HC directs Govt service under SRO-43 for unrest victim

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Aug 1: In a major relief to the families whose kin have died in alleged police and security forces firing during summer unrest of 2008, 2009 and 2010 in Kashmir, Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court,  N Paul Vasantha-kumar, today directed the Government to provide Government service to the next of kin of a deceased on compassionate grounds.
A petitioner whose son was killed by police in alleged indiscriminate firing in Amarnath Land Row in 2008 directed the Government to appoint one of the next of kin of the deceased in Government service under SRO 43 of 1994 on compassionate grounds.
Chief Justice while allowing the writ petition and setting aside the order of Government wherein petitioners claim for SRO-43 was turned down, directed the Government to issue appointment order to one of legal heir of petitioner within six weeks.
“In such view of the matter, impugned order No. DCB/Relief/SRO-43/Court/-2013/670-73 dated 30.10.2013 is set-aside and respondent No. 3 is directed to issue appointment order to one legal heir of the writ petitioner based on his qualification within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of copy of this order”, Court directed.
Earlier, the State Human Rights Commission in a complaint made by the father of the deceased after holding investigation in the matter directed the Government to provide relief to the next of kin of the deceased under SRO 43. However, the family of the deceased was provided ex-gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh but job on compassionate ground was denied and as such compelled the petitioner to knock the doors of High Court to seek his claim.
Authorities rejected the claim of the petitioner for compassionate appointment on the ground that the claim of the petitioner is not covered under SRO-43 and only the civilians who die as a result of militancy related actions are covered and not in a civil commotion like 2008 agitation.
Appearing counsel for petitioner cleared the wordings of SRO 43 before the court and submitted that the militancy related activities have not been defined in the SRO and the civil commotion has also arisen due to the militancy related activity and the narrow and obscure interpretation given by the State is not justified.
“It is not in dispute that Amarnath Land Row was outcome of militancy related activities. The disturbance of public peace including the violence during Amarnath Land Row in which the petitioner’s son died, are definitely related to militancy activities. Therefore, the respondents cannot deny the benefit of SRO 43 to the family of the deceased”, court said.
Court also observed while passing judgment that the militancy activity is not defined in the SRO and the object of the scheme shall be borne in mind while deciding the beneficial order.
Petitioner’s son Farooq Ahmad Rather was killed in June 2008 during Amarnath Land Row agitation. While preparing for examination in his home and people were protesting against the transfer of land to SASB at a quite distance from his house and in order to bring the situation under control, the officers of JK Police along with SOG personnel at Magam in district Budgam resorted in indiscriminate firing and one of the SOG identified as Jernal Singh entered into the house of petition and showered a volley of bullets on the deceased.


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