Union of India & Ors Vs. Kashiswar Jana  INSC 545 (31
DR. ARIJIT PASAYAT & P. SATHASIVAM REPORTABLE CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2259 OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 8873 of
2006) Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. Challenge in this appeal is to the judgment of a learned Single Judge of
the Calcutta High Court allowing the Writ Petition filed by the respondent. The
controversy lies within a very narrow compass. The respondent claimed to be a
freedom fighter and claimed freedom fighter's pension. The application in this
regard was filed on 28th July, 1981. The application was rejected by the
Central Government on 29.1.1993. A Writ Petition was filed before the Calcutta
High Court questioning correctness of the order of the Single Judge. The writ petition was allowed and the present appellants were directed to
release pension to the respondent.
3. Feeling aggrieved by the said order the Division Bench was moved in a
Letters Patent Appeal which was dismissed. A special leave petition was also
filed before this Court which was rejected as barred by time. The question that
arose was the date from which the respondent was entitled to pension.
Appellants released the pension with effect from 4th August, 1993 when the
writ petition filed by the respondent was allowed by the learned Single Judge.
Respondent claimed pension from the date of filing of the application.
According to him he is entitled to pension from 28.7.1981 when the application
was filed by him. Reference was made to the decision of this Court in M.L.
Bhandari v. Union of India [AIR 1993 SC 2127].
4. Stand of the present appellants was that since the claim of the
respondent could not be decided till 1993 because of the non co-operative
attitude of the State Government regarding supply of requisite information. In
any event, the benefit of doubt was granted to the respondent and in line with
the order passed by the High Court earlier pension was granted from the date of
order i.e. 4th August, 1993. The High Court did not accept the stand.
5. In support of the appeal learned counsel for the appellant submitted that
the view of the High Court is clearly untenable because the question whether
respondent was entitled to pension and whether he fulfilled the guidelines was
under examination. Definite material was not placed by the State Government and
only he was given benefit of doubt and because of the order of the High Court
pension was granted to him.
6. Learned counsel for the respondent on the other hand supported the order
of the High Court.
7. Almost similar issue came up for consideration before this Court in Union
of India & Anr. v. Kaushalaya Devi (2007(9) SCC 525), wherein it was inter
alia observed as follows:
"3. Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record. The
short question in this case is whether the freedom fighters' pension should be
granted to the respondent from the date of the application or the date of the
order granting the pension.
4. It has been held by this Court in Govt. of India v. K. V. Swaminathan1 that
where the claim is allowed on the basis of benefit of doubt, the pension should
be granted not from the date of the application but from the date of the order.
5. In the present case, we have perused the record and found that it is
stated therein that the claim was allowed on the basis of secondary nature of
evidence. In other words, the claim was not allowed on the basis of jail
certificate produced by the claimant but on the basis of oral statement of some
other detenu. Hence, we are of the opinion that the pension should be granted
from the date of the order and not from the date of the application.
6. Learned counsel for the respondent has relied on the judgment of this
Court in Mukund Lal Bhandari v. Union of India(AIR 1993 SC 2127)
7. In our opinion that decision is distinguishable as it has been stated
therein that the pension cannot be granted from any date prior to the
application. In our opinion this does not mean that it cannot be granted from a
date subsequent to the application.
8. For the reasons given above this appeal is allowed. The impugned judgment
is set aside and it is directed that the pension will be granted only from the
date of the order for granting pension and not from the date of the
8. Keeping in view what has been stated by this Court in Kaushalaya Devi's
case (supra) we direct the pension is to be granted from the date of the High
Court's order i.e. 4.8.1993.
9. The appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent without any order as to