KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed the Central government to grant the freedom fighters pension under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, (SSSP Scheme) 1980, within 3 months.
During the 25th Independence Day, the Central Government introduced Freedom Fighters’ Pension Scheme, 1972, to honor the Freedom Fighters which grants the pension of the freedom fighters and their family members.
Later, in 1981 the Government of India introduced another scheme on August 15 namely the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980 with effect from August 1, 1980, in place of the earlier scheme.
in the case of Narayan Chandra Maiti v. Union of India & Ors, the petitioner had applied for the freedom fighter pension along with a general Non-Availability of Record Certificate (NARC) issued by the District Magistrate of Midnapore and a Personal Knowledge Certificate issued by Sushil Kumar Dhara, an eminent freedom fighter and eligible certifier of District – Midnapore for grant of the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension.
Later, in 2015 the petitioner had made a representation to the Deputy Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs requesting for disposal of the application filed by the petitioner. However, the representation of the petitioner was not considered and is still pending before the court.
The recent judgment by the Calcutta HC, directed the Union government to grant the freedom fighters pension under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980, within 3 months to a batch of petitioners after opining that possession of personal knowledge certificates although a form of secondary evidence would be sufficient to be eligible for benefits under the scheme.
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(MARCH – APRIL 2022