Member of Parliment
01 March 2016
Dear Raksha Mantriji,
Sub: Delay in Disbursal of Pension to Widows and/Or Next of Kin of Martyred Soldiers
I write to you regarding the issue of delay in payment of pension faced by widows and next of kin of the armed forces soldiers martyred in the line of duty.
While Pension Regulations are well defined, there is a gap of two to three months, and in some cases, more for pension disbursal to the widow and next of kin of the soldier who has died in the line of duty.
The salary of the soldier stops from the day of his death and along with the delay in pension, the widow and next of kin are left to struggle to make ends meet. This period of gap leaves the family very vulnerable even as they deal with their irreparable loss.
Our soldiers lay down their lives for the Nation, and it is the moral obligation of the Government of India and the Ministry of Defence to ensure that the families of the martyrs are not financially inconvenienced.
For this, I suggest the following measures:
1. At least 50% Pay of the martyred soldier continues to be paid to his widow and/or next of kin for the duration of 2-3 months until the pension starts. Any variation in the amount can be settled once the arrears are paid up.
2. For cases that suffer delay due to completio fo formalities, the provision of Pending Enquiry Award under the Pension Regulations of Defence Services Regulations be authorised with immediate effect in all cases until the pension is disbursed.
As you are aware, SECTION-2 pending Enquiry Award, Sub-section-I-General, under “Object and Nature of Pending Enquiry Award” States:
“17. (a) The pending enquiry Award Scheme is intended to relieve the financial difficulties of personnel below officer rank and their dependents when such personnel are invalided out of service provisionally or die, and the invaliding disability or cause of death is considered, prima facie, due to military service or is accepted as such by the competent authority with reference to the applicable Entitlement Rules. Under this scheme, interim Award shall be made, pending completion of enquiry and other steps which may be necessary before a pension claim can be finally admitted.
I urge you undertake these measures at the earliest to ensure that families/next of kin of out martyred soldiers ar taken care of and do not suffer hardships.