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Purnima Das Mahanta (Biswas) vs The Union Of India & Ors on 4 February, 2020

1

4th February,
2020
(AK)
16

W.P. 16452(W) of 2019

Purnima Das Mahanta (Biswas)
Vs.
The Union of India Ors.

Mr. Surya Prasad Chattopadhyay
Mr. Arjun Samanta
…For the petitioner

Mr. Anuran Samanta
…For U.O.I.

Mr. Sudipto Panda
Mrs. Munmun Tewari
…For the State

The grievance of the petitioner is that the petitioner, despite

being the widow of a pensioner under the Swatantrata Sainik

Samman Scheme, 1980, is being denied from the benefits of such

pension despite the demise of her husband.

Learned counsel appearing for the respondent authorities

submits that there are discrepancies in the papers sent by the State

authorities on behalf of the petitioner and the death certificate of the

previous wife of the original pensioner has not been given, since the

present petitioner is the second wife of the said pensioner.
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Learned counsel for the respondents hands up copies of certain

documents, including that of an affidavit, allegedly furnished by the

petitioner where, it is pointed out, there is a discrepancy regarding

the spelling of the surname of the deceased pensioner.

It is further submitted that the petitioner ought to have given a

death certificate of the first wife of the pensioner to get the benefit of

the scheme.

In reply, learned counsel for the petitioner places reliance on a

Division Bench judgment of this court dated September 15, 2017

passed in FMA 432 of 2017.

It is seen from the said judgment, which is annexed at

Annexure-P9 at page-70 to the present writ petition, that the Division

Bench of this court had categorically recorded about the first

marriage of the pensioner, since deceased, and about the dissolution

of such first marriage on the basis of a mutual divorce petition.

The said judgment also recorded the details of several requests

made by the petitioner and culminated in a specific direction upon

the respondents to decide on the petitioner’s claim for family pension,

as forwarded by the State Government vide a letter dated January 5,

2015, afresh strictly in terms of the provisions of the said scheme of

1980 and to pass a reasoned order and to communicate the same to

the appellant (present petitioner).

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Such exercise was directed to be completed within a period of

eight weeks from the date of communication of such order.

It is further seen from the said Division Bench order that the

present respondents were represented by counsel during the hearing

of the said appeal.

As such, it has to be deemed that the respondents authorities

responsible for disbursement of such family pension were well aware

of the judgment and the stipulated time frame of eight weeks for

deciding upon the application of the petitioner, upon consideration of

the documents sent by the State.

It is unfortunate that the respondent nos.1 to 3 have been

sitting tight over the matter in spite of eight weeks having passed

long back after the Division Bench passed such direction on

September 15, 2017.

The ground taken on behalf of the respondents for their

inaction and non-compliance of the Division Bench order is patently

frivolous.

The mere existence of the letter ‘o’ in place of ‘a’ at the end of

the surname of the deceased pensioner in one of the paragraphs of

the affidavit supplied by the petitioner cannot be a valid ground for

refusing her the benefits of the pension scheme, particularly in view

of the communications by the State, annexed to the supplementary

affidavit filed today, making it clear that proof of the marriage of the
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petitioner with the deceased pensioner, the original application filed

by the deceased pensioner as well as the said affidavit in question,

were forwarded duly to the respondent nos. 1 to 3.

Despite having obtained such documents and being in the

know of the Division Bench order, wherein the factum of the

dissolution of the previous marriage of the pensioner was discussed

categorically, the respondent no. 1 to 3 however, to the surprise of

this court, had the arrogance to blatantly disobey the specific

direction of the Division Bench, as indicated above, by not

considering the case of the petitioner for getting family pension, in

spite of all necessary documents having already been submitted to

the said authorities, responsible for disbursing the amount.

In such view of the matter, it is extremely unfortunate that the

high-handed attitude of the officials, being the respondent nos. 1 to

3, has resulted in the petitioner, who is otherwise an unemployed

lady, from the pension which she was entitled to, for twelve long

years.

The petitioner has been running from pillar to post and filing

litigations, without any result due to the nonchalant attitude of the

respondent nos.1 to 3 which is thoroughly deprecated by this court.

In the opinion of this court, the documents furnished by the

petitioner, through the State authorities, as annexed to the writ

petition as well as the supplementary affidavit, were sufficient to
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consider the case of the petitioner and to disburse the pension under

the scheme, as noted above, to the petitioner immediately.

Accordingly, W.P. 16452(W) of 2019 is disposed of by directing

the respondent no.3 to immediately release the arrears pension to

which the petitioner is entitled in view of her deceased husband being

an original pensioner under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman

Scheme, 1980, latest by March 4, 2020.

It is made clear, that in view of the failure of the respondent

nos. 1 to 3 to act on the direction of the Division Bench to decide on

the representation of the petitioner, it is hereby deemed that the said

respondents conceded to such application and as such no further

time ought to be wasted by issuing a further direction upon the

respondents to consider the matter, thereby deteriorating the plight

of the petitioner.

It is further made clear that the aforesaid direction, to disburse

the all arrears of pension under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman

Scheme, 1980, to which the petitioner’s deceased husband late

Narayan Das Mohanta was eligible, to the petitioner within March 4,

2020, is mandatory in nature.

After clearing off the arrears within such period, the

respondent no.3 shall be continuing to pay the said pension to the

petitioner on a monthly basis as per such scheme.

There will be no order as to costs.

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Urgent photostat copies of this order, if applied for, be given to

the parties upon compliance of all requisite formalities

(Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, J.)

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