Daughter of a freedom fighter from Kerala, who was denied pension citing that she, though unmarried and had no income, but had a son of age twenty five, born of an extra-marital relationship, got relief from Supreme Court of India as the Court held that she is eligible to get the pension under the Kerala Freedom Fighters' Pension Rules, 1971.
Allowing the Appeal filed by the Miss X, daughter of late Shri Y, a freedom fighter, against the Kerala High Court order dismissing her challenge against denial of pension, the Apex Court bench comprising of Justices A.K. Sikri and R.K. Agrawal held that ingredients which are required to be satisfied to earn pension as per Rule 10 of the Pension Rules stand satisfied in her case. After death of her father, her mother was getting pension till 2012, when she also died. Thereafter she applied for the pension, which was rejected by the District collector.
Rule 10 of the Kerala Freedom Fighters' Pension Rules, 1971 reads as under:- “10. The widow/minor sons/unmarried daughters who have not otherwise become independent of a Freedom Fighter who has been sanctioned a pension under rule 6 shall be eligible to the continuance of the pension.”
Referring to the Rule, the bench said that unmarried daughters are eligible for freedom fighter's pension and they become ineligible only if they are independent and this independence is also related to the freedom fighter who was getting the pension.
The Court observed “She started living with her nephew after the demise of her parents. Thus, she never became independent of her father, a freedom fighter. The High Court has committed an error in relying upon the fact that she has a son who was born of extra-marital relationship of hers with somebody ignoring the fact that he did not live with the appellant and is living with his wife at his wife's house.”
The Court has asked the state to start paying her pension from this month onwards and the arrears from 2012, is to be paid within a period of two months.
Read the Judgment here.