, the Supreme Court held that the right to live is not merely a physical right but includes within its ambit the right to live with human dignity. Francis Coralie v. Union Territory of Delhi Court observed that the right to live with human dignity and all that goes along with it, viz the bare necessities of life such as adequate nutrition, clothing & shelter over the head & facilities for reading, writing & expressing oneself in diverse forms. Right to live in the matrimonial home When the women are married then she have right to live in her husband's home. If the home is not owned by her husband then also she has the right to live in that home. Roma Rajesh Tiwari v. Rajesh Dinanath Tiwari on 12th Oct 2017, In this case, Bombay High Court has held that under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, any women have a right to reside in her matrimonial home or shared household, irrespective of whether she has right, title or interest in the said household or not.


Protection of Right to live in matrimonial home Section 17 of Domestic Violence Act protects the right of the women to live in the matrimonial home. If her right is being infringed then court can pass an order to put her back in the home. Even she can be provided with alternative accommodation if she does not want to live in that home. S.R. Batra v. Smt. Taruna Batra The court held that under Sec 17 of Domestic Violence Act, the wife is only entitled to claim a right to residence in a shared household which mean the house belonging to or taken on rent by her husband or the house which belongs to the joint family of which the husband is a member.


Section 31 of Domestic Violence Act: If the family members violate the order of the court which was passed to ensure the right to live in matrimonial home then they will be liable for punishment under sec 31 of Domestic Violence Act. Can file a complaint on breach of trust If the in-laws of the women aren't returning all her belongings then she can file a police complaint under Sec 406 of Indian Penal Code which states that any person who commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or both.


Right on their deceased husband's property after remarriage Under the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 widows who choose to remarry do have a right on their deceased husband's property. But earlier law forbade widows who decided to remarry as according to the widow remarriage act of 1856 which has been repealed states that all rights & interest which any widow may have in her deceased husband's property shall upon her remarriage cease. Sanjay Purshottam Patankar v. Prajakta Pramod Patil Bombay High Court on 25th June 2015 has ruled that a widow, even after she has remarried has the rights over her former husband's properties. Brothers-in-law can be ordered to pay maintenance Ajay Kumar v. Latha @ Sharuti The Supreme Court has observed that brothers-in-law can be ordered to pay maintenance to a widow under Domestic Violence Act. The bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud & Justice Hemant Gupta said "Ultimately, Whether the requirement if Sec 2(f), Sec 2(g) & Sec 2 (s) are fulfilled is a matter of evidence which will be adjudicated upon at the trial. At this stage, for the purpose of an interim order for maintenance, there was material which justice the issuance of a direction of maintenance."



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