Deduction of freedom fighter’s pension not justified: Bombay HC


Bench calls on Maharashtra government to respond to widow’s appeal on September 30

Finding that there is no justification for withholding a freedom fighter’s pension, the Bombay High Court ordered the Maharashtra government to respond to a widow’s request on September 30.

A bench in the division of Judges Ujjal Bhuyan and Madhav Jamdar heard 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 Byculla prison from April 17, 1944 to October 11, 1944. He expired on March 12, 1965.

The petition contends that although Maharashtra developed a pension scheme for freedom fighters – the Swatantrata Sainik Sanman Pension Scheme, 1980 – the benefits of the scheme had not been extended to Ms. Shalini Chavan.

His lawyer Jitendra Pathade argued that “the old files from the Byculla district prison containing details of the imprisonment of the late Laxman Ramchandra Chavan may have been destroyed”.

On September 20, the court said: “In any event, from the documents available on file, there does not appear to be any dispute as to the status of the late Laxman Ramchandra Chavan as a freedom fighter and in respect of the applicant as the widow of the late Laxman Ramchandra Chavan. If this is the case, there is no justification for withholding the freedom fighter’s pension for such a long period. “

The court ordered government litigator Poornima Kantharia to inform the court of the matter and adjourned the case until September 30.


Thelma J. Longworth

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