Coming to the aid of a 87-year-old freedom fighter in the matter of getting his pension, the Madras High Court today slammed authorities, saying even at this age he has to struggle to get his pension.
Allowing a petition from N Subramaniam challenging the rejection order of the Government to sanction pension, Justice K Ravichandrabaabu in his order said, "Authorities should realise that it is not a charity that is being extended by Government to these type of persons by granting pension." "It is the bound duty of the Government to confer such honour on them without loss of time. The petitioner is now aged about 87 years.
Even at this age, the petitioner, who fought for freedom, has to struggle to get his pension." Subramaniam had joined the Indian Independence League in 1944 in the Dallah Branch, Rangoon, Burma, and participated in various struggles relating to freedom movement during 1944-45. He was arrested by the British Force and imprisoned in the Rangoon Central Jail from May 1945 to November of that year. He made an application for grant of pension under State Freedom Fighters pension Scheme on April 25,1998 with relevant details and certificates. But as there was no response, he filed a petition in the court which directed the government to consider his claim on December 19,2012.
The Chennai District Collector, after getting the documents verified, had forwarded the report to the government which rejected the claim on April 16 last on the ground that the records furnished were not in consonance with the rules.
Subramaniam filed the plea, challenging this.
The judge wondered how Government had come to a conclusion that certificates issued by two co-prisoners were not issued in accordance with pension rules. "Whether it is in the required format or not, the fact remains that the persons issued certificates were co-prisoners and when that being the factual position the rejection order passed by the Government is totally unsustainable." The Judge, while quoting Supreme Court judgments, directed the Government to grant pension to Subramaniam within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of this order.
With the court's intervention, Subramaniam is going to get his Freedom Fighters pension from 1998 to till date.