NHRC recommends Rs. 50 thousand monetary relief in a case of delayed pension in U.P.; Authorities took 11 years to decide the pension only after the death of the employee
One can be so apathetic to the concerns of a fellow employee was only perhaps heard of. But Mrs. Champa Devi’s example is a telling story as to how the carelessness of the Directorate of Pension and Department of Health, Government of Uttar Pradesh led to the non payment of her pension during her life time.
Mrs. Champa Devi alias Champa Shah retired as a Health Inspector from Primary Health Centre, Chandauli, District Sonebhadra, Uttar Pradesh in the year 1992. She continued to approach concerned authorities for her pension, and died on the 7th January, 2004. Ironically, the order for payment of her pension was passed by the Directorate of Pension on the 11th February, 2004, eleven years after her retirement and almost a month after her death.
Mrs. Champa Devi herself had lodged a complaint before the Commission which was registered under the Case No. 14707/24/2003-2004. During the course of proceedings it was found that the Directorate of Pension, Government of Uttar Pradesh received the pension papers of the complainant vide letter dated the 17th October, 1996 from the Medical Officer of the Public Health Centre, Chandauli, four years after her retirement.
On scrutiny of the pension papers, the Directorate of Pension noticed over writing on the date of the birth of the complainant and asked her for her high school certificate vide letter dated the 9th January, 1997. Thereafter, 12 reminders were sent between January, 2001 and December, 2002. That is to say the Directorate of Pension took four years to issue the first reminder.
The Director, Directorate of Pension informed the Commission in response to its notices vide its letter dated the 8th January, 2010 that the pensionery benefits of the deceased pensioner had been paid to her two sons on the 26th October, 2004. He also said that no delay in the matter had been committed at the level of the Directorate.
The Commission observed that the claim of no delay is contrary to the facts. “Pension to a retired Government servant is a means to allow him/her to live with some dignity which is a part of human right.” This is a clear case of violation of her human rights and the State cannot escape its liability to compensate her next of kin. Accordingly, a show cause notice was issued to the Government of Uttar Pradesh through it Chief Secretary as to why suitable monetary relief should not be given to the next of kin of the deceased pensioner.
In response to this, the State Government through its Secretary (Finance) responded vide his letter dated the 9th June, 2010 that no delay was committed on the part of the Directorate of Pension and whatever delay was committed it was on the part of the Department of Health.
The Commission in its proceedings on the 28th June, 2010 observed that “be that as it may the fact remains that the poor pensioner could not get her pension during her life time” and the State Government can not escape its liability. The Commission recommended that the Government of Uttar Pradesh pay monetary relief of rupees fifty thousand to the next of the kin of the deceased pensioner. A compliance report along with proof of payment within six weeks from the date of the receipt of this recommendation has also been sought from the State Government.