HC directs State to pay Rs 1 lakh more to kith, kin of deceased

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Sept 18: State High Court today disposed of 15 petitions filed by kith and kin of those persons, who were killed in terrorists attack, with the directions to the State to pay further amount of Rs 1 lakh to the eligible legal representatives of the deceased persons within a period of two months.
After hearing Advocate P S Chandel appearing for the petitioners whereas Senior AAG Gagan Basotra for the State, Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar observed, “evening of 13th July, 2002 proved to be darkest evening in the lives of the petitioners as their kith and kin suffered terrestrial exit because of the terror attack unleashed by the militants. The petitioners were not only deprived bread earners of the family but also deprived of love, care and affection of those persons, who were killed by the militants”.
“These petitions are pending on the files of this court since 2006. State, which is duty bound to protect the lives of its citizens, cannot resist such type of writ petitions, wherein claim is made for grant of further compensation. The human life is most precious creature on this planet”, the High Court observed, adding “petitioners, who have suffered huge loss due to killing of their close kith and kin, cannot be compensated by the State in all fours, inasmuch as, no human life, which is lost, can be brought back. The State, however, is duty bound to pay adequate and reasonable compensation for loss of such lives to the immediate kith and kin of those persons, who were killed”.
“Article 21 of the Constitution of India casts obligation on the State and its authorities to protect the lives of its citizens. The failure of the State and is authorities to comply with the mandate contained in the Article would imply payment of compensation to the kith and kin of the deceased persons. The payment of Rs 1 lakh as ex-gratia relief or compensation, in the facts and circumstances of these cases, is held to be not reasonable and adequate”, Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar said.
With these observations, the High Court disposed of the petitions with the direction to the respondents to consider and pay further amount of Rs 1 lakh to the eligible legal representatives of the deceased persons, who have been paid earlier ex-gratia relief of Rs one lakh.
The respondents were directed to ensure compliance of the directions within a period of two months.

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