Delhi HC grants aid to disabled and bedridden woman

The Delhi High Court has observed that a widowed daughter of a freedom fighter is entitled to benefit from the pension scheme i.e. Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme as a dependent while granting aid to a disabled, mentally ill, bedridden woman.

A single bench of judges composed of Justice against Kameswar Rao rescind the February 12, 2020 order issued by the Home Office to the applicant dismissing her application in accordance with paragraph 5.2.5 of the revised policy guidelines which states that widowed/divorced daughter is not eligible for pension .

The High Court reiterated the decision made by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana as well as the High Court of Calcutta in which it was ruled that the benefit of the pension scheme was also eligible for the divorced daughter.

“I agree with the view taken by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana as well as the High Court of Calcutta, more particularly when the same clause under which the defendants seek to deny the benefit to the applicant, was taken into account in granting relief to “ the Court ordered.

A petition has been filed by a widowed daughter whose father died on November 1, 2019, leaving behind the only dependent. The petition therefore requested the transfer of the Freedom Fighter pension granted under the plan.

The Court relied on the judgment rendered by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in Khazani Devi vs Union of India and Ors. in which the Court held that there would be no justification why the unmarried daughter could be included in the list of eligible dependents and a divorced daughter would be excluded, particularly when she is the only eligible dependent.

The High Court also relied on the Calcutta High Court decision in which it was observed that the general exclusion of widowed/divorced girls, including even those who have no personal income in lieu of maintenance or otherwise, is manifestly outside of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, which enshrines the guarantee of equality of all citizens.

The Court therefore ordered the Center to consider the Applicant’s case for awarding a dependent’s pension under the Pension Scheme to the Applicant, if she meets the other conditions under the Scheme.

“This review must be undertaken within eight weeks of today,” the Court ordered further.


Click here to read the order

Thelma J. Longworth