After years of legal battle ex-IAF man proves himself alive

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Mohali, Feb 25 (PTI) The 12-year-old legal battle of aretired warrant officer of the IAF to prove that he was wasnot dead came to an end when a sub-divisional court declaredhim alive.

Deciding two separate suits dating back to 1999 and 2002,in favour of Sital Singh Bagi, a sub-divisional court atRajpura in Patiala has set aside the court order issued in1996, wherein the septuagenarian ex-serviceman was declared"dead", and has now declared him alive.

Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division) Gopal Arora, intwo separate judgements pronounced last week, the certifiedcopies of which were made available here today, also orderedto restore the pension of Bagi and restored his ownership inover 71 kanal land, worth crores of rupees.

"Suits of the plaintiff succeeds and are hereby decreedwith costs. Judgment and decree passed by same court onNovember 22, 1996, is hereby set aside and Sital Singh isdeclared alive and entitled to get pension from the IndianAir Force authorities.

Sital Singh is further declared as co-owner in the suitland and consequent mutation is also liable to be canceled,"ordered Rajpura court, while restraining Bagi''s wife, two sonsand two daughters from alienating the suit property in anymanner.

It was Bagi''s wife Nasib Kaur, who had got him declared"dead", on the basis of which she procured his pension and gotthe land ownership.

"I am elated over the development and grateful to theAlmighty that I succeeded to get myself proved alive during mylifetime," said the ex-serviceman.

He had been living in gurudwaras and temples ever sincehe had returned from Dhaka in Bangladesh in 1998.

Bagi retired from IAF on September 1, 1986, afterserving for 26 years. After retirement, he settled in NewDelhi but as he started receiving threats from terrorists, hestarted hiding in Punjab.

A gang of three armed terrorists in December 1987threatened him and asked him to join their group which forcedthe ex-serviceman to leave his wife and two sons at hisancestral house in native Patiala village and go undergroundto escape the terrorists.

After being underground for some time, he came back tohis native place in December 1998.

His wife, however, refused to recognise him and so did hischildren.

Not only did they refuse to accept him alive, they alsothreatened him with dire consequences, if he again approachedthem.

He then went to the IAF authorities for release of hispension, from where he came to know that his name was struckoff from the pension rolls as "dead" and his wife wasgetting the family pension after she had produced a courtdecree, declaring him civilly dead.

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