Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, May 18:
After running from pillar to post for 41 years, an 86-year-old widow finally got her dues as the Odisha Administrative Tribunal (OAT) on Friday directed the state government to release the pension benefits of her deceased husband within three months.
The bench comprising Acting Chairman BK Dash and Administrative Member SK Dash directed the state government to provide family pension to Rani Dash (86), widow of the retired Sanskrit teacher Banambar Dash who superannuated from Banapur Government Girls’ High School in Khurda in 1974, within three months.
As per reports, Banambar Dash started his teaching career as a Sanskrit teacher at Alaka High School on November 27, 1950. After almost 14 years of service, he was transferred to Banapur Government Girls’ High School in Khurda and joined the service on Sep 3, 1964. He continued to serve at Banapur school till his retirement on Apr 5, 1974.
Dash died a year after his superannuation on June 4, 1975. As he had served for over 24 years in the state government job, he was eligible for pension for the period from retirement till his death. However, the 14-year stint at Alaka school (almost 14 years) was not registered in his service book for which he did not get the pension benefits.
Dash’s widow Rani ran from pillar to post to avail the retirement benefits of her deceased husband and had moved OAT in 2006.
Though the tribunal had asked the authorities to submit a status report within six months, the directive was allegedly not executed. Based on the earlier directive, a review petition was filed in 2014.
Hearing the case, the tribunal on Friday directed the state government to disburse a year’s pension of her deceased husband and thereafter the pending pension benefits till date within three months. Besides, it directed that the pension amount with 18 percent annual interest be collected from the official should he fails to execute the order.