The Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday asked the Central government to modify the clause defining dependants under the Swatantarata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme as the defined norms do not synchronise with the avowed objective of the scheme.
A division bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover passed the direction while hearing a PIL filed by historian Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich.
The Bench said that objective of the scheme was to bestow an honour on the freedom fighters and their families,who had suffered because of active participation in the freedom struggle. The clause defies a rationale as to why unmarried and unemployed daughters (up to maximum of three) and the parents of the deceased freedom fighters have been included,considering the fact that the persons who would have participated in the freedom struggle,would have done so prior to 1947. And at the time when the scheme was formulated or amended,there would hardly be any parent of a deceased freedom fighter living,to claim such a benefit, the Bench said,adding,that it would have been more logical to say that the dependants would include the spouses and the legal heirs of the deceased freedom fighters.