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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

“Freedom Fighters Pension Scheme= the petitioners claimed that they took part in the freedom movement and were, therefore, entitled to the benefits which the Government has announced with the proclamation of the “Freedom Fighters Pension Scheme”. = In the present case, it is stated at the cost of the repetition that apart from the affidavits of other freedom fighters, no other document is produced. 24. We, thus, allow these appeals and set aside the orders of the High Court and dismiss the Writ Petitions filed by the respondents. No costs.

                     published in    http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40741                                 
 [REPORTABLE]

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                      CIVIL APPEAL NOs. 7899-7901/2013
           (arising out of S.L.P.(Civil) Nos.26441-26443 of 2012)

State of Maharashtra & Ors.                       ……….Appellants

                       Vs.

Namdeo etc.etc.                                  ………Respondents



                               J U D G M E N T

A.K.SIKRI,J.

1.    Leave granted.

2.    The three respondents herein were the  original  petitioners  who  had
filed three separate Writ Petitions  in  their  individual  capacities.   In
these Writ Petitions, the petitioners claimed that they  took  part  in  the
freedom movement and were, therefore, entitled to  the  benefits  which  the Government has announced with the  proclamation  of  the  “Freedom  Fighters Pension Scheme”.
Having regard to the fact that  all  the  claims  were  on
similar set  of  facts,  the  Bench  High  Court  of  Judicature  at  Bombay
consolidated those three petitions and after hearing,  has  allowed  all  by
single judgment dated 10.2.2012 with the following directions:

            “(i) The impugned orders passed by the State Government, thereby
           rejecting  claims  of  the  petitioners  for  freedom   fighter’s
           pension,  are  quashed  and  set  aside.  It  is  held  that  the
           petitioners are entitled to freedom fighter’s pension, under  the
           Scheme framed by the State of Maharashtra, from the date of their
           first application.

            (ii) The respondent-State  and  its  concerned  authorities  are
           directed to pay freedom fighter’s  pension  to  the  petitioners,
           from the date  of  their  first  application.  They  shall  start
           payment of said pension to the petitioners, within  a  period  of
           three months from today.  The arrears of pension, from the  dates
           of their first application till realization of pension, shall  be
           paid to the petitioners  within  a  period  of  six  months  from
           today.”




 3.   As the appellant/State of Maharashtra is aggrieved by  this  judgment,
 instant  special  leave  petitions  are  filed.    Along  with   State   of
 Maharashtra,  others  who  have  joined  are  the  officers  in  the  State
 Government who were arrayed as respondents in the Writ  Petitions.   Notice
 in these  petitions  was  issued  pursuant  to  which  respondents  entered
 appearance through their counsel.  We heard counsel for both the parties at
 length.

 4.   In order to appreciate the controversy as well  as  propriety/validity
 of the orders passed by the High Court, it would be necessary to take  note
 of the foundational basis of the claim for pension by the respondents.

 5.   The State of Maharashtra came out with Pension Scheme for “Underground
 Freedom Fighters” and Participants of the “Hyderabad  Liberation  Movement”
 in the year 1982  and  1992  respectively.   Thereafter,  another  specific
 scheme dated 4.7.1995 was framed known as “Freedom Fighters Pension Scheme”
 which was issued vide Government Resolution of even date.  As per this, the
 benefits  were  extended  to  freedom  fighters  of  different   categories
 stipulated therein, one of which was “Underground Freedom Fighters”.  Since
 the respondents had made  the  claim  under  this  category,  we  reproduce
 hereinbelow the said portion of the Government Order dated 4th July 1995:

                  “Underground Freedom Fighters:-

                  Freedom Fighters of “Bharat Chodo” agitation during  1942-
               44 or Hyderabad Liberation Movement during 1947-48 who worked
               by remaining underground, will submit following certificate:-



               (1) A certificate given type of difficulties and troubles of
               all sorts undergone during the agitation.

                 (a) Living away from the house.

                 (b) Explained from the  educational  institute  or  leaving
                 education.

                 (c) Received beatings from police causing disabilities.

                 (2)   A certificate to the effect that he was punished  for
                 minimum of two years or declared  and  remained  absconding
                 for minimum of two years from two Freedom Fighters of  that
                 area along with true copies of  their  certificate  to  the
                 effect that of imprisonment or advertisement of declaration
                 of absconding or Government orders. Also  an  oath  of  the
                 certificate person will be attached.

                 (3)   Certified copy of  Government  record  of  that  time
                 showing remained underground, if available.

                 (4)   Original copy of newspaper  of  that  time  published
                 giving information about having  gone  underground  of  the
                 applicant and name etc. if available.

                 (5)   Recommendation and opinion  of  Zilla  Gourav  Samiti
                 giving specific information.”




      These Government Orders were made applicable to all the pending cases.

            Facts regarding Namdeo,Respondent No.1.

6.    The respondent No.1 Shri Namdeo  Sopan  Dhavare  had  filed  the  Writ
 Petition alleging that he had participated in the  year  1947-48  Hyderabad
 Liberation Movement as  underground  freedom  fighter,  working  under  the
 leadership of freedom fighters Shri Hambirrao Krashnaji Chavan and  Devidas
 Kishanrao  Joshi.   As  per  him,  he  had  actively  participated  as   an
 underground freedom fighter in the  said  movement  and  therefore  he  was
 entitled to the benefits of “Freedom Fighter’s Scheme    “  framed  by  the
 State of Maharashtra (the appellant herein).  He, thus,  moved  application
 dated 25.8.1995  to the Collector, Osmanabad.  Along with  his  application
 he had annexed affidavits of three freedom fighters,  namely  (i)   Rajaram
 Limbaji  Chadare,  (ii)   Hambirrao  Krashnaji  Chavan  and  (iii)  Devidas
 Kishanrao Joshi.

7.    In these affidavits, the said  three  persons  had  stated  that  Shri
 Namdeo Sopan Dhavare had personally participated in  the  freedom  movement
 under the leadership of  Narsinghrao Balbhimrao Deshmukh,  Uddhavrao  Patil
 and Manikrao Bhosale.  He had attended  the  camp  of  underground  freedom
 fighters at Kagla, Panbhit Tq. Barshi and was also involved in  decoity  of
 arms and armaments.  He was  involved  in  the  intelligence  work  and  on
 account of his involvement in the freedom movement, he was required  to  be
 away from his family.

8.     The  “Zilla  Gourav  Committee”  (hereinafter  referred  to  as   the
 “Committee”)  constituted  to  scrutinize  the   scheme,   considered   the
 application of the respondent No.1.  Two Members recommended his  name  for
 pension but the official Member, namely the Additional  Collector  appended
 his dissenting note.  The recommendation was sent to the  Government.   The
 Government found that  there  was  non-compliance  with  the  scheme  dated
 4.7.1995 inasmuch as all the requisites stipulated  therein  for  grant  of
 pension were not fulfilled.  Accordingly, vide order dated 13th July  2009,
 application of  Namdeo Sopan Dhavare was rejected.

            Facts of  Bhagabai Shankar Malkunje,  Respondent No.2

9.    Respondent No.2 is the widow of Shankar Malkunje.  She  also  moved  a
 similar application for grant of pension stating that her   husband  was  a
 freedom fighter who had participated in the freedom movement.   Along  with
 this application, she had filed affidavits of  Baswappa  Pirappa  Chingunde
 and Hambirrao Krashnaji Chavan.  In these affidavits, it  was  stated  that
 Shri Shankar Malkuje had participated as  underground  freedom  fighter  in
 Hyderabad Liberation Movement.  He  had  supplied  arms  and  armaments  at
 Gholasgao-Wagdari camp and worked on the borders under  the  leadership  of
 Phulchand Gandhi and Swami Ramanand Tirth.  It was also  stated  that  late
 Shri  Shankar was also involved in the attack of Karodgiri  (Kamgiri)  Naka
 of Nizam  as well as in the collection of arms, food etc.  In this  behalf,
 it was testified that since  he  was  attending  the  underground  camp  at
 Chinchola, he was required to leave his family and reside at Waghdari camp.
   Here applicant was also recommended by the Committee with the dissent  of
 Additional Collector and the Government rejected  the  recommendation  vide
 order dated 20.8.2009.                 Facts of Navnath Dattatraya Hajgude,
 Respondent No.3.

      10.   He filed application for grant  of  pension  amount  dated  13th
 July  2006  with  Collector,  Osmanabad.   He  had  also   enclosed   three
 affidavits, namely his own affidavit and affidavits of Hambirrao  Krashnaji
 Chavan and Devidasrao Kishanrao Joshi who had deposed on the same  line  as
 as was done in respect of the aforesaid two persons.  His  application  was
 also dealt with in identical manner, namely recommended by two members  but
 Additional Collector dissenting therewith.   The  Government  rejected  the
 application vide order dated 30th October 2010.

11.   From the facts noted above, it is  clear  that  except  affidavits  of
 certain persons, no other material or proof was given supporting the  claim
 of having participated in the freedom movement.  However, the Scheme  dated
 4.7.95 required fulfillment of  various  conditions  contained  therein  to
 enable a person to claim  the  benefits.   It  was  accepted  even  by  the
 committee that those conditions were not met by the respondents.  It is for
 this reason, in so far as the Additional Collector is concerned, he refused
 to give positive recommendation.  Notwithstanding the same, the  other  two
 members of the Committee recommended the cases of the respondents  only  on
 the ground that the persons who had  given  affidavits  and  supported  the
 claim of the respondents were themselves recipient  of  pension  under  the
 said Scheme and therefore their version needed to be believed.

12.   The  orders  vide  which  the  applications  of  the  respondents  are
 rejected are identically worded, pointing out that  these  respondents  had
 not submitted the following documents required under Government Order dated
 4th July 1995:

             “1    Proof  of  trouble  of  all  sorts  made  to  suffer  for
           participation in Freedom Fight.

            (a)  Made to live away from household.

      (b)   Expelled from educational institute or  leaving  education  half
                 way.

                 (c)   Suffered disability due to beating by police.

            2.   A certificate to  the  effect  that  he  was  punished  for
           minimum of two years or declared  and  remained  absconding  for
           minimum of two years from two  Freedom  Fighters  of  that  area
           along with their true copies of their certificate to the  effect
           of imprisonment or advertisement of declaration  of   absconding
           or Government orders.  Also an oath  of  the  certifying  person
           will be attached. The certificates  given  by  the  two  Freedom
           Fighters  cannot  be  accepted  as  they  have   already   given
           certificates to more than 50 persons.   As  such  the  applicant
           does not fulfill the requirements.

            3.   The Applicant has not submitted the certified copy  of  the
           Government record of that time stating  “remained  underground”,
           if available.

            4.   News published at that time showing  “remained  underground
           with name” has not submitted.”

13.   The High Court while allowing the petitions  of  the  respondents  had
 done so on the premise that since the Committee had recommended  the  cases
 of the respondents, the orders of rejection  by  the  Government  were  not
 valid.  It would be pertinent to note here that the appellant had  referred
 to the judgment of this Court rendered in the case of  State of Maharashtra
 & Ors. Vs. Raghunath Gajanan Waingankar (2004) 6 SCC 584.   However, as per
 the High Court, the said judgment was not applicable in the instant cases.

14.   As the main argument of the counsel for the appellant  before  us  was
 that the judgment in the case of Raghunath  (supra)  squarely  applies,  we
 would like to discuss the said judgment in the  first  instance.   In  that
 case also,  the  State  of  Maharashtra  was  the  appellant.   The  matter
 pertained to “Goa Freedom Fighters Pension” under this  very  scheme.   The
 respondent has claimed himself to be a freedom  fighter  entitled  to  such
 recognition and release of pension and other privileges  as  per  the  same
 Government Resolution dated 4.7.1995.  He pleaded that he  participated  in
 Goa Liberation Movement and therein he sustained  bullet  injuries  on  the
 left shoulder.  He had placed reliance on  certificate  from  Goa  Vimochan
 Samiti and certain cuttings of newspaper reports.  However,  there  was  no
 primary evidence to substantiate his claim.  The State Government  rejected
 his request for grant of pension etc. and in the  Writ  Petition  filed  by
 him, the High Court set aside the order of the Government  and  issued  the
 writ of Mandamus.  It was noted that Zilla Gourav Samiti had processed  his
 case, like the cases  of  other  freedom  fighters,  and  held  an  enquiry
 recommending the  case  for  pension  observing  that  the  respondent  had
 produced  solid  evidence,  incident  wise,  to  the  effect  that  he  had
 participated in the freedom fighters movement.  However, these minutes were
 signed by the Chairman only.  The State had produced another Resolution  of
 the same committee dated 2.9.2002, which was signed by the Chairman as well
 as all the members.  Those minutes recorded that  the  respondent  had  not
 been able to give any proof to substantiate his claim.  This Court chose to
 rely upon Minutes dated 2.9.2002 which were signed by all  the  persons  as
 they appeared to be more authentic as per which the Zilla Gourav  Committee
 has recommended rejection of the proposal.

15.   On the aforesaid facts, no doubt, the facts in the case of   Raghunath
 (supra) were altogether different.  In that case, the  Court  proceeded  on
 the premise that there was no recommendation of the Samiti at all,  whereas
 in the present case, Samiti has recommended the cases of  the  respondents;
 albeit with a majority of 2:1 i.e. two members of the  committee  supported
 the claim and the third member i.e. Additional Collector did not agree  and
 in his opinion claim should have been rejected.  Having said so,  we  would
 like to point out that the Court had also taken note  of  the  earlier  two
 cases dealing with the standard of proof which is required to deal with the
 claims of freedom fighters.  This discussion is contained in paragraph 7 of
 the judgment which is reproduced below:

                  “7. It is true that in Gurdial Singh case this  Court  has
           emphasized the need  for  dealing  with  the  claim  of  freedom
           fighters with sympathy dispensing with the need for standard  of
           proof based on the test of “beyond  reasonable  doubt”  and  the
           approach should be to uphold the  entitlement  by  applying  the
           principle of probability so as to honour  and  to  mitigate  the
           sufferings of the freedom fighters. However, the observations of
           this Court in Mukund Lal Bhandari case cannot be lost  sight  of
           and given a complete go-by  wherein this Court has very  clearly
           directed that: (SCC pp.5-6, para 6)

                  “6. As regards the sufficiency of the  proof,  the  Scheme
           itself mentions the documents which are required to be  produced
           before the Government. It is not  possible  for  this  Court  to
           scrutinize the documents which  according  to  the  petitioners,
           they had produced in support of their claim and  pronounce  upon
           their genuineness. It is the function of the  Government  to  do
           so. We would, therefore, direct accordingly:

                  The High Court exercising writ jurisdiction does  not  sit
           in judgment over the decision of the State  Government  like  an
           appellate authority. Ordinarily, the High Court exercising  writ
           jurisdiction cannot enter into reappreciation  of  evidence  and
           reverse the findings arrived at by the State  Government  unless
           they be  perverse  or  be  such  as  no  reasonable  man  acting
           reasonably could have arrived at. If the High Court  found  that
           the decision arrived at by the State Government  was  flawed  in
           any way then the High Court should have, after laying  down  the
           necessary  principles  or  guidelines  or  issuing   directions,
           directed the State Government to  reconsider  the  case  of  the
           respondent. In no case, the High Court could have in exercise of
           its writ jurisdiction relaxed  the need for full satisfaction of
           the necessary requirements on the fulfillment of which alone the
           respondent’s entitlement to the  release  of  freedom  fighter’s
           pension depended.”

  16.     At this stage, we would like to refer  to  the  judgment  of  this
 Court in the case of  Gurdial Singh vs. Union of India & Ors. (2001) 8  SCC
 8.  The laudable objective behind such scheme has been  succinctly  brought
 out in the said judgment in the following words:

           “The scheme was introduced with the object of providing grant  of
           pension to living freedom fighters and their families and to  the
           families of martyrs. It has to be kept in mind that  millions  of
           masses of this country had participated in the  freedom  struggle
           without any expectation of grant of any scheme  at  the  relevant
           time. It has also to be kept in mind that in the partition of the
           country  most  of  citizens  who   suffered   imprisonment   were
           handicapped to get the relevant record from the jails where  they
           had suffered imprisonment. The problem of getting the record from
           the foreign country is very cumbersome and expensive. Keeping  in
           mind the object of the  scheme,  the  concerned  authorities  are
           required that in appreciating  the  scheme  for  the  benefit  of
           freedom fighters a rationale and  not  a  technical  approach  is
           required to be adopted. It has also to be kept in mind  that  the
           claimants of the scheme are supposed to be such persons  who  had
           given the best part of their life for the country. This Court  in
           Mukund Lal Bhandari’s case (supra) observed:

            “The object in making the said relaxation was not to  reward  or
           compensate the sacrifices  made  in  the  freedom  struggle.  The
           object was to honour and where it was necessary, also to mitigate
           the sufferings of those who had given their all for  the  country
           in the hour of its need. In fact, many of those who do  not  have
           sufficient income to maintain themselves refuse to  take  benefit
           of it, since they consider it as  an  affront  to  the  sense  of
           patriotism with which they plunged in the Freedom  Struggle.  The
           spirit of the Scheme being both to assist and  honour  the  needy
           and  acknowledge  the  valuable  sacrifices  made,  it  would  be
           contrary to its spirit  to  convert  it  into  some  kind  of   a
           programme of compensation. Yet that may  be  the  result  if  the
           benefit is directed to be given retrospectively whatever the date
           the application is  made.  The  scheme  should  retain  its  high
           objective with which it was motivated. It should not  further  be
           forgotten that now its benefit is made available irrespective  of
           the income limit. Secondly, and  this  is  equally  important  to
           note, since we are by this decision making  the  benefit  of  the
           scheme  available  irrespective  of  the  date   on   which   the
           application is made, it would not  be  advisable  to  extend  the
           benefit retrospectively.  Lastly, the pension under  the  present
           scheme is not the only benefit  made  available  to  the  freedom
           fighters or their  dependents.   The  preference  in  employment,
           allotment of  accommodation  and  in  admission  to  schools  and
           colleges of their kith and kin etc. are also the  other  benefits
           which have been made available to them for quite sometimes  now.”



 17.  In paragraph 7 of the judgment, this Court has highlighted the  manner
 in which such claims are to be considered for grant  of  Freedom  Fighters’
 Pension.   Paragraph 7 reads as under:

            “7. The standard of proof required in such  cases  is  not  such
           standard which is required in  a  criminal  case  or  in  a  case
           adjudicated upon rival contentions or evidence of the parties. As
           the object of the  Scheme  is  to  honour  and  to  mitigate  the
           sufferings of those who had given their all for  the  country,  a
           liberal and not a technical approach is required to  be  followed
           while determining the merits of the  case  of  a  person  seeking
           pension under the Scheme. It should not  be  forgotten  that  the
           persons intended to be covered by the Scheme had suffered for the
           country about half-a-century back and  had  not  expected  to  be
           rewarded for the imprisonment suffered by them. Once the  country
           has decided to honour  such  freedom  fighters,  the  bureaucrats
           entrusted with the job of examining the  cases  of  such  freedom
           fighters are expected to keep in mind the purpose and  object  of
           the Scheme. The case  of  the  claimants  under  this  Scheme  is
           required to be determined on the basis of the  probabilities  and
           not on the touchstone of the test of “beyond  reasonable  doubt”.
           Once on the basis of the evidence it  is  probabilised  that  the
           claimant had suffered imprisonment for the cause of  the  country
           and during the freedom struggle, a presumption is required to  be
           drawn in his favour  unless  the  same  is  rebutted  by  cogent,
           reasonable and reliable evidence.”

      18.   In a recent judgment in the case of  Kamalbai Sinkar  vs.  State
 of Maharashtra & Ors. 2012 (6) SCALE 15,  the  Court  granted  the  pension
 following the aforesaid dicta in Gurdial Singh case (supra).

19.   The aforementioned discussion leads us to sum up  the  legal  position
 as under:-

            (a) The claims of the freedom fighters are  to  be  dealt  with,
 with sympathy.

            (b) The authorities are  not  to  go  by  the  test  of  “beyond
 reasonable doubt” and standard of proof based on this principle has  to  be
 discarded.

            (c) On the contrary, the  principle  of  probability  is  to  be
 applied and eschewing the technicalities, the approach should be to  uphold
 the entitlement.

             (d)  When  scheme  itself  mentions  the  documents  which  are
 required to be produced by the applicant, normally those documents need  to
 be produced to prove the claim.

      (e) The High Court  exercising  writ  jurisdiction  does  not  sit  in
 judgment over the decision  of  the  State  Government  like  an  appellate
 authority.  The order of the State Government is to  be  examined  applying
 the parameters of judicial review which  are  available  in  examining  the
 validity of such orders.

            (f) Even if order is found to be perverse or  flawed,  the  High
 Court can, at the most, remit back to the State  Government  to  reconsider
 the case.                                                          However,
 this Court has also observed that there may be cases where because of  long
 lapse of time or other circumstances beyond the control of  the  applicant,
 it is almost impossible or  cumbersome  to  procure  and  produce  all  the
 stipulated documents.   In  such  cases,  the  claim  cannot  be  summarily
 rejected for want of documents, even though as per the Pension Scheme, such
 documents are to be provided. We are of  the  opinion  that  to  meet  such
 eventualities, following principle needs to be added:

              (g) On the basis of evidence/documents/material  submitted  by
 the applicant, the Government should examine whether it is a  genuine  case
 and the documents produced establish that the applicant had participated in
 the  freedom  movement.  It  should  be  done  applying  the  principle  of
 probability. If the material/documents produced are  otherwise  convincing,
 the Government in appropriate cases may not  insist  on  strict  compliance
 with all the requirements stated in the Scheme.

      20.   These principles show a clear path as to how  the  claims  under
 the Freedom Fighters Scheme are to be examined.

21.   In the present case, as already noted above, except the affidavits  of
 the two freedom fighters, no other material is placed to  substantiate  the
 claims.    Approach  of  the  High  Court  accepting  the  version  of  the
 respondents merely on affidavits, ignoring the requirements of  the  Scheme
 altogether, is fraught with dangers and would be prove to misuse and abuse.
   We can appreciate that direct evidence  of  having  participated  in  the
 freedom movement, which events occurred almost 70 years  ago,  may  not  be
 available and therefore  it  should  not  be  deemed  that  this  Court  is
 insisting on such direct evidence  in  order  to  enable  an  applicant  to
 succeed in his claim.  At the same time, the  Government  Resolution  dated
 4.7.1995  enlists  the  documents,  on  the  production  of  whereof,   the
 respondents could substantiate their participation and involvement  in  the
 freedom movement.  In a given case, if there is some cogent material on the
 basis of which satisfaction can be arrived at about  the  participation  in
 the agitation, the Government may relax the other  requirements.   However,
 it would be for the State Government to exercise such a  discretion,  in  a
 given case, if it is otherwise fully satisfied that the  material  produced
 demonstrate that the applicant is a freedom fighter.

      22.   In the present  case,  the  Government  rejected  the  claim  by
 passing speaking order to the effect that certain documents required  under
 Government Order dated 4.7.1995 had not been furnished.
Once, the claim is
 rejected on these grounds and such an  order  is  in  consonance  with  the
 requirement of Scheme dated 4.7.1995, no fault can be found  with  such  an
 order particularly when no case for dispensation of these requirements  was
 made out by the respondents.  The claims were based only on the  affidavits
 with no other material.  We are of the opinion that if claims  are  allowed
 merely on such affidavits, that would amount to giving a complete go by  to
 the requirements  of  the  Scheme.   This  cannot  be  allowed.    We  are,
 therefore, of the opinion that High Court could not  have  invalidated  the
 orders of the Government.

23.   Before we part with the judgment, we would like  to  record  and  deal
 with the submission of the leaned counsel for the respondents to the effect
 that it was not possible for the respondents to  get  the  original  record
 which was a cumbersome process.
The learned counsel relied  upon  Kamalbai
 Sinkar. vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors. (supra).  However, a reading of the
 said judgment very clearly demonstrate that in that case the applicant  had
 produced a certificate which was issued by the Office of  Nayak  Tehsildar,
 M.K.Puranil dated 5.8.1961  in  favour  of   the  freedom  fighter  Shankar
 Pandurang Choudhary  (deceased  respondent  of  the  appellant)  about  the
 imprisonments suffered by him.  Another document  which  was  produced  was
 medical certificate dated 15.8.1991 issued by Dr. S.G.Choudhari  in  favour
 of the applicant in his favour about his participation in Satyagraha Morcha
 on 13.8.1942, the injuries suffered by him in  the  Lathi  Charge  and  the
 treatment given to him between 13.8.1942 to  15.8.1942.   It  is  on  these
 documents, the claim was held to  be  justified  by  this  Court.   
In  the
 present case, it is stated at the cost of the repetition  that  apart  from
 the affidavits of other freedom fighters, no other  document  is  produced.



24.   We, thus, allow these appeals and set aside the  orders  of  the  High
 Court and dismiss the Writ Petitions filed by the respondents.   No  costs.



                                                                …………………………J.
                  (K.S.Radhakrishnan)





                                                               ………………………..J.
                       (A.K.Sikri)

New Delhi,
9th September,   2013


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