Karnataka Freedom Fighter Wins 23-Year-Old’s Pension Claim | Bangalore News

BENGALURU: The Karnataka HC came to the rescue of a 94-year-old freedom fighter from Ballari, who was denied a pension for more than two decades on the grounds that he failed to provide a second statement under oath of a living co-prisoner, and ordered the arrears to be cleared within six weeks.
In accordance with the requirements of the pension scheme, freedom fighter Gundu Rao Desai of Kamalapura of Hospet taluk had to submit two affidavits from two fellow inmates. The court noted that the freedom fighter’s request specifically mentioned in a letter dated January 20, 2021 that only one co-detainee is alive now and all the others are long dead.
The statutory authorities’ approach to compassionate state policies, such as freedom fighter pensions, should not end up bypassing justice by “ritually adhering” to the letter of the law. detriment of his mind, the High Court said.
Asking him to produce the affidavits of two fellow inmates is practically the same as forcing him to extract the dead from their graves, infuse the soul into their bodies and ask them to take an oath on the affidavit. It is an impossibility, at least with all the progress that medical science has made so far, ”observed Judge Krishna S Dixit.
“Otherwise, (to use the words of Judge Benjamin N Cardozo), they (the authorities) could be likened to surgeons who would rather have their patients die in accordance with the principles of surgery rather than live against them. It’s not a happy thing to happen in an arguably sane world. It is not the case with the respondents that the applicant is guilty of fraud, manufacturing or otherwise, ”said Justice Dixit.
The authorities must sanction the pension with effect from March 19, 1998 (the date of the applicant’s request) and settle the arrears within six weeks.

Thelma J. Longworth