After 55 years, WW-II veteran gets pension.
Vijay Mohan-Tribune News Service.
Chandigarh- February 4.After struggling for 28 years, a veteran
of World War-II has been finally awarded pension for the
service he rendered over 55 years ago. Had it not been for
miscalculation by the Army authorities, he might have got his
pension years ago.Allowing a petition filed by Harbans Singh,
a resident of Kharar, the Chandigarh Bench of the Armed
Forces Tribunalalso directed that he should be paid three-year
arrears, commencing from the date of filing of petition till now.
Harbans Singh had served with the Rashtriya Indian ASCfrom
September 1940 to March 1946. He again enrolled onto the Army
in August 1951 and was discharged in March1955.In 1982, the
Central Government introduced a new policy under which break
in service was to be condoned and the period was to be counted
towards the qualifying period for fixing pension.Soon after, he
received a letter from ASC Records stating that he was eligible
for pension and should apply for thesame. He took up the
matter with the authoritiesconcerned, but in 1993, received a
communiqué fromthe Directorate General Supplies and
Transport that hisservice amounted to 14 years and two months.
The minimum qualifying period for pension is 15 years, but a
shortfall of six months can be condoned under law.As per the
letter, his service was short of over four months even after
condoning the grace period.Later perusal of records showed
that the date of his service period was wrongly mentioned. His
actual service periodwas over 14 years and six months, which
made him eligiblefor pension.As the matter lingered, he filed a
writ petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 1998.
The matter wasadmitted and was later transferred to the
tribunal for further consideration.
Veteran Prabhjot Singh Chhatwal PLS Retd.