Following the directives of Goa Human Rights
Commission (GHRC), the home department has sanctioned pension, with effect from April this year to a 78 year old freedom fighter
Chari had complained to the commission of not receiving the pension for the last 35 years.
While delivering the order recently, the commission chairman retired district judge A D Salkar had asked the complainant to approach a competent authority for getting his pension sanctioned for the remaining years and also gave him a relief to approach the commission in the event, if he has any grievances against the competent authority.
The GHRC, taking a serious view of the delay in disbursement of pension to the freedom fighter, asked the secretary, home department and secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), to get the matter thoroughly enquired, and asked to submit a reply.
The freedom fighter was not paid the pension since June 15, 1985, on the grounds that he does not fulfil the criteria for receiving the pension under Swatantra Sainik Pension Scheme.
In his communication with the GHRC, he had alleged that despite communicating with the state authorities to know what are the criteria for pension, the authorities failed to provide an appropriate answer to him.
In response to the commission’s notice, the secretary, home department had informed that the matter regarding eligibility of the complainant for grant of pension was under consideration.
While the secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs had replied that the petitioner was not found eligible for a grant of pension and the decision to that effect was communicated to the complainant on January 20, 1985.
And, then the government sanctioned a pension of Rs 3500, including dearness allowance to the complainant from April 1 this year under Rule 4 of the Goa Freedom Fighters Welfare Rules, 2013.
The commission took a serious view of the fact that the respondents did not provide any explanation for the delay in disbursement of the pension.
The complainant, who has been surviving with his wife and two children, had mentioned in his communication with the commission that due to non-payment of pension since 1985 he had to face severe economic crisis, and faced difficulty to look after his family.
Chari has claimed to be actively involved in Quit Goa Movement in the year 1950-1961 and that he was also imprisoned for organising Bharat Swantrata Divas Flag March in Mapusa at central chowk on August 15, 1953.