NEW DELHI

Centre directed to pay Rs. 50,000 as costs to freedom fighter

He was driven from pillar to post to get his pension

The Madras High Court has directed the Union Government to pay costs of Rs.50,000 to a freedom fighter for causing agony to him and consider his old age and the number of cases he had to fight in the court for getting freedom fighter's pension from the government.

The court directed the Centre to consider the freedom fighter's claim along with the State government's recommendation and to issue appropriate orders within two months.

In his order, Justice S. Nagamuthu said it was unfortunate that a living freedom fighter, who participated in the ‘Quit India Movement' and spent a precious part of his life in prison with courage for the sake of the country had been driven from pillar to post for several years by the State and Central governments without realising their responsibility towards such great people.

Claiming pension, V. Loganathan made several requests from 1994, but they were not considered.

His claim was rejected earlier and he moved the Madras High Court which directed the authorities to reconsider the claim.

Again the request was rejected in March 1999. Yet another representation was also rejected.

Challenging the same, he filed a writ petition and the court in December 2000 directed the Centre to consider the fresh representation of the petitioner independently on the materials available on record without reference to the earlier order.

The request was rejected in January 2001. Challenging it, the petitioner filed the present petition in 2001.

In December last year, the court passed an interim order directing the State government to give its views on the application submitted by the petitioner to enable the Centre to process the issue.

The Government Advocate told the court that the Tamil Nadu Government in January 2010 submitted its remarks to the Centre.

Despite this report, the Centre had not passed any order. When the matter was listed on previous hearings, the petitioner's counsel withdrew appearance.

The petitioner had not made any appearance before the court. Instead, on June 17, along with a copy of the court's interim order, he sent a letter to the Chief Justice expressing his anguish that for the past several years though he was driven from pillar to post, he was not able to get pension. He was suffering from mental agony, torture and physical ailments.

“On noticing the woes, agony and anguish expressed by the petitioner, it may be difficult for any one to contain himself from shedding tears,” Justice Nagamuthu observed allowing the petition.



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