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The Central Government can choose cut off date for application of relaxed SSSP scheme; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Navin Sinha 

The SC {GOVERNMENT OF INDIA & ORS v. SITAKANT S. DUBHASHI & ANR} holds that Government of India deliberated on the issue of cut-off date and the cut-off date was consciously fixed for extending the benefit of SSSP scheme to participants of Goa Liberation Movement, Phase-II.

It was held by the SC that the eligibility under the SSSP Scheme, 1980, is entirely different from the eligibility of the State pension under the Goa Rules. Goa was liberated in 1961. State has framed the rules initially in 1973 and thereafter in 1988. Freedom Fighters were sanctioned pensions in aforesaid Goa Rules at least after 1973. The question of extension of SSSP scheme to the participants of Goa Liberation, Phase-II was being considered by the Central Government from the year 2000 and ultimately, it was extended by Scheme dated 17.02.2003. It was held  by the SC that there is a rationale for extending the Scheme with a cut-off date.

It was held by the SC that the Scheme dated 17.02.2003 has intelligible differentia and also nexus with the object. When relaxation is granted to a limited category, the others, who are not covered by the Scheme cannot claim any violation of right of equality. Right of equality can be claimed only by those who fulfil the eligibilities under the SSSP Scheme, 1980. The appeal was allowed by the SC of Central Government.

In the present case, the writ petition was filed by respondent No.1 challenging the notification dated 17.02.2003 issued by Government of India as well as orders dated 16.11.2009 and 13.11.2014 issued by the Government of India rejecting the claim of respondent No.1 for pension under Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme, 1980 - on the rationale that the scheme was applicable to only those who are in receipt of state pension by 01.08.2002.

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