By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru:: Brief fact of the case: Shri B.M .Aekoramaswamy s/o Late shri Marulappa of chickkamaglur District participated in quit India movement and remained under ground for about five years and went for jail many times but he has records of only one case . A case was filed in PSW 122/47-48 and he underwent underground and he was sentenced on 8-10-47 by District magistrate Chickmaglur District under section 3 of the M.P.S Act and convicted and sentenced for 15 days jail as per Jail record .As he do not have magistrate court proceeding record as proceedings might have gone for more than six months in a normal case from the date of filing he PSW 122/47-48 by police andsubmitted NARC from DC and PKC from shri Shivaswamy who has undergone jail for more than 2 Years and hence eligible for Swatantra Sainik Samman Scheme of the Centre . Under the Swatantra Sainik Samman Scheme of the Centre were required to submit primary evidence such as an order passed during the British regime detaining a freedom fighter in jail or proclaiming him as an absconder or announcing an award on his head or for his arrest. If such documents were not available, they could submit a Non Availability of Records Certificate (NARC) from the State or Union Territory concerned along with a Personal Knowledge Certificate (PKC) from a prominent freedom fighter who had proved jail suffering for a minimum of two years before Independence. NARC need to contain the following format :All concerned authorities of the State Government, who could have relevant records in respect of the claim of the applicant, have been consulted and it is confirmed that the official records of the relevant time are not available".
In citation Maria vs Union of India Represented By The on 16 June, 2010 it is held in para 6. Further the respondent insist on a particular form of NARC which they have quoted in the Salient Features of SSS Pension Scheme, 1980, which is produced as Ext.R1(a) which reads thus: "All concerned authorities of the State Government who could have relevant records in respect of the claim of the applicant , have been consulted and it is confirmed that the official records of the relevant time are not available."I am of opinion that the freedom fighters are expected to produce only the NARC in respect of their imprisonment or the case relating to them. They cannot be expected to go around various Government offices searching for NARCs in all the Government offices which is what is insisted by the Union Government. Nobody can obtain such an NARC. I am of opinion that such insistence is demeaning to ourselves because the very object of granting pension to freedom fighters is to honour our freedom movement, thereby honouring ourselves. The Supreme Court and this court has held that whenever such certificates are to be given by Government officials, the Government themselves should get the same. In fact the certificate of the kindW.P.(C)No. 5922 of 2010 mentioned can be given only by the State Government. When the State Government themselves have recommended the petitioner's case based on the NARC produced by the petitioner, then they must have been satisfied about the NARC as well. That being so, there is no rhyme or reason why an NARC of the kind mentioned above should be insisted upon, if it is no for denying benefit to the petitioner on some ground or other. Applicants for freedom fighter's pension deserve to be treated with the respect they deserve, because they sacrificed their life for the country. Even when they are unable to produce documents proving their claim for pension they do not cease to be a freedom fighter because denial of pension does not make them any the less freedom fighters if they are freedom fighters. They should not be treated like beggars holding out their hand for arms. Therefore even when their claim are rejected the State and Union should treat them with the respect freedom fighters deserve. I am of the opinion that only those persons who do not have patriotism and self respect canW.P.(C)No. 5922 of 2010 treat freedom fighters in the way the petitioner has been treated. A copy of this judgment shall be forwarded to the Home Secretary of Union of India directly for information and necessary action, if he himself has some patriotism and self respect left in him. Sri Rajnath Singh Union Minister of Home is requested by many MPs of Karnataka to sanction Freedom Fighters Pension to Shri Aekoramaswamy freedom fighter as 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 and "razor edge interpretation of rules or policy is certainly not called for in a case like this Shri Aekoramaswamy s/o Late shri Marulappa of chickkamaglur District for Swatantra Sainik Samman Scheme of the Centre Monthly Pension Scheme now he is aged 90 .It is clear from the available records that a genuine freedom fighter has been driven from pillar to post, at the evening of his life, on unreasonable and unjustifiable grounds As held by the Supreme Court in the cases of freedom fighters pension scheme, the standard of proof required is not that of any criminal case or cases of any adjudication.