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A.B.Muniappan v. The State of Tamil Nadu - WRIT PETITION NO.23088 of 2002  RD-TN 419 (2 July 2002)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE V.KANAGARAJ
WRIT PETITION NO.23088 of 2002
A.B.Muniappan ... Petitioner Vs.
The State of Tamil Nadu,
rep.by its Secretary to Government,
Public (Political) Department,
Chennai-600 009. ... Respondent Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus as stated therein. For petitioner : Mr.R.Thamaraiselvan
For respondent : Mr.M.S.Palanisamy, A.G.P.
:O R D E R
Mr.M.S.Palanisamy, learned Additional Government Pleader takes notice for the respondent.
2. The above writ petition has been filed praying to issue a writ of Certiorarified Mandamus to call for the records of the respondent in Letter No.33269/97, dated 02.03.1998 and Letter No.5698/P.P.2/98, dated 3.3.1998 and quash the same and consequently direct the respondent to grant the State Government Freedom Fighters Pension to the petitioner.
3. The case of the petitioner is that he is a freedom fighter and he applied for State Government Freedom Fighters Pension to the respondent on 22.7.1997, who rejected the same by the impugned orders dated 2.3.1998 and 3.3.1998 on ground that the co-prisoner certificate submitted by him is a general one.
4. The main ground of the respondent for rejecting the claim of the petitioner is that the certificate given by the co-prisoner is a general one.
5. In GURDIAL SINGH vs. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS reported in (2001 )8 Supreme Court Cases 8, the Honourable Apex Court has held: "The standard of proof required in such cases is not such standard which is required in a criminal case or in a case adjudicated upon rival contentions or evidence of the parties. As the object of the scheme to honour and to mitigate the sufferings of those who had given their all for the country, a liberal and not a technical approach is required to be followed while determining the merits of the case of a person seeking pension under the scheme. It should not be forgotten that the persons intended to be covered by the scheme had suffered for the country about half-a-century back and had not expected to be rewarded for the imprisonment suffered by them. Once the country has decided to honour such freedom fighters, the bureaucrats entrusted with the job of examining the cases of such freedom fighters are expected to keep in mind the purpose and object of the scheme. The case of the claimants under this scheme is required to be determined on the basis of the probabilities and not on the touchstone of the test of " beyond reasonable doubt". Once on the basis of the evidence it is probabilised that the claimant had suffered imprisonment for the cause of the country and during the freedom struggle, a presumption is required to be drawn in his favour unless the same is rebutted by cogent, reasonable and reliable evidence."
6. In W.P.Nos.20799 of 1993 etc. (Natarajan v. The Government of Tamilnadu), a learned Single Judge of this court, while dealing with the question of grant of Tamil Scholar Pension, has held: "In the light of the entire scheme of the Act and Rules, I am unable to accept the stand of the Government that only on production of imprisonment certificate from the concerned authority, they may be sanctioned pension, grant or scholarship.
In the risk of repetition, I once again come to Clause (V) of SubSec.(4) of Sec.4 of the Act. It enables the applicant either to place the documents of imprisonment or prove the sufferings by way of placing acceptable evidence. As observed earlier, in the absence of any details either in the Act or in the Rules the Government cannot expect the applicants to keep the imprisonment certificate for 30 to 40 years anticipating such legislation will be brought by the Government."
Falling in line with the observations made by the Apex Court in the judgments cited above, if a decision has to be arrived at by this court in the case in hand, it seems that the respondent have not considered the representation of the petitioner in the manner that it has to be considered and therefore, even though normally the courts do not in such matters pass orders as it is prayed for in the writ petition, but only direct the authorities concerned to act upon the requirements of the petitioner in the circumstances of the case, since the order passed by the respondent goes to show that they have not appropriately dealt with the matter in the manner expected by law, this court has to allow the above writ petition to its prayer. In result,
(i)the orders passed by the respondent dated 2.3.1998 and 3.3.1998 are hereby quashed.
(ii)The respondent is directed to sanction Freedom Fighters Pension in favour of the petitioner from the date of his application, within four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
Consequently, WPMP No.31830 of 2002 is closed. No costs. gs.
The Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu,
Public (Political) Department,
W.P.No.23088 of 2002
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