Armyman’s widow gets family pension after 7 years of struggle
At an age when she should have had a peaceful retreat, 62-year-old Daishara Devi found herself in a struggle to prove her existence.
After the death of her husband, a retired army man, in 2012, Daishara’s spent seven long years to prove that she is ‘legitimate’ person to receive the family pension.
Her husband, Mohan Lal from Nepal, was posted in an army unit in Ambala and started working for a private firm in September 1992 after 21 years of service. After retirement, her husband married another woman, identified as Vishnu Devi.
After Mohan Lal’s death, despite being the nominee, Daishara was denied the family pension as Vishnu, who was impersonating her, started drawing it from the branch of a national bank in Ambala.
This went on for three and a half years until Daishara sought help of the ex-servicemen grievance cell in Mohali, which in turn took up the matter with the Army headquarters and the bank concerned for remedial measures in 2015.
“I have never been to school and don’t know much about how the system works. My husband’s friends told me that I will not receive pension as Mohan was living with another woman. But I did not lose hope as in my understanding, I was named the nominee in all papers,” Daishara said.
Puran Bahadur, Daishara’s son who works with a private firm in Mohali, said that after the case landed at the Army headquarters, the bank was directed to stop releasing the pension. “At the same time, we were asked us to seek directions from the court to draw the pension,” he said.
A court of inquiry conducted by the army recruiting office established that Daishara Devi is the legal wife of Mohan Lal and real claimant, while as the other party (Vishnu Devi) has been involved in cheating and the case should be handed over to the police for further investigation.
“Neither the bank nor the police took any action against Vishnu Devi. This forced us to finally knock the doors of the court,” Lt Col SS Sohi, president ex-servicemen grievance cell, Mohali said.
The Armed Forces Tribunal, Chandigarh, in the notice issued in May, directed the concerned bank to follow a simple procedure to find out to who is the real Daishara Devi.
“The face of Daishara Devi may be compared with the photo annexed with the pension papers to find out who is the real claimant,” an AFT order reads.
The bank, after directions, released Rs 13,700 to Daishara Devi’s account on August 14.
“The AFT gave strict directions to the bank concerned to release the pension so they did so, but the fight for the release of arrears with interest and punishment for culprits will continue,” Lt Sohi said.