A 41-year-old widow of a Delhi police constable, who was shot dead while performing his duty in 2014, has moved the high court seeking the compensation amount of Rs 1 crore, which had been promised to her but was never paid.
According to the plea of Anju Devi, the amount was announced by the then L-G Najeeb Jung as compensation to the next of kin of the constable in October 2014. Now, her plea said, the L-G is passing the buck to the AAP government, which in turn replied that the widow cannot be given the money as they announced the scheme in April, 2015.
The High Court expressed its displeasure and said if the authorities were not to pay the amount, why did they promise the woman and made such an announcement. “First you announce and now don’t pay,” it said, issuing a notice to all the authorities, directing them to file their stand on the plea before the next date of hearing, August 20.
“Anju Devi is caught between the tussle of the Centre and the Delhi government,” her counsel Anil Singal said.
Devi moved the court, seeking direction to authorities, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, L-G, Delhi government and Delhi Police, to release ex-gratia payment in her favour. She urged Justice Rajiv Shakdher to direct authorities to pay the interest on the amount at the rate of 9 per cent with effect from the date the announcement was made.
The Delhi government, in April 2015, announced their ex-gratia scheme to honour a person who is killed while on duty. Her son, Ankit, 19, told The Indian Express, “The money will not bring my father back, but it will help us manage our daily needs.”
“He used to leave two hours before his shift started. He used to tell us, if he got stuck in traffic and reported to work late, his seniors would scold him,” he said.
Constable Jagvir Singh was killed and constable Narender seriously injured after being fired upon in west Delhi’s Vijay Vihar on October 12-13, 2014, night when they were on patrol duty. One of the five assailants initially fired one bullet in his chest before taking Singh’s service revolver and firing two-three bullets on his head. The plea stated that Singh held on to the moving auto till his last breath and was dragged.
Incidentally, the Rs 1-crore ex-gratia relief for Singh’s kin equals the compensation Arvind Kejriwal had granted to a Delhi Police constable killed during his 49-day tenure as Delhi Chief Minister.