Friday, September 17, 2010

SC chides govt for ‘shabby’ treatment of war widow

You Pay Her Just Rs 70 A Month When Even A Kilo Of Dal Costs Rs 80, Says Apex Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday chided the government for shabbily treating the 90-year-old war widow of an Army officer by paying her a measly Rs 70 monthly pension at a time when even a kg of arhar dal cost around Rs 80.
“What is this? You are paying her just Rs 70 per month. Today in the present rate of inflation even a kg of arhar dal cost around Rs 80,” a bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur observed while issuing notice to the Union Government.
The Bench passed the order on a writ petition filed by 90-year-old Pushpavanthi through counsel Ramesh Haritas complaining that she was getting a measly Rs 70 family pension on behalf of her late husband Major Dharam Chand (42) who died in 1967.
Pushpavanti's counsel B B Trikha submitted that Dharam Chand was a decorated officer having fought for the country during the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war, 1962 Indo-China war and again in the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
He was a recipient of 14 medals during his two decades of service and died in harness following a heart attack. According to the counsel, though Pushpavanthi since 1967 was running from pillar to post making representation to officials including the Army chief for enhanced pension, the authorities have turned a deaf ear to her problem.
The widow has claimed that according to the latest pay revision applicable to her case, she was entitled to about Rs 27,000 pension per month, but the authorities were not willing to concede the same forcing her to approach the apex court.
The bench after going through her plight sought response from the Union Government. PTI

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