TONGKHULUN KUKI AND ORS. Vs. UNION OF INDIA AND ANR.
HIGH COURT OF MANIPUR
Tongkhulun Kuki And Ors.
Union Of India And Anr.
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KH.NOBIN SINGH,J. -
(1.) Heard Shri Serto T. Kom, learned Advocate appearing for the petitioners; Shri S. Samarjeet, learned CGC appearing for the Union of India and Shri Niranjan Sanasam, learned Government Advocate appearing for the State respondent.
(2.) By the instant writ petition, the petitioners have prayed for issuing a writ of certiorari or any other appropriate writ to quash and set aside the letters dated 26.07.2018 and 23.02.2009 issued by the Union of India.
(3.) Facts and circumstances as narrated in the writ petition, are that during the Second World War, Shri Netaji Subash Chandra Bose formed the Indian National Army (INA) to fight against the British with the help of Japanese forces for which he made an appeal to the people of India and more specifically to the Manipur is in the following words-"Give me Blood and I will give you Freedom", "Challo Delhi"and "Do or Die" Many Manipur is responded to the call of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and that was the time when the petitioners including the husband of the petitioner No.3,joined the INA. After the Second World War was over, the INA's movement for freedom also came to an end with the result that the petitioners including the husband of the petitioner No. 3 were arrested and detained in jail, for which they were recognized by the Government ofIndia and the Copper Plate Citation namely, Tamarapatara were issued to them on 15.08.-1972 by the then Prime Minister of India,(Late) Smt. Indira Gandhi.
3.2. In recognition of the contribution of the freedom fighters, the Government of India framed a pension scheme known as Freedom Fighters Pension Scheme, 1972 which was later on renamed as Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980. The petitioners including the husband of the petitioner No.3 were allowed to enjoy the benefits under the Freedom Fighters Pension Scheme but were later cancelled on the ground that the genuineness of the certificates of imprisonment submitted by them was found to be doubtful. Various writ petitions came to be filed questioning the cancellation of the benefits under the Freedom Fighters Pension Scheme, some of which are writ petitions being WP(C) No.492 of 1012 and WP(C) No. 54 of 2013 which were disposed of by a common judgment and order dated 11.3.2015 passed by this Court and the operative directions of which read as under:-
"With the above observations, both the writ petitions are disposed of with the following directions:-
(a)As regard the Writ Petition being W.P. (C) No. 492 of 2012, Respondent Nos. 1 and 2, the Government of India shall constitute a Committee within a period of three months as from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment and order through the Govt. of Manipur to enquire into whether the petitioners/Husbands of some of the petitioners (being ST) had suffered imprisonment of at least three months. Keeping in mind the above observations and to take appropriate decisions within a month from the date of receipt of the report submitted by the said Committee;
(b)As regards the Writ Petitions being W.P. (C) No. 54 of 2013, Respondent Nos. 1 and 2, the Govt. of India shall reconsidered the case of the petitioner's husband (being ST) who had admittedly undergone imprisonment for more than three months as an under trial and issued appropriate order for restoration of his pension within three months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment and order."
In compliance with the said directions of this Court, the Ministry of Home Affairs (FFR Division), Government of India issued two orders which were issued in respect of 14 (fourteen) petitioners and also 20 (twenty) petitioners therein respectively and the operative portions of the order issued in respect fourteen petitioners read as under:-
"3.The Committee had during the visit to Manipur inspected the jail records produced and observed in respect of 14 persons whose particulars are mentioned below, that the details (primary evidence) of the 14 petitioners/ husbands of some of the petitioners have not been found in the Under Trial/Convict Register in the Central Jail, Manipur, Imphal. The Committee also finds the findings in the letter dated 28.04.2015 of the then Superintendent, Manipur Central Jail, Imphal to be genuinely true.
8.As per the provisions of the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana "In case records of the relevant period are not available, a non-availability of records certificate (NARC) form the concerned State/Union Territory administration along with 2 Co-prisoner Certificates (CPC) from freedom fighters who have proven jail sufferings of minimum 1 year and who were with the applicant in the jail. In case the certifier happens to the sitting or Ex. M.P./M.L.A. only one certificate in place of the two is required.
9.In this regard, you are requested to provide a valid NARC as per the SSS Yojana and Co-prisoner Certificates (CPC) as mentioned above in every individual 14 cases whose particulars are mentioned above in every individual 14 cases whose particulars are mentioned above, within 8 weeks from the date of issuing this letter, for further examination of the claims of these petitioners."
And, in respect of 20 (twenty) petitioners therein, the operative portion of the order reads as under:-
"That by the above mentioned order dated 26.07.2017, the Govt. of India has decided that the 20 Freedom Fighters are not found to be genuine for restoration of Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension as their names are either found to be tampered or are entered in different ink.The case of the present petitioners are included in the above mentioned category and their names are found at Sl. No. 1, 10 and 16."
Being aggrieved by the said orders and others, the instant writ petition has been filed on the inter alia grounds that the same are illegal and deserve to be quashed and set aside. ;
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