VKET writes to President on denial of pension to widow of World War II veteran

VeKare Ex-Servicemen Trust (VKET), a voluntary organisation engaged in welfare of ex-servicemen and their dependants, has sought to draw the attention of President Ram Nath Kovind to the denial of central civil family pension to an 85-year-old widow of a World War II veteran.

In a letter dated February 2 to the President, who is also supreme commander of the Indian armed forces, VKET President M.N. Subramani said Kaveriamma alias Rani Aiyappa, widow of late World War II veteran Naib Subedar Ballachanda N. Aiyappa, has been denied her central civil family pension by the erstwhile Central Excise and Customs, now known as Central Tax/GST, since the demise of her husband in August, 2000.

Though Ms. Kaveriamma also has a “pet name” Rani Aiyappa, the Principal Commissioner of Central Tax, Bengaluru, in a letter, has said that the documents available with the department show Ms. Rani Aiyappa as the wife of late Mr. Aiyappa, hence the pension papers had been submitted in the name of Ms. Rani Aiyappa.

That Ms .Rani Aiyappa and Ms. Kaveriamma refer to the same personhad also been confirmed by B. A. Ganapathi, her son, who recently retired as Office Superintendent of Central Excise and Customs, Bengaluru, Mr. Subramani said.

However, the senior officials of Pay Accounts Office (PAO), CBIC, Bengaluru, has been insisting that Ms. Kaveriamma produce an additional Aadhaar and PAN card in her pet name “Rani Aiyappa” recorded by the late B.N. Aiyappa at the time of his re-employment in Central Excise and Customs, Mr. Subramani said.

“We also wish to bring to your kind notice that it is not out of context to mention here that the demand for second Aadhaar and PAN cards in the pet name of Kaveriamma i.e. in the name of Rani Aiyappa by senior Accounts Officer of PAO is highly illogical and contrary to the policy regarding obtaining Aadhaar and PAN cards”, VKET said in the letter.

VKET claimed that the present entitled central monthly family pension of Ms. Kaveriamma is ₹12,636 and the total denied family pension arrears works out to around ₹14.74 lakh as on January 31, 2021.

Pointing out that the widow had suffered an accidental fall in her house recently, VKET has requested the President to use his good offices to accord priority in getting family pension sanctioned during her lifetime.

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