Kochi: Kerala High Court has directed the Union Government to pay a monthly pension of Rs 3000 to World War-II veterans in the state.
A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice J Chelemeswar and Justice P R Ramachandran Menon, issued the direction on a petition filed by K B R Pillai, President of the Kerala Ex-servicemen Welfare Association.
While giving the directive, the court noted that the government was liberal in granting pension to those who were imprisoned for six months in connection with the freedom struggle, under the Swathanthratha Sainik Pension scheme, but
ignored WW II veterans.
The petitioner had submitted that WW II veterans, who had served in the Indian army, were denied pension on the ground that they had not put in the minimum qualifying years of service.
According to the Defence Ministry, a person below the rank of an officer should have put in 15 years of service and commissioned officers should have served for at least 20 years to be eligible for pension.
The veterans are currently being paid only Rs 500 per month by the state government which is inadequate, the petitioner stated. At least 12 octogenarians and nonagenarians will benefit from the verdict.