High Court takes up the issue for the second time this year

A 95-year-old man is likely to get his freedom fighter’s pension finally, thanks to the Madras High Court, which intervened in his case for a second time in a year.

Taking a serious note of non-compliance of a court order, passed more than a year ago, directing the authorities to sanction Central Freedom Fighters Pension to M.Rajagopal of Solapandi village, Tiruvarur district, the Madras High Court has directed the Union Home Secretary (Freedom Fighters Division) to comply with the order by November 14.

If no compliance order is passed by that date, the Union Home Secretary and the Under Secretary in the Home Ministry should appear before the court on November 15.

If they fail to appear, the court will be forced to issue a warrant for their appearance.

Justice N.Paul Vasanthakumar passed the order on a contempt petition filed Mr.Rajagopal.

On October 1, 2012, the court had issued a direction to the authorities to pass orders sanctioning the pension based on the State government’s recommendation, made as early as on October 20, 1973.

On an earlier hearing date, the court specifically asked the officials’ counsel whether its order had been stayed on appeal, to which the reply was that though an appeal had been filed in April this year, there was no stay order.

Following this, the contempt petition was admitted for appearance of the authorities. Counsel for the two officials said a communication had been sent to the Deputy Secretary last month.

No instructions to counsel

Mr.Justice Paul Vasanthakumar said that in spite of the communication, no instructions had been given to counsel or any order passed complying with the court’s decision.

Hence, he was directing the two officials to appear in person on November 15, if no order of compliance is passed by November 14. He also directed counsel for the officials to communicate the order to them positively. If the officials fail to appear, the court would be forced to issue a warrant to produce them before the court.

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