K.P. Nataraj vs The State Of Tamil Nadu on 31 October, 2003

Madras High Court
K.P. Nataraj vs The State Of Tamil Nadu on 31 October, 2003
       

  

  

 
 
 In the High Court of Judicature at Madras

Dated: 31/10/2003 

Coram 

The Hon'ble Mr.  Justice P.  SATHASIVAM  

Writ Petition No.5683 of 2003
and 
WPMP.No.34641 of 2003    


K.P. Nataraj                                   .. Petitioner

-Vs-

1. The State of Tamil Nadu
   rep. by Deputy Secretary
   to the Government
   Public (Political Pension) Department
   Fort St. George, Chennai 600 009.

2. The District Collector
   Coimbatore Collectorate
   Coimbatore.                                          .. Respondents


                Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of  India
praying of issuance of writ of certiorarified mandamus as stated therein.

For petitioner :  Ms.  Vanathi Srinivasan

For respondents:  Mrs.  G.  Kavitha
                Govt., Advocate


:ORDER  

By consent of both parties, the writ petition itself is taken
up for disposal.

2. Aggrieved by the proceedings of the first respondent dated
30.01 .2001, rejecting the request for sanctioning of State Freedom Fighters
Pension to the petitioner, the petitioner has filed the above writ petition to
quash the same and consequently direct the first respondent to grant Freedom
Fighter Pension to him in pursuant to the recommendation given by the second
respondent in his proceedings dated 17.02 .1999.

3. The case of the petitioner is briefly stated hereunder:
According to him, he had participated in the Freedom Movement
and he was kept in Coimbatore Central Prison from 21.12.1942 to 20.03.1943 ,
almost for a period of three months. Pursuant to the policy of the
Government, both Central and State, the petitioner had made an application for
grant of Freedom Fighters pension. As per the conditions for applying Freedom
Fighters Pension, the applicant has to enclose a copy of the certificate
issued by the jail authority, certifying his confinement in the prison,
specifically stating the period in which he was kept in custody. For the said
purpose, the petitioner had made an application on 07.11.1987 to the Jail
authority and he was replied by letter dated 15.11.1983, stating that as the
jail records were already destroyed as per the Jail Manual, the certificate as
claimed by the petitioner could not be issued, certifying his confinement in
the prison. Thereafter, he made his appli cation to the State Government for
sanctioning the Freedom Fighters Pension in his application dated 15.12.1983,
through the District Collector. He also made another application to the
Central Government on 31.12.1981 and again on 30 .09.1986. Pursuant to the
application made to the District Collector, he received an intimation for his
appearance before the District Committee. The petitioner appeared before the
District Committee with required certificates. The petitioner had produced
certificates from the Freedom Fighters, namely V.N. Arunachalam, who is
getting Central Government Pension and who was lodged in Coimbatore Central
Prison and Alipuram Jail in Bellary District from 14.09.1942 to 11.09.1944.
The petitioner also produced another certificate from Nachipallan, who was
lodged in Central Prison, Coimbatore from 29.09.1942 to 11.09.1944. After
examining all the materials, the District Collector in his letter dated
17.02.1999, had written to the Deputy Secretary, Political Pension-I stating
that the petitioner had given the certificate from three Freedom Fighters, who
were in different Jails and also recommended to the Government for considering
the claim of the petitioner. In spite of the report of the second respondent
dated 17.02.1999 , earlier direction of this Court dated 01.11.2000, the first
respondent by the impugned letter dated 30.01.2001, rejected the claim of the
petitioner on the ground that the certificate issued by the Freedom Fighter –
Nachipallan, is not in order, hence, the present writ petition.

4. Heard, Ms. Vanathi Srinivasan, learned counsel for the
petitioner and Ms. G. Kavitha, learned Government Advocate for the
respondents.

5. It is the specific claim of the petitioner that he
participated in the Freedom Movement and he was kept in Coimbatore Central
Prison as under trial prisoner from 21.12.1942 to 20.03.1943. It is also his
claim that when he applied for confinement certificate from the Superintendent
of Central Prison, Coimbatore, the Office in his letter dated 15.11.1983, has
informed the petitioner stating that “remand registers for the year 1942-43
were destroyed as per the Jail Rules, hence the certificate requested by you
could not be furnished.” The said letter finds place at page 1 of the typed
set of papers filed by the petitioner. In such a circumstance, the first
respondent cannot insist the petitioner for production of a certificate from
the Jail authority.

6. There is no dispute that as per the Scheme framed by the
Central and State Government for grant of Freedom Fighter Pension, one of the
essential conditions for applying the Freedom Fighters Pension is that the
applicant has to enclose a copy of the certificate issued by the Jail
authority, certifying his confinement in the jail, specifically stating the
period in which he was kept in custody. In the light of the letter of the
Superintendent, Central Prison, Coimbatore dated 15.11.1983, the petitioner
cannot be insisted for production of the certificate.

7. The other essential condition is that the petitioner has
to produce co-prisoner certificates as notified by the Government. It is the
claim of the petitioner that he had produced a certificate from the Freedom
Fighter V.N. Arunachalam, who is getting pension as per order PPO 2147/S, who
was lodged in Coimbatore Central Prison and Alipuram Jail in Bellary District
during the period 14.09.1942 to 11.09.1944 . The petitioner also produced
another certificate from the Freedom Fighter one Nachipallan, who was lodged
in Central Prison, Coimbatore during the period 29.09.1942 to 11.09.1944, who
is also getting pension from the State Government vide order No.2706/S.
Unfortunately, these certificates issued by the Freedom Fighters, who were
also lodged in the prison during the relevant period, who participated in the
freedom struggle along with the petitioner, were not accepted by the
Government, as these freedom fighters are not recognised or given in the list
of 15 freedom fighters identified by the Government. Inasmuch as the two
certifiers, namely, V.N. Arunachalam and Nachipallan – freedom fighters were
lodged in Central Prison, Coimbatore during the relevant time along with the
petitioner, I am of the view that the Government is not justified in rejecting
those certificates and insisting that persons named in the list of 15 alone to
be given such certificate. The petitioner has also produced copy of those
certificates vide page 2 and 3 of the typed set of papers.

8. It is also useful to refer one important fact that when
the petitioner made an application for grant of State Freedom Fighter Pension
through the District Collector – second respondent herein, the matter was
enquired by the District Committee and based on the enquiry, the District
Collector forwarded his report dated 17.02.1999 to the Government,
recommending the case of the petitioner for grant of State Freedom Fighters
Pension. The said report finds place at page 4 and 5 of the typed set of
papers. The report shows that the petitioner had obtained co-prisoner
certificate from one K.P. Thiruvengadam, Nachipallan and V.N. Arunachalam,
who were imprisoned in the same District. The report further states that the
petitioner was a co-prisoner along with Nachipallan and V.N. Arunachalam; the
said Nachipallan was getting State Freedom Fighters Pension and V.N.
Arunachalam was getting pension from the Central Government. All those
details are available in the report of the District Collector dated
17.02.1999.

9. In the light of the abundant materials, it is surprising
that the first respondent has informed that the petitioner had not furnished
details regarding his confinement and the co-prisoner certificates produced by
the petitioner are not acceptable. The Government has also erroneously
rejected the report of the District Collector, which is based on the enquiry
made by the District Committee. The impugned order of the first respondent
cannot be sustained in view of the decisions rendered in W.P.No.19152 of 1996
dated 21.01.2000 (PSJ), W.P. Nos.15465, 15596 of 2001 dated 12.03.2002 (VKJ),
which was affirmed by the Division Bench in W.A.Nos.2142 & 2143 of 2003 dated
01.07.2003.

In the result, the impugned order of the first respondent
dated 30.01.2001, is quashed. The first respondent – Government is directed
to grant State Freedom Fighters Pension to the petitioner from 30.01.2 001
(when the first respondent passed the impugned order rejecting his request for
State Freedom Fighters Pension), based on the recommendation of the District
Collector made in e/f/xs2/31962/97 dated 17.02.1999, freedom fighter’s
certificates dated 03.12.1983, 03.03.1986 and the letter from the
Superintendent, Central Prison, Coimbatore dated 15.11.1983. The order as
directed above shall be passed within a period of four weeks from the date of
receipt of a copy of this order. The writ petition is allowed. No costs.
Consequently, connected WPMP., is closed.

Index:Yes
Internet:Yes
kh

To

1. The Deputy Secretary
to the Government
State of Tamil Nadu
Public (Political Pension) Department
Fort St. George, Chennai 600 009.

2. The District Collector
Coimbatore Collectorate
Coimbatore.

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