DHARAM DEV Vs. SECRETARY GOVT OF INDIA
LAWS(DLH)-2007-7-12
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
Decided on July 24,2007

SHRI DHARAM DEV Appellant
VERSUS
SECRETARY GOVT. OF INDIA Respondents

JUDGEMENT

BADAR DURREZ AHMED, J. - (1.) This is a petition seeking a direction to the respondents to grant freedom fighters Pension to the petitioner under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980. The claim of the petitioner is that he had gone underground for about nine months from 10.9.1942 to 13.9.1943. He had moved an application under the said Scheme which was rejected. The ground for rejection was that the petitioner had not provided ample evidence as required under the Scheme.
(2.) As per the said Scheme when a person claims pension for having gone underground on account of his participation in the freedom struggle, he has to establish that he went underground for a period of more than six months. He has also to establish that he was a proclaimed offender or one on whom an award for arrest was announced or one for whose detention, an order was issued but not served. Under the Scheme, in the first instance, documentary evidence by way of orders of a Court or Government's orders proclaiming the applicant as an absconder, announcing an award on his head or for his arrest or ordering his detention is required to be produced. The Scheme further provides that in case records of the relevant period are not available, secondary evidence in the form of a Personal Knowledge Certificate (PKC) from a prominent freedom fighter, who has proven jail suffering of a minimum two years and who happened to be from the same administrative unit could be considered. Of course, the proviso is that the State Government/Union Territory concerned, after due verification of the claim and its genuineness, certifies that documentary evidence in the form of official records in support of the claimed sufferings were not available.
(3.) According to the respondent, the State Government/Union Territory has not certified that the documentary evidence is not available. It has also been pointed out by the learned counsel for the respondent that the Delhi Government has also rejected the claim of the petitioner for the grant of pension under the Delhi Union Territory Freedom Fighter Pension Scheme. However, that was not granted because it was observed that "underground sufferings" were not covered under the Scheme. Under the Swatantra Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980, the category of freedom fighters having gone underground is specifically covered and, therefore, the non-grant of the pension under the Delhi Scheme would not come in the way of the petitioner's eligibility to pension under the Central Scheme.;


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