Freedom Fighters entitled to be treated with respect

The Kerala High Court on 20.06.2011 in Jagadamma Vs. Union of India, 2011 (3) KLT 139 : 2011 (3) KHC 366 observed that both the Central Government and the State treat the freedom fighters as beggars who queue up for crumbs doled out by the State. That is because they do not have any patriotism and self respect in themselves. This kind of attitude of the officers dealing with such applications is highly condemnable.

Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. Siri Jagan held that once the freedom fighter has produced a certificate from the concerned court that the records of the case are not available in that court, that is sufficient compliance with the requirement and that certificate would be a valid NARC.

Freedom Fighter

The freedom fighters cannot go around Government offices ascertaining whether any records relating to their cases are available in that office. They can only approach the court where the case, in which, they were involved, was charged and obtain a certificate from that court as to non-availability of the records. That has been done by the Petitioner’s husband.

While disposing the writ petition the Court thoroughly dissatisfied with the way both the State Government and the Central Government approach applications for freedom fighter’s pension. Whether they are entitled to pension or not, the Court opined that they are entitled to be treated with respect, which, the Court finds that both the Central Government and the State do not do.

Facts of the Case

The Petitioner claims to be the widow of a freedom fighter, viz. N. Kumaran. According to the Petitioner, her husband had actively participated in the Punnapra Vayalar movement during the freedom struggle, which is accepted by the Government as a part of the freedom movement.

The Petitioner’s husband submitted an application for freedom fighter’s pension producing the personal knowledge certificates (PKC) along with a non availability of records certificate (NARC) issued by the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Alappuzha, where, according to him, the criminal case pursuant to which he had undergone sufferings was registered. That claim was earlier rejected.

The Petitioner’s husband approached High Court by filing writ petition, in which, the Court passed judgment directing the State Government to forward their recommendation on the application of the Petitioner’s husband for freedom fighter’s pension and a further direction to the Central Government to pass orders on the application for freedom fighter’s pension.

In the meanwhile, the Petitioner’s husband died. An order passed rejecting the application on the grounds that he has not furnished a valid Non- Availability of Record Certificate (NARC) from the State Government (i.e., the competent authority) containing all the ingredients prescribed therefor.

Advocate K.K. Satheesh appeared for the petitioner and Assistant Solicitor P. Parameswaran Nair, Government Pleader Antony Mukkath for the respondents.

News Reporter