Special Family Pension is sanctioned to a widow only when the death of a soldier is aggravated by military service as determined by the competent authorities and therefore a higher rate of pension is sanctioned to the widow. Normally this PPO is identified by a Prefix ‘F’, or ‘BC’ before the PPO number. The PDAs are not aware of this basic rule as a result, the higher rate of pension payable to the widow is denied for ever.
Sep.No.8799083 Maruthiah Thevar died while on active service on 19.10.1971. His wife Smt.Muthammal was sanctioned Special Family Pension w.e.f. 20.10.1971 under PPO No.F/5280/1974.
She was drawing her family pension from Canara Bank, Veera Keralampudur Branch of Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu. There have been 4 pay commissions after 1971. The pension has undergone revision in three pay commissions. There is distinct difference in Ordinary family pension and Spl. Family pension. The 5th and the 6th CPCs doubled the minimum ordinary family pension for the Special Family pensioners.
Now the question is, did this improvement in pension on the successive pay commission reach the family pensioners ? A big NO is the answer. Here is a case.
Smt.Muthammal, a special family pensioner was eligible for a monthly basic pension of Rs.2550 from 1.1.96 to 31.12.2005 but was paid only Rs.1275 during that period. Similarly from 1.1.2006 she was eligible for Rs.7000 as per 6th CPC, but was paid Rs.3500 only. The actual position from 1971 to 1995 is not traceable.
In the meantime she died on 15.5.2009. When the Exwel Trust’s Chief Liaison Officer, Sgt.S.Kandiah (Retd.) visited the Bank for arranging the payment of the Life Time Arrears to her legal heirs, he was surprised to see that the widow has been paid just minimum ordinary family pension from 1971 till date. The status of her special family pension was not at all effected in her monthly pension for the 33 years. None of the Bank’s auditors, Accountant General’s Auditors, the Reserve Bank’s pension auditors did notice this short payment to this widow for the past 33 years. See what a pity ?
The poor widow could not enjoy her legitimate pension for the past 33 years. Now the LTA amounting to Rs.4 lacs has to be claimed with lot of legal formalities.
There is another similar case with Canara Bank, Tenkasi of Tirunelveli District. Ex.Gnr.No.128413 Krishnan died while in service on 06.2.1979. His mother Smt.Subbulakshmi was sanctioned a Special family pension under PPO No.F/2237/80 w.e.f. 7.2.79. This poor mother of a soldier is also being paid simply ordinary family pension instead of Special family pension from 1979.
Fortunately, in this case, she is alive now. Her another son Ex.Hav.S.Sankaran came to know about the Exwel Trust’s services to the pensioner. He visited the Trust’s office with her mother’s pension papers.
The short payment of about Rs.3,84,000 has been worked out and presented to the bank for immediate payment to Smt.Subbulakshmi.
Now the question is What is the solution for this problem ? There are many cases of short payment in defence pensions with almost all the pension paying banks. The MOD and the CDA(P) are keeping silent about this. The ex-servicemen welfare organizations like IESL, IESM, AFA and the Naval Foundation should come out with a strong protest and formulate a system for payment of correct pension to all the defence pensioners.
In this age of information technology revolution in the Banks, incorrect payment of pension to the pensioners cannot be accepted. It is a shame on the part of the Banks to pay incorrect pension to poor widows. Will the Banks do something to correct the position ?