The Allahabad High Court has asked the State of Uttar Pradesh to specify as to how many persons are getting pensions fraudulently by showing themselves to be detained as political prisoners during the period when national emergency was invoked in the Country (June 25, 1975, to March 21, 1977).
Essentially, the Bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Piyush Agarwal was dealing with a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea filed by the President of Pilibhit’s Loktantra Rakshak Senani Sangathan, Ashok Kumar Shamsa who has claimed before the Court that many persons are fraudulently receiving monthly pension actually meant for political prisoners of the emergency era.
It has been contended on behalf of the petitioner that as per its estimate, around 1500 persons are receiving the pension fraudulently. It has also been submitted that the petitioners are not satisfied with the inquiry conducted into the fraudulent names by the administration.
Here it may be noted that hearing this matter for the very first time in the year 2018, the Allahabad High Court had called for a report from the district administration, and thereafter, in the inquiry conducted by the administration, five people were found to be receiving this pension fraudulently.
It has been argued in the PIL that in Pilibhit district alone, many people have been made entitled to the Loktantra fighters Pension even though they weren’t jailed as political prisoners during the emergent era and rather, they were sent to jails on allegations of chain snatching and attempt to murder against them.
Further, the PIL avers that in the last three years, an action was sought by submitting complaints to the administration, but instead of taking an action, the district administration doubled the number of such persons who were allegedly lodged in jails under MISA and DIR laws by accepting their claim to pension.
It may be noted that there are about 6000 such loktantra senani in Uttar Pradesh and more than 35.35 crore rupees of the government are being spent every month on the pension given to them. Apart from this, such pensioners are also provided with free travel service on roadways buses and free medical facilities in district hospitals.
The counsel for the State to file an affidavit of respondent no. 1 (State of Uttar Pradesh) stating as to how many persons are being paid monthly pension as such. The Court has also sought the details as to whether they were the political prisoners and hence, entitled to get a pension or were in jail on account of certain other offences committed by them.
The matter has been posted for further hearing on April 18, 2022.
Case title – Ashok Kumar Shamsa and others v. State of U P and others
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