A 74-year-old man who was denied pension for 14 years as his name did not figure in BPL list, on Saturday got relief from Madras high court, which dismissed an appeal of the collector against a single judge's order and directed that pension with arrears be paid within six weeks.
Justice S Manikumar and justice G Chockalingam rejected the explanation of the collector that the man was not given pension as his name was not in the Below Poverty Line list saying officials failed to include the petitioner, Venunathan, in the BPL and could not blame him for their mistake.
"Revenue officials cannot expect a 74-year-old man to make a request for inclusion of his name in the BPL," the judges said.
The bench pointed out that illiteracy and ignorance is prevalent in rural areas due to lack of education and awareness.
The court directed that the pension with arrears be given in six weeks to the man as he was eligible for it from the age of sixty. It should be paid regularly and revised as and when government does so.
Venunanthan, who appeared in person, submitted he was denied pension as his name was not in the BPL and because he was living with one of his sons.
The Judges said there was no force in the argument of the collector, especially after the deputy tahsildhar had submitted a report that all his three sons were only daily wage earners and the economic status of the petitioner was not good.
The report had also said that there was no one else to look after the petitioner or render financial aid to him.
Hence the petitioner contended that he should be given pension.