Case Summary: Upholding Special Family Pension Eligibility Criteria

In a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of India, the eligibility criteria for Special Family Pension was upheld in the case involving the entitlement of the Appellant to Liberalised Family Pension. The judgment clarifies the provisions related to pensionary benefits for Armed Forces personnel and the specific conditions under which Liberalised Family Pension is granted. Stay informed with this comprehensive summary of the case.


  • Naib Subedar Umed Singh was enrolled in the Army in 1976.
  • He was moved to Rajouri for operational requirements in Operation Ran Vijay.
  • Sanction for modifications to pensionary benefits for Armed Forces personnel was accorded on 31.01.2001.
  • He was later posted at the International Border in Operation Parakram.
  • He died due to Ischemic heart disease leading to cardiac arrhythmia, according to the death certificate.
  • The Appellant was granted Special Family Pension by the Respondents.
  • The cause of death was sudden cardiac failure due to high stress and strain.
  • The Appellant’s husband’s service record was altered to reflect ‘physical casualty under Operation Rakshak’ after the High Court directed so.
  • Despite the alteration in the service record, the Appellant was found not entitled to Liberalised Family Pension as cardiac failure was not categorized under ‘E’ of Part II of the Government Instructions.
  • The High Court relied on Court of Inquiry findings attributing the husband’s death to bona fide military service under Operation Rakshak.
  • The High Court directed the Respondents to reconsider granting Liberalised Family Pension to the Appellant.
  • The Appellant, not receiving Liberalised Family Pension, approached the High Court of Punjab and Haryana by filing a Writ Petition for relief.

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  • The Appellant is entitled to Liberalised Family Pension as per para 6 of the Instructions issued on 31.01.2001.
  • All Army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir were declared to be on active service as per a notification dated 05.09.1977.
  • The Appellant’s husband was in active service at the time of his death, as per Section 3 and 9 of the Army Act, 1950.
  • The Appellant’s husband was working as Commandant of the Animal Transport Battalion and died due to sudden cardiac failure during active service.
  • The husband died during service in Operation Rakshak, a notified Operation mentioned in Category ‘E’ of the Instructions dated 30.01.2001.
  • Family members of Armed Forces personnel who died during service in notified Operations are entitled to Liberalised Family Pension, as per judgments of various High Courts.
  • The Additional Solicitor General argued that Liberalised Family Pension is only associated with death or injury caused in live action to honor the sacrifice of servicemen killed in action.
  • The death of the Appellant’s husband due to sudden cardiac failure falls under Category ‘B’ of the Instructions, hence the Special Family Pension was rightly granted.
  • The genesis of Liberalised Family Pension was to acknowledge the sacrifice of persons killed in live action, as highlighted by the Additional Solicitor General.

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  • Liberalised Family Pension is only payable to the family members of Armed Forces personnel who have died in action.
  • Operation Rakshak is a notified Operation falling under Category ‘E’ for entitlement to Liberalised Family Pension in case of death or disability.
  • Ex-gratia compensation of Rs.5 lakhs is entitled to the Appellant in accordance with the Instructions dated 22.09.1998 for all cases of death and disability in service.
  • Category E of Part II deals with death or disability arising as a result of enemy action in international war or action during deployment with a specified body.
  • The specific category includes instances where death or disability is caused by such actions.
  • This category is important in determining compensation or benefits for individuals affected by enemy action or during deployment.
  • The recommendation of the Committee of Experts regarding Liberalized Pensionary Awards was not accepted by the Government.
  • Only personnel killed or disabled in action are eligible for Liberalized Pensionary Awards.
  • The Appellant is not entitled to Liberalised Family Pension based on the above criteria.
  • Recommendations of the Committee favored the Appellant in certain aspects.
  • The judgment of the High Court declaring the Appellant entitled to Liberalized Family Pension was set aside.
  • Persons disabled or dying in an Operational area due to illnesses induced by harsh climatic conditions or accidents while patrolling are recognized for their sacrifice, but it does not entitle the Appellant to Rs. 7.5 Lakhs.
  • Judgments cited by Mrs. V. Mohana, Amicus Curiae, are considered to be based on specific case facts.
  • The claim of Liberalised Family Pension by the Appellant is based on the Instructions issued by the Government of India on 31.01.2001.
  • As per the said Instructions, a member of the family of a deceased Armed Forces Personnel employed in an operation notified by the Government of India is entitled to Liberalised Family Pension.
  • In the case of Kanchan Dua v. Union of India & Anr., the modifications to the rules and regulations granting beneficiary awards to the family members of deceased Armed Forces Personnel were discussed.
  • The scope of entitlement of Liberalised Family Pension in case of the death of persons employed in operations notified by the Government of India was carefully examined.

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  • The appeals have been dismissed due to the lack of evidence supporting the Appellant’s case.
  • The judgment of the High Court granting ex-gratia payment of Rs.5 lakhs to the Appellant has been upheld.
  • The only entitlement for the Appellant is the Special Family Pension.


Case Number: C.A. No.-007459-007460 / 2010

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