BISWANATH SOMADDER,J. -
(1.) The instant writ appeal has been preferred by the State of Meghalaya against the judgment and order rendered by a learned Single Judge on 26th February, 2019 in WP (C) No.24 of 2018 (Shri Sanjay Das v. State of Meghalaya and Ors).
The respondent/writ petitioner remains unrepresented at the time of call.
In order to avoid prolixity, the impugned judgment and order is setout hereinbelow in its entirety:-
'1. Heard Mr. S.C.Chakrawarty, learned Sr. counsel assisted by Mr. J.Tigga, learned counsel on behalf of the petitioner as well as Mr. H.Abraham, learned GA on behalf of the respondents.
The brief facts of the case is that:
'In the month of November, 2013, while the state of Meghalaya was witnessing a movement for the implementation of Inner Line permit (ILP) the father of the Petitioner, Late Bisheswar Das, was a victim of arson, having been subjected to physical attack by way of being burnt with petrol.
The late father of the Petitioner succumbed to his burnt injuries at NEMCARE Hospital, Guwahati, where he was being treated. The Government of Meghalaya had taken the liability to bear all the financial expenses that would be incurred for the late father of the Petitioner. The father of the Petitioner succumbed to the injuries on 04.12.2013 at Guwahati.
On 24.10.2014, Officials of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills District, Shilong visited the mother of the Petitioner and handed over 2 cheques amounting to Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh) only and Rs. 5,38,297/- (Rupees Five Lakh Thirty Eight Thousand Two Hundred Ninety Seven) only to the mother of the Petitioner.
The mother of the Petitioner was never informed that the cheque amounting to Rs. 5,38,297/- (Rupees Five Lakh Thirty Eight Thousand Two Hundred Ninety Seven) only was to be paid to NEMCARE Hospital, Guwahati, while handing over the same.
Sometime during the month of February 2017, the Petitioner was called upon by the Office of the Deputy Commissioner and to his utter shock was directed upon to return the sum of Rs. 5,38,297/- (Rupees Five Lakh Thirty Eight Thousand Two Hundred Ninety Seven) only or pay the same to NEMCARE Hospital, Guwahati.
The Petitioner, on expressing inability to return the said amount, immediately volunteered to pay the said amount on a monthly installment basis at the rate of Rs. 5000/- (Rupees Five Thousand) only, on which the Deputy Commissioner directed the Commandant to deduct a sum of Rs. 20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand) only per month from the salary of the Petitioner.
The Petitioner is employed as a Guardsman, Border Wing Home Guard Battalion, Meghalaya, Shillong and draws a monthly take home salary of less than Rs. 28,000/- (Rupees Twenty Eight Thousand) only and has 6 dependants upon him. The deduction of Rs. 20000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand) only, per month shall subject the Petitioner and his family to dire financial constraints for survival.
The directive issued by the Deputy Commission is bad in law, arbitrary and against the principles of natural justice.'
(2.) Learned Sr. counsel for the petitioner submits that the ex-gratia payment made to the petitioner is inadequate though a separate cheque was given to the victim's wife for medical expenditure to the tune of Rs. 5,38,297/- (Rupees Five lakhs, thirty-eight thousand, two hundred and ninety seven) only, without informing the victim's wife i.e. the mother of the petitioner. He also submits that the income of the petitioner is hardly Rs. 20,000/- (Rupees Twenty thousand) only and it is very difficult to survive with this amount as the petitioner had also lost his shop.
(3.) On the other hand, Mr. H.Abraham, learned State counsel submits that the ex-gratia payment to the victim's family at the tune of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One lakh) only, was sufficient because in addition to that, medical expenses was also given at the tune of Rs. 5,38,297/- (Rupees Five lakhs, thirty-eight thousand, two hundred and ninety seven) only.;