Freedom Fighter Gets Pension After Waiting for 40 Years, Court Imposes Rs 20,000 Fine on Central Govt
Image Courtesy: PTI
The Delhi High Court has fined the Central government for Rs 20,000 due to its "lackadaisical approach" in a case concerning the pension of a 96-year-old freedom fighter.
The Court called out the "sad state of affairs" which made the freedom fighter, Uttim Lal Singh, wait for around four decades for his pension. Singh was forced to run from pillar to post to get his pension.
"It is painful to see the way in which the freedom fighters are being treated and the insensitivity shown by the Union of India towards freedom fighter who has fought for the independence of the country," the Court said.
Furthermore, the Court imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on the Union of India, which would be paid to the petitioner within six weeks.
The Court noted that the Central government lost Singh's documents, which were part of the petitioner's case recommended by the Bihar government in 1985.
"The inaction of the Central Government is actually an insult to the freedom fighter who was declared as a proclaimed offender, and probably his entire land would have been attached in the proceedings initiated by the British Government. The very spirit of the Pension Scheme is being defeated by the stonewall approach of the Government of India, which cannot be appreciated by this Court," Justice Prasad observed.
As per the facts of the matter, Singh, born in 1927, participated in the Quit India Movement. He was "made an accused by the British Government and declared a proclaimed officer in September 1943."
He applied for the freedom fighter pension in March 1982, and the Bihar government recommended his case in 1983, which was reiterated in 2009.
It was in November 2017 that the Ministry of Home Affairs said that it did not have Singh's records and asked the Bihar government for the same.
Singh approached the High Court after the case could not be resolved by the authorities.
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