HC miffed with principal secy’s ‘selective info’

Seeks report on norms for compensation to kin of policemen dying on duty

Written by Express News Service | Allahabad | Published: August 20, 2013 4:12 am

Taking note of “selective information” given in his personal affidavit,the Allahabad High Court on Monday directed the Principal Secretary (Home) to file yet another personal affidavit explaining various aspects related to the provisions for the compensation and other benefits extended to the family members of policemen dying on duty.

The court has also directed that an officer not below the rank of the special secretary produce various specific details sought by it in this regard.

The court passed the order after saying that an affidavit filed by Principal Secretary (Home) R M Srivastava,in pursuance of its July 31 order in connection with a petition,was “vague”. The court has fixed September 3 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

On July 31,the court had sought details of the number of policemen who died on duty in the past 10 years; the benefits extended to the next of their kin; the time within which these benefits were extended; and whether parity had been maintained in providing the due benefits.

The petition was filed by Antariksha Singh,son of a police constable who died in 1999,seeking job on compassionate grounds. His application had been rejected in 2012 on the ground that he had approached the authorities more than five years after the death of his father. The court has also sought specific reply as to whether the five-year rule was followed without exception in all cases.

Passing the order,a single-judge bench of Justice Sudhir Agrawal said: “The directions contained in July 31 order have not been complied at all. A vague affidavit has been filed by R M Srivastava,giving selective information.’’

The court noted that,while it had sought specific details about the time taken in providing benefits to the heirs of deceased police officials,the affidavit only mentioned about a general guideline period.

The court further directed Srivastava to explain as to why the exceptional benefits granted in one case (that of Deputy Superintendent of Police Ziaul Haque,as mentioned in the affidavit) should not be extended to all other cases where the police officials have sacrificed their life on account of anti-social,anti-dacoity activities,etc.

“He will also explain the distinction between those activities and the one for which exception has been carved out,’’ the court said.

The government has provided jobs to two family members of Ziaul Haque,besides other financial benefits. Haque was killed in Balipur village of Pratapgarh on March 2 after being surrounded by a mob. The issue of dual appointment on compassionate grounds to his family has already come under the judicial scanner in another petition.

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