Civil Appeal No. 6651 of 2008. Case: Union of India (UOI) Vs Jai Kishun Singh. Supreme Court

Case Number:Civil Appeal No. 6651 of 2008
Party Name:Union of India (UOI) Vs Jai Kishun Singh
Counsel:For Appellant: S. Wasim A Qadri, Rekha Pandey, Advs. for Sushma Suri, Adv. and For Respondents: Manu Shanker Mishra, Nishant Kumar, Manish Kumar, Advs. for Gopal Singh, Adv., Mridual Ray Bharadwaj, Advs.
Judges:Vikramajit Sen and Arun Mishra, JJ.
Issue:Code of Civil Procedure
Judgement Date:September 10, 2014
Court:Supreme Court
 
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Judgment:

Arun Mishra, J.

1. In the case in hand, the Court is required to adjudicate upon the issue whether Freedom Fighter pension had been undeservingly extended to Respondent No. 1 inspite of the fact that he did not participate in freedom struggle as he was a child of 7 to 8 years in the year 1942.

Initially, original Respondent No. 1's case for granting such pension was declined by the Appellant vide letter dated 19.06.1995. However, original Respondent No. 1 was successful in getting released pension on second attempt and it was ordered to be released on 26.12.1997 with retrospective effect from 28.07.1981.

The matter did not set at rest at that. The High Court at Patna directed suo motu inquiry in the rampant complaints that large persons in the State of Bihar were availing such benefits inspite of not having participated in freedom struggle as contemplated under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980 (for short "the Scheme"). The Deputy Collector conducted inquiry into the matter and recorded evidence. He found that claim of the deceased Respondent No. 1 was not genuine. On that basis, the Union of India issued show-cause notice and thereafter took decision on 19.05.2004 to cancel pension with effect from the date it was initially sanctioned, i.e. 28.07.1981 and the amount of pension already drawn by him be recovered.

2. The deceased Respondent No. 1 unsuccessfully impugned the aforesaid order in writ petition filed before the Single Bench. However, the Division Bench of the High Court in the appeal has quashed the order. Hence, the Union of India has come up in appeal before us. The operation of order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court was stayed by this Court on 10.11.2008.

3. The learned Counsel for the Appellants submitted that pension was rightly withdrawn. The age of the deceased Respondent No. 1 was 7 to 8 years in 1942. Thus, his participation in the incident of August 1942 was rightly disbelieved. He was unable even to give details of the incident in the course of inquiry. The reliance placed by the Division Bench on the determination of age by the Medical Board at 73 years in 2001 was uncalled for as the Medical Board has not conducted scientific tests and has opined on the basis of physical appearance of the original Respondent No. 1. He had also submitted that the original Respondent No. 1 had stated his age on 06.06.1977 to be 40 years while deposing in Criminal Case No. 1018/1974...

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