Tamil Nadu

No genuine freedom fighter should be deprived of pension, says HC

Observing that the collective debt of the country to its freedom fighters can never be repaid, the Madras High Court on Thursday said every effort should be taken to ensure that no genuine freedom fighter is deprived of the meagre pension paid to them even if the process leads to a few pretenders benefitting out of the leniency shown by the government in granting such pension.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed so while dismissing an appeal preferred by the Union Home Ministry against an order passed by Justice M. Govindaraj on March 10, 2020 directing the Centre to grant Swatantra Sainik Samman pension to N.V. Vadivelu who had participated in the Quit India movement and got jailed for about seven months in Karnataka.

The judges said it was quite possible that some suspicious applicants might make merry by obtaining freedom fighters’ pension on the basis of false claims. At the same time, it was also possible that some genuine freedom fighters might be deprived of the right for want of documentation. Therefore, it would be judicious to err on the side of a liberal approach and allow genuine claimants to derive the benefit.

Further, assessing that the freedom fighters’ pension scheme by itself may become obsolete in another 10 years since not many of them would be alive to claim or receive the benefit, the Division Bench said: “In the context of what the Indian economy is now worth, it can afford to commit the mistake and make payment to a few pretenders so that the real freedom fighters are not left out.”

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Printable version | Oct 5, 2022 6:56:06 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/no-genuine-freedom-fighter-should-be-deprived-of-pension-says-hc/article34103966.ece