Himachal High Court: Payment arrears to the widow of a 1974 freedom fighter: The Tribune India


Shimla, August 21

The Himachal Pradesh High Court dismissed an appeal filed by the central government and ordered it to pay all pension arrears, including interest, to the widow of a freedom fighter starting in 1974.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Judge Jyotsna Rewa Dua adopted the order following an appeal by the central government, challenging a single judge’s order on the petition.

Petitioner Brahmi Devi had asked the Center and the state government to grant her a freedom fighter’s pension, being the widow of Dhani Ram, who had served in the Dogra regiment as a sepoy until 1946 and had participated in World War II.

Awarded the Star of the Pacific, the Defense Medal and the War Medal, Dhani Ram, along with similarly placed people, were declared the nation’s freedom fighters.

In 1973 Himachal Pradesh issued a letter rewarding Tamrapatras to freedom fighters in Bilaspur, Mandi, Hamirpur and Kullu districts and the name of the petitioner’s husband was there with another freedom fighter Lance Naik Lashkari Ram.

On August 15, 1973, a Tamrapatra was awarded to Dhani Ram, who was recognized as a freedom fighter by the Deputy Commissioner of Bilaspur and given an identity card. However, the State did not examine his request for a pension grant in his regard. He continued to make representations until his death on May 2, 2010. Subsequently, his widow pursued his claim.

The Single Judge Bench granted her request on September 29, 2016, observing that “it is formally proven that the applicant’s husband was a freedom fighter and, therefore, she is entitled to the granting of a freedom combatant’s pension from the expiry date, that is to say April 4, 1974 ”.

He ordered that the pension be released within eight weeks, failing which the respondents would be required to pay nine percent interest on the pension. – IANS

Background

On August 15, 1973, a Tamrapatra was awarded to Dhani Ram, who was recognized as a freedom fighter by the Deputy Commissioner of Bilaspur and given an identity card. However, the State did not examine his request for a pension grant in his regard.


Thelma J. Longworth