The PMO’s intervention has resulted in the Ministry of Defence issuing a notification to restore the family pension of a 94-year-old widow of a former Indian Army officer who died 30 years ago.
The woman in question, Hebe Benjamin, is the widow of Late Col. General Benjamin of Army Engineers. After General Benjamin’s death, his family was left bereft of his pension.
According to India Times, Hebe wrote multiple letters to the Ministry of Defence, but received no response to her request.
Col. Benjamin served in the Corps of Engineers and retired in 1966. After he passed away in 1990, his pension stopped abruptly.
The family sought that arrears should be calculated keeping in mind the 5th, 6th, and 7th Pay Commission. They also wanted an interest in the pension that the family was denied for 29 years.
However, after PMO’s intervention, she is now expected to receive ₹75 lakh after 29 years. If interest and arrears are also paid, then the figure will cross ₹1 crore.
In an interview with India Today TV, a family friend, Manpreet Kant who fought the crusade alongside Hebe, said,
She had lost all hope. As a last resort, Hebe Benjamin wrote to the PM requesting him to restore the pension that was due to her. Col Benjamin had served the Army with pride. After retirement, they relocated to Israel. Once he passed away, the family pension was no longer being deposited in her account. And Hebe Benjamin had no other sources of income.
Hebe Benjamin fought an uphill battle for a pension that was legally her right. And it’s rather sad to note that the family of those that served the nation was denied what’s rightfully theirs.