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94-year-old freedom fighter’s pension to be paid in 6 weeks: Karnataka High Court
Updated On : Sep 09, 2021 |   Tanya Joshi

The Karnataka High Court recently said that statutory bodies should not hijack justice when implementing compassionate policies like Freedom Fighters Pension Scheme. 

“The approach of the statutory authorities to the compassionate policies of the State such as Freedom Fighters Pension Schemes should not hijack justice in the ritualistic adherence to the black letter of law and in a gross disregard to its spirit; otherwise, (to borrow the words of Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo) they may be likened to surgeons who would rather have their patients dead in accordance with the principles of surgery than live contrary to; that is not a happy thing to happen in an arguably sane world,” the Court said.

A petition was moved by 94-year-old Gundrao Desai against an endorsement by State authorities dated July 20,2019 rejecting his claim for the pension. 

“During the Freedom Struggle, several nationals sacrificed their lives, limbs and liberty and obviously their families too got affected; all this happened unseen and unsung; others who survived the struggle and lived after the dawn of freedom, needed to be protected, presumably they being incapable of paddling their life boats; therefore both the Central government and the State governments have promulgated Freedom Fighters Pension Schemes,”the Court said.

The Court also reiterated the Supreme Court's stand that claims of citizens cannot be rejected on flimsy grounds.