“Petitioner is entitled to get the pension from August 1993 and not December 2001 as contended by the authorities”

Even as the nation celebrated one more Independence Day, the wife of a freedom fighter has got some relief after a protracted legal battle, with the Madras High Court directing the Tamil Nadu government to settle her husband’s pensionary benefits within six weeks.

The struggle by the freedom fighter A.Chellasamy started more than a decade ago. Chellasamy’s case was that he participated in the freedom struggle and was imprisoned for more than six months from August 1941.

He had obtained certificates from fellow prisoners stating that he underwent imprisonment.

He applied to the government for freedom fighters’ pension. But it did not evoke any positive response for a long time.

In the meantime, the Tiruchi Collector had recommended in March 1994 that pension be sanctioned.

Chellasamy filed a writ petition and even as this was pending, the government informed the court that steps were being taken in the matter. He withdrew the petition.

The present petition was filed in 2005 for quashing a letter of the government of January that year.

By that communication, the government said he was entitled to claim pension only from December 12, 2001, the date of order. Chellasamy died later. His wife, C. Saraswathy pursued the court case.

Impugned letter

Quashing the impugned letter, Justice M.Venugopal said though the petitioner said that pension should be sanctioned from September 1992, the date of his original application, the government contended that the freedom fighter had applied only in August 1993.

The Judge said that in the absence of sufficient proof to convince the court about the date of the original application, he was taking into consideration the government’s version.

He made it clear that the petitioner was entitled to get the pension from August 1993 and not December 2001 as contended by the authorities.

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