MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has come to the rescue of a physically challenged youth who was denied family pension for having entered into wedlock!
On a writ petition, the Bench directed the State Accountant General (Accounts and Entitlements) to sanction the pension within four weeks and also pay the arrears due since 2001.
In his counter affidavit, the Accountant General claimed that he had sought a clarification from the Government as to whether a married physically challenged person could be granted family pension.
The Government was yet to take a decision on the issue and hence he could not sanction the pension.
However, the Judge pointed out that the Tamil Nadu Pension Rules did not stipulate any condition that the physically disabled son of a dead pensioner would not be eligible to receive family pension after his marriage.
Even if the Government decided to amend the Rules, it could not be applied with retrospective effect.
The pension could be denied only when the beneficiary started to earn on his own.
The petitioner, K. Jegalingam of Madurai, had stated that his mother, K. Thillaivanam, worked as a Government schoolteacher for more than 37 years and retired in 1992.
Thereafter, she continued to receive the monthly pension until her death in 2001.
She had appointed the petitioner as the sole nominee to receive the family pension after her demise. Unable to earn his livelihood even after attaining the age of 25 years, the petitioner submitted a representation to the officials to disburse the family pension in his favour.
The Assistant Elementary Educational Officer recommended his claim to the higher officials. But there was no further progress and all his efforts were in vain.
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Date:17/12/2006 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2006/12/17/stories/2006121717520100.htm