Decided on January 11,2007

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


SWATANTER KUMAR, J. - (1.) The petitioner was enrolled as a Member of the Indian Army and was posted to Rifle Centre, Delhi Cantt on 17.6.1985. The petitioner had always performed his duties to the satisfaction of all concerned. On 8.2.1986 he proceeded on causal leave from Raj Rifles Centre to his home town. On 19.3.1986, the petitioner was arrested by the Civil Police, Rohtak on the charge of murder in his village, while he was on casual leave. The Commandant handed over the petitioner to the police authorities and the petitioner was discharged from the military service on 22.10.1986. The Court of Sessions vide its judgment dated 12.8.1987 held the petitioner guilty of an offence under Section 304 read with 149 of the Indian Penal Code (for short 'IPC') and awarded him a sentence of 7 years Rigourous Imprisonment. Against the judgment of the learned Trial Court, the petitioner had preferred an appeal in the High Court which was also dismissed by the High Court on 24.10.1997 but the brother of the petitioner Sepoy Satbir Singh was acquitted by the High Court. The Ministry of Defence based on this factum, released all the benefits due to Satbir Singh till date of his superannuation and even the subsequent pensionary benefits. The petitioner not having got the said benefits and being aggrieved from the judgment of the High Court, preferred a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court. The appeal preferred by the petitioner was allowed by the Supreme Court and conviction and sentence of the petitioner was set aside vide judgment dated 12.2.2004 A legal notice dated 20.2.2004 was served upon the respondents claiming arrears of pay and all other benefits. The said notice is annexed by the petitioner as Annexure 'D' to the writ petition. This notice was not even replied to by the respondents resulting in filing of the present writ petition.
(2.) In view of the above facts, the petitioner in the present writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India claims arrears of pay and allowances with effect from the date when he was arrested 19.3.1986 till the date of his superannuation i.e. 30.6.2002 and the pensionary benefits thereafter in view of the fact that he had been acquitted by the Supreme Court.
(3.) In the counter affidavit filed by the respondents, it is stated that the petitioner was enrolled in the Indian Army on 17.6.1985. It is stated that at the time of enrollment the petitioner did not disclose to the Enrolling Officer that he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life under Section 302 of the IPC before his enrolment. It is only when the form was sent for verification to the District Civil Authorities at Rohtak that an adverse report was received from the Superintendent of Police, Rohtak vide letter no.24, dated 10.1.1986 and letter of the District Magistrate bearing no. 1774/RKE dated. 16.1.1986. Copy of the police verification report has been placed on record as Annexure R2. The petitioner had been sentenced to undergo imprisonment vide judgment dated 22.4.1983 and even an arrest warrant was issued against the petitioner on 5.3.1986 which was received by the Army Authorities on 17.3.1986. Based on the said warrant, the petitioner was handed over to the police for the ongoing criminal cases and to suffer the imprisonment awarded to him. It is further submitted that the petitioner was paid his accrued monetary benefits on account of final settlement amounting to Rs.761/- and nothing is due and payable to the petitioner as he was discharged from the Army as a Recruit. He is not entitled to any pensionary benefits as he had rendered only 9 months and 3 days service as a Recruit whereas the pensionable service was 15 years in terms of the Regulations 132 of the Pension Regulations for the Army, 1961. It is further stated that the petitioner was dismissed from the Army in view of the adverse police verification and not as a result of conviction and/or acquittal of the petitioner for charge framed under Section 302 of the IPC. Alongwith their reply the respondents have also placed on record, photocopies of the original form filled in by the petitioner in which a wrong declaration has been made in para 8, which reads as under:- ?8. Have you ever been imprisoned by the Civil Power or are you under trial for any offence of has any complaint or report been made against you to the Magistrate or Police for any offence? If so, give details. NO ?;

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