Supreme Court grants pension to fake freedom fighters

The Supreme Court, on the one hand, ordered inquiry into alleged forging of freedom fighter certificates to claim pension and on the other, when the pensions were cancelled, it restored them on humanitarian grounds.  In August 2005, the SC had appointed the Justice A B Palkar Commission to examine the case of a large number of people claiming pension as freedom fighters by allegedly forging certificates in Beed district.

It had said those falsely claiming to have participated in the freedom struggle should be dealt with sternly as they were “traitors”.  It had directed the Palkar panel to complete the inquiry into claims of 354 people for freedom fighter pension and submit a report to the Maharashtra government. The panel had rejected the claims of 298 of 354 people and termed their documents “bogus”.

When the state government cancelled their pensions relying on the Palkar commission report, the elderly people moved the Bombay HC and pleaded, “We are all senior citizens. At this ripe age, if we are deprived of pensionary benefits, we will not be in a position to eke out a livelihood.”

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