High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Union of India & Ors v. Smt.Rajwant - RSA-4001-2005  RD-P&H 1644 (10 March 2006)
RSA NO.4001 of 2005
DATE OF DECISION:March 10, 2006
Union of India and others
CORAM:- HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VINEY MITTAL
PRESENT: Ms.Daya Chaudhary, Assistant Solicitor General of India for the appellant.
The defendants Union of India and others have concurrently lost before the learned First Appellate Court.
A suit filed by Smt.Rajwant Devi, who is the widow of Baljeet Singh, was dismissed by the learned trial Court.
However,her appeal was allowed by the learned First Appellate Court.
Plaintiff Rajwant Devi claimed that her husband Baljeet Singh was serving in the army and had completed 13 years of service.
In fact, at that point of time he was due for retirement. However the authorities declared him as a deserter for the last four years.
Whereabouts of Baljeet Singh were not known. The plaintiff being an illiterate lady and living in a small village did not know about the rules and regulations and, therefore, could not pursue the matter with CM No.10775 & 76-C of 2005 and
the authorities. Even a report lodged by the plaintiff with the police with regard to missing of her husband did not bear any fruit.
Consequently, the plaintiff claimed that she was entitled to family pension and other retiral benefits and that the aforesaid Baljeet Singh be presumed to be dead. She also claimed compensation.
As noticed above, her suit was dismissed by the learned trial Court. On an appeal filed by her, the learned First Appellate Court re-appraised the entire evidence and came to the conclusion that since the whereabouts of the aforesaid Baljeet Singh were not known, therefore, under the circumstances he could be presumed to be dead. In these circumstances, the widow of the aforesaid Baljeet Singh, the plaintiff was entitled to family pension and retiral benefits.
Her appeal was consequently allowed.
Ms.Daya Chaudhary, the learned Assistant Solicitor General of India appearing for the appellants very vehemently contends that since a Court of enquiry was held and it was only after the aforesaid court enquiry that Baljeet Singh was declared as deserter, therefore, the plaintiff was not entitled to any relief.
However, I do not find any merit in the aforesaid contention. Since the aforesaid Baljeet Singh has not been heard for a period of more than 7 years, therefore, a presumption has been drawn under Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act that he was dead. In these circumstances, declaring the aforesaid person as deserter cannot come in the way of the plaintiff when she makes the aforesaid claim.
CM No.10775 & 76-C of 2005 and
Nothing has been shown that the findings of fact recorded by the learned First Appellate Court suffer from any infirmity or are contrary to the record.
No question of law, much less any substantial question of law, arises in the present appeal.
March 10, 2006 (Viney Mittal)
Shri D.S.Nalwa, DAG, Haryana.
Shri D.S.Jandiala, Addl. A.G., Punjab.
At the outset, on a request made by Shri D.S.Nalwa, DAG, Haryana connected CM No.3420 CI of 2005 which is fixed for April 18,2006 is preponed for hearing for today.
Notice of the application to the Advocate General, Haryana.
March 10, 2006 (Viney Mittal)
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