Other States

Withholding freedom fighter’s pension not justified: Bombay HC

The petition contends that though Maharashtra has framed a pension scheme for freedom fighters the benefit of the said scheme had not been extended to the deceased’s wife.   | Photo Credit: VIVEK BENDRE

Observing that it is not justified to withhold the pension of a freedom fighter, the Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to reply to a plea by the widow on September 30.

A Division Bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Madhav Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by Shalini Chavan, 90, wife of Laxman Ramchandra Chavan. Chavan participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942. He was imprisoned in the Byculla jail from April 17, 1944, to October 11, 1944. He expired on March 12, 1965.

The petition contends that though Maharashtra has framed a pension scheme for freedom fighters — the Swatantrata Sainik Sanman Pension Scheme, 1980 — the benefit of the said scheme had not been extended to Ms. Shalini Chavan.

Her counsel Jitendra Pathade argued, “Old records in the Byculla District Prison containing details of the late Laxman Ramchandra Chavan’s imprisonment may have been destroyed.”

On September 20, the court had said, “Be that as it may, from the available materials on record, there does not appear to be any dispute as to the status of the late Laxman Ramchandra Chavan as a freedom fighter and as regards petitioner as the widow of the late Laxman Ramchandra Chavan. If that be so then withholding the freedom fighter’s pension that too for such a long period is not justified.”

The court has directed government pleader Poornima Kantharia to apprise the court on this issue and adjourned the matter to September 30.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 6:49:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/withholding-freedom-fighters-pension-not-justified-bombay-hc/article36700989.ece

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