New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has deferred the payment of monthly pension to prisoners detained during the Emergency under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) and Defence of India Rules (DIR). As many as 2,000 people who were imprisoned during the Emergency were supposed to get a monthly pension of Rs 25,000.
Kamal Nath was inducted into the Congress during the Emergency between 1975 and 1977. After the Congress government came to power in the state in December 2018, certain changes were proposed in the scheme in order to make it more accurate and transparent. However, the move was dubbed by BJP, the Opposition party, as a political vendetta.
As per the MP government circular dated December 29, 2018, no time frame is allotted to ensure that verification process of the due beneficiaries is done. Moreover, there is no clarity if the beneficiaries of the scheme will receive the pension next month, stated a report by The Indian Express.
Other states which jailed people during the Emergency include Haryana, Maharashtra and Bihar. These states also have similar pension schemes for the prisoner. As per the pension scheme, Rs 10,000 is paid as pension to around 450 people in Haryana. A pension amount ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 is paid to prisoners in Maharashtra and Bihar. The pension amount is paid to 2,673 prisoners in Bihar.
The scheme was introduced by the state’s BJP government in the year 2008. The scheme which was subject to amendments four times granted an initial sum of Rs 6,000 for those prisoners who had completed a minimum of six months in the jail. As per the latest reports, an honorarium of Rs 25,000 per month is given to prisoners jailed during the Emergency. However, the scheme drew flak from several State Congress leaders as they accused BJP of giving the pension to those who were never jailed or who were jailed for just one day.