HC directs for ex-gratia to kin of army casual labourer

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, May 17: High Court today directed the Government to consider the grant of ex-gratia and compassionate appointment to the kin of deceased killed in Army firing.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar while hearing a petition directed that the death of one Ahmad Lone be treated as a death of civilian caused by firing of the army personnel and not occurred in any militancy related incident connected with the deceased.  “That being so, the next of kin of the deceased, the petitioner shall be entitled to all the benefits/reliefs those are available to dependent of a civilian killed in an action by the State as per applicable norms/Rules”, Justice Kumar said.
“Respondent shall consider the claim of the petitioner for permissible benefits like ex-gratia, compassionate appointment or payment of cash compensations in lieu of compassionate appointment etc, as may be permissible under the applicable norms/Rules of the State, within a period of two months from the date of receipt of certified copy of this order”, High Court said.
As per contentions raised in the petition it is said that the deceased was working as a casual labour with the Army and he had to carry load from base camp to advanced pickets, which were in Jungles of Kupwara range.
It is in the month of May, 1993 when deceased Ahmad Lone did not return, a case was filed in Police Station Kupwara and after eight days search the dead body of Lone was found under the bushes. Thereafter the dead body was handed over to the Police and autopsy was conducted but thereafter no investigation in the matter was conducted nor was any information given to the petitioner about the result of investigation.
Respondents in their objections have submitted that a report was lodged by Major Pankaj Joshi of 12 Mahar Regiment on May 21, 1993 with Police Station Kralpora stating that the patrolling party noticed one person in suspicious manner. The said person lobbed grenades on the patrolling party and in the encounter he was seriously injured. As per the report, the person before succumbing to his injuries revealed the patrolling party that he was acting as guide.
Resultantly, investigation was conducted only in case FIR No.56 of 1993 and concluded as ‘not traced’. The Final Police Report was filed before the Magistrate which was accepted.
On 05.03.2012, having regard to the controversy involved, High Court asked the Sessions Judge, Kupwara to inquire into the matter and submit his report within four months.
In compliance to the order of the Court, Principal Sessions Judge, Kupwara submitted his report with a view that the deceased Ahmad Lone S/o Akbar Lone R/o Budhambal was a civilian and was not connected with any militant organization and was not a guide of militants.
“The death of the deceased be deemed as a death of a civilian caused by firing by the army personnel and the death has not occurred in any militancy related incident connected with the deceased. That the dependents of the deceased be granted ex-gratia relief/compassionate appoint or payment of cash compensating in lieu of compassionate appointment under applicable norms/rules”, report of Sessions Judge reads.


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