Decided on February 06,2020



B.R. Sarangi, J. - (1.) The petitioner, being the wife of the deceased Home Guard late Bidyadhar Nayak, by way of this writ petition, seeks to quash the communication dated 23.06.2018 in Annexure-6, whereby the Under Secretary to the Government of Odisha in Home Department has returned to the Commandant General, Home Guards, Odisha, Cuttack the original application in the prescribed Form-I along with enclosures for compassionate grant in favour of NOKs of deceased Home Guard-Bidyadhar Nayak, referring to para-6 of the Finance Department Resolution No. 53885/F dated 02.11.2001, on the ground that such application was not filed within one year from the date of death or injury of the concerned police personnel; as well as communication dated 11.07.2018 in Annexure-7, by which the petitioner has been intimated by the Commandant Home Guards, Nayagarh that she does not come under the purview of Finance Department Resolution referred to above and accordingly returned the original application for compassionate grant.
(2.) The factual matrix of the case, in hand, is that the petitioner?s husband Late Bidyadhar Nayak, was engaged as Home Guard in Gania Police Station in the district of Nayagarh. As per entry serial no. 375 dated 19.02.2005 of Gania P.S. Diary Book, he was engaged in law and order duty at Kantilo Magha Mela, Kantilo in the district of Nayagarh. On 21.02.2005 at about 3 a.m., while he was on duty, complained some pain in his body, for which he was immediately shifted to Community Health Centre, Gania, where the medical officer declared him dead. Consequently, postmortem was conducted on his body and the doctor opined that the cause of death was due to hypertensive heart failure. An enquiry was conducted and on its completion, the inquiry officer closed the case. The petitioner, being the wife of the deceased Home Guard and legal heir, is entitled to compassionate grant from the opposite parties as her husband died while was on duty. Consequentially, she approached the authorities time and again by way of representations, the last of which was dated 26.09.2016 at Annexure-2, but nobody gave any heed to her grievance. 2.1 Due to inaction on the part of the authorities, she approached this Court by filing W.P.(C) No. 1974 of 2017, which was disposed of on 23.02.2017 with the direction to opposite partyno.3 to consider and dispose of the representation of the petitioner within a period of two months from the date of receipt of the certified copy of the order. Since no action was taken, the petitioner filed CONTC No. 1249 of 2017, which was disposed of on 15.09.2017 with the direction to the contemnor to comply the order within a period of seven working days. Even then since the contemnor sat over the matter, she filed another contempt application bearing CONTC No. 771 of 2018 and the same was disposed of in view of further developments in the matter. Thereafter, vide letter dated 14.04.2017, opposite party no.3 required certain documents from the petitioner in quadruplicate for onward submission to opposite party no.2. On receipt of such documents from the petitioner, as required vide letter dated 14.04.2017 in Annexure-3, the same were forwarded by opposite party no.3 vide its letter dated 07.10.2017 to opposite party no.2. On consideration of the case of the petitioner, opposite partyno.2 forwarded the application of the petitioner to opposite party no.1, vide letter dated 07.05.2018, along with all relevant documents, and requested the Government for payment of Rs.1.5 lakhs as compassionate grant to next kin of late Bidyadhar Nayak, who died while was engaged in law and order situation in Kantilo Magha Mela in the district of Nayagarh. 2.2 Opposite party no.1, vide communicated dated 23.06.2018 in Annexure-6, by ignoring the recommendation of opposite party no. 2, relying upon resolution no. 53885/F dated 02.11.2001 of the Finance Department, returned the application form of the petitioner on the ground that she claimed for compassionate grant after expiry of one year from the date of death of late Bidyadhar Nayak. Pursuant thereto, opposite party no.3 communicated the petitioner, vide letter dated 11.07.2018 in Annexure-7, that since the application was submitted much after the death of Home Guard Bidyadhar Nayak, in view of Finance Department Resolution referred to above, the same was returned to the petitioner. Hence this application.
(3.) Mr. B.K. Nayak-3, learned counsel for the petitioner emphatically submitted that the husband of the petitioner, being a Home Guard, was to be regulated by the provisions contained under the Odisha Home Guards Rules, 1962, and the petitioner, being the next kin, is entitled to get compensation for the damage caused due to death of her husband while he was on duty. He further submitted that the resolution no. 53885/F dated 02.11.2001 of the Finance Department, relying upon which the application of the petitioner along with the documents have been returned, is only applicable to the police personnel of the State engaged on naxalite duty. Late husband of the petitioner, being a Home Guard, is neither a police personnel nor engaged in naxalite duty. Therefore, the resolution dated 02.11.2001 is not applicable to the case of the petitioner. Consequentially, the impugned communications dated 23.06.2018 and 11.07.2018 in Annexures-6 and 7 respectively cannot be allowed to stand and are to be quashed, and the opposite parties are to be directed to pay compensation as due and admissible to the petitioner in accordance with law.;

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