Justice Arijit Banerjee of Calcutta High Court on Thursday set aside the state government memo scrapping the West Bengal Post Independence Political Sufferers Pension Scheme. The scheme was started in 1988 by Left Front government for the political sufferers who underwent prison terms in the various movements after independence.
On 15 January, 2013 the Trinamul Congress state government which came to power in 2011 scrapped the scheme. In June, the same year Sibaprasad Roy and two others challenged the government decision in Calcutta High Court.
Welcoming the decision, president of the Committee of Political Sufferers, Santosh Rana said during the day that the pension amounting to Rs.3300 is a recognition of the struggle and sacrifice of the persons between 1947 and 1977 for the cause of democracy and human rights. It is given to political sufferers who had undergone prison terms upto six months and could produce jail certificate for it, he said.
Rana had been to prison in the late ‘60s under Preventive Detention Act and again from 1972 to 1977 on charges of waging war against the state. “I did not apply for the pension as I get a pension as a MLA of Gopiballavpur,” he added.