About 49 years after her husband was discharged from the Army and nine years after he passed away, the widow of an Army jawan has been sanctioned family pension even though her husband never got his post-retirement benefits.
It was only after the death of Sep Gurdayal, an Army Ordnance Corps reservist from Gurdaspur, in 2003, that his widow Piaro, took up the case afresh with the Army authorities and the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) for the grant of reservist and family pension. Gurdayal had taken up the case for his pension earlier, but to no avail.
The sanction of pension came without the family members having to seek judicial intervention. It was largely through the efforts of a serving colonel posted in the Western Sector, who assisted the family with paperwork and procedural matters, that the widow got her benefits.
Besides getting a pension of Rs 6,000 per month in accordance with current Pay Commission rates, she has also got arrears of pension since 1963, when her husband was discharged. The reservist pension at that time was just Rs 10 per month.
According to a letter written by the Army Ordnance Corps (AOC) Record to the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts, Gurdayal was enrolled in the AOC in June 1947, when he was only 15 years old.
His service with the Regular AOC was extended till July 1958, following which he was transferred to the reservist establishment.
In 1963, he was invalided out of service on medical grounds.
His total service, including boy service when he did not complete 16 years of age, worked out to be 15 years and 213 days. According to Defence Ministry regulations issued in 2002, boy service is to be counted towards fixing pensionary benefits.
The fight after service
Army jawan’s widow wins battle that he couldn’t