Compensation, employment to family of missing person
JAMMU, Sept 2: High Court has sought compliance report within two weeks about providing compensation and employment to the one of the family members of a youth who had gone missing in the year 1996 and is presumed as dead under law.
The case before the High Court was that one Abdul Salam Bhat, son of Ghulam Ahmed Bhat of Pampore went missing on June 12, 1996 and has remained untraced till date. The mother and other family members of the missing person, through the instant petition, submitted before the High Court that the matter was reported to the police well in time but steps were not taken to register the case and investigate the matter.
The petitioners are seeking a direction to the respondents to register a case for investigation in the matter in accordance with the law and compensation to them as they have lost the only source of sustenance.
They also placed reliance on a communication dated April 21, 2009 issued by the Director General of Police to the Secretary, State Human Rights Commission wherein it was specifically observed that the enquiries have revealed that Abdul Salam Bhat had been earlier picked up by Ikhwanis at several times and later let off. Moreover, one Ikhwani namely Abdul Majid Bhat of Pulwama was demanding three kanals of land from the complainant for the release of her son but still the complainant could not get her son back.
A bench of the High Court vide order dated July 22, 2015 directed the Principal District Judge Pulwama to enquire into the matter and the Judge submitted that missing person was not involved directly or indirectly in any subversive activity but was a student. Moreover, police in a report mentioned that missing person was a student and was also engaged in saffron business.
The matter was dealt by State Human Rights Commission, which vide order dated April 2, 2010 recommended to the Government that ex-gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh as envisaged under the Government order, which was in vogue at that relevant time, and benefit under SRO-43 be provided to the next of kin of the missing person.
After perusal of the recommendation of SHRC and also the enquiry report submitted by the Principal District Judge Pulwama, Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal observed, “in the present case the State has failed to protect the life of the deceased and as such is under legal obligation to compensate the petitioners besides providing employment to one of them”.
On this, Additional Advocate General Asifa Padroo submitted that she be given some time to file compliance report with regard to the factum of providing employment and compensation to the petitioners in the light of the findings recorded by Principal District Judge Pulwama.
Accordingly, Justice Nargal directed the AAG to file compliance report within two weeks. “While filing the compliance report, the respondents should also keep in view the observations of Director General of Police and also explain the steps taken in furtherance of the recommendations of the SHRC”, the High Court added.