Libertatem Magazine

Is a Murder Convict Eligible for Pension?

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In this case, it was questioned whether the murder convict was eligible to get a pension or not. 

Brief Facts

In the case of Baljinder Kaur vs. State of Haryana and others, a writ petition was filed under Article 226/227 of the Constitution of India by the Petitioners in which she claimed monthly financial assistance and family pension which she deserved as her husband had died during government service. Resultantly, she started receiving the monthly payment and also with 18% interest due to the delay of the disbursal. The pension was blocked by the Respondents after some time saying that she was not entitled to any benefit because she was being convicted of murder and as she was on bail only and not fully acquitted. The Court decided that the Petitioner should get the pension and all the previous money should be paid too.

Argument Advanced

The Respondent said that Petitioner couldn’t get a pension as the person was convicted of grave crime according to Punjab Civil Services Rules Volume-II including the Family Pension Rules, 1964 (Rule of 2006). Further, it was stated that pension was not a charity or bounty, it was a conditional payment. The Petitioner counsel argued that one person of a family was convicted only but the other family members needed financial assistance. Also, the death of the Petitioner’s husband was not related to the murder she was convicted under. 

Court’s Observation

The Court observed that denying pension to the Petitioner due to her conviction was unrelated to the death of her husband and was not sustainable. The pension could have only been stopped if the Petitioner had been charged with the commission of the offense of murder of the Government servant. In this case, the Petitioner was convicted for the murder of the daughter-in-law.

Court’s Decision

The Court ruled that Respondents had to pay the arrears of monthly financial assistance to the Petitioner, which was admissible under the Rules of 2006 till it was payable, family pension be processed and the arrears be paid to her. The Petitioner was also entitled to the benefit of simple interest @6% p.a. from the date it was payable.

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