JAY RAM DAS Vs. STATE OF ASSAM AND ORS.
LAWS(GAU)-1994-11-27
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Decided on November 07,1994

JAY RAM DAS Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF ASSAM And ORS. Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

STATE OF RAJASTHAN V. VIDHYAWATI [REFERRED TO]
BHIM SINGH MLA VS. STATE OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR [REFERRED TO]
MANIK CHAND SONI VS. DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX ASSESSMENT [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

J.N. Sarma, J. - (1.)THIS application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India has been filed praying for the following relief:
(i) to quash the impugned order dated 8.2.1991 (Annexure 'G') to the writ application and for a further direction not to give effect to the aforesaid impugned order.

(ii) for a direction to pay ex gratia grant of Rs. 1,00,000/ - to the petitioner.

Annexure 'G' to the writ application as quoted below:

Reference to the above subject, I am directed to say that late Gopendra Kalita, L.D.A. in your establishment died in an accident caused by bomb blast planted by extremists while coming to the office. It is seen that he was not killed directly by extremists and there is no document to prove that he was the aim of the extremists. The claim of Jay Ram Das, father of late Gopendra Kalita, for ex gratia grant, therefore, does not come within the purview of Finance Deptt's O.M. dated 14.6.1985 and 9.8.1989. In view of this Government regrets its inability to agree to the prayer of Das.

(2.)THE brief facts are as follows: The eldest son of the petitioner, Gopendra Kalita, was a permanent employee (L.D.A.) of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Barpeta, and he was a science graduate (B.Sc.). That while Gopendra Kalita was coming to his office at Barpeta from Bhabanipur on 29.8.1989, a bomb was planted in the bus No. ASZ 4095 wherein he was travelling and the bomb exploded and as a result of that Gopendra Kalita, the eldest son of the petitioner, was killed. The explosion occurred at about 9.45 a.m. just near Barpeta and 5 persons were killed on the spot and 5 others succumbed to injuries later on. Gopendra Kalita used to attend office coming from Bhabanipur which is at a distance of about 10 km. from Barpeta. There is an Office Memorandum dated 9.8.1989, issued by the Joint Secretary to the Government of Assam, Finance Department. That circular is Annexure 'E' to the writ application and that is quoted below:
In partial modification of this Deptt. O.M. No. FMP 13/85/6 of 14.6.1985 the Governor of Assam is pleased to order that the families of Government servants killed while on duty or in connection with discharge of duties as a result of attack by extremists, antisocial elements, etc., or during action against dacoits, smugglers, hostiles or other antisocial elements will, irrespective of the rank of such Government servant, be paid an ex gratia grant of Rs. 1,00,000/ - (Rupees one lakh) each.

The Governor of Assam is further pleased to order that the families of drivers/handymen or other employees of vehicles requisitioned by the police authorities for law and order duty, if killed while performing such duty, by extremists or antisocial elements will also be paid an ex gratia grant of Rs. 50,000/ - each. Similarly, families of Home Guards deployed by Government along with the police personnel for law and order duty, if killed in the like manner will also be paid an ex gratia grant of Rs. 1,00,000/ - each.

Such ex gratia grant shall be paid to one of the following family members in order of preference on receipt of a claim/obtaining a claim in the enclosed form:

(1) Widow/Widower.

(2) Son/Unmarried daughter.

(3) Father/Mother.

(4) Brother/Unmarried sister.

All such sanctions shall be communicated by the Administrative Department with the concurrence of Finance (B.C. II) Department.

The expenditure on account of ex gratia grants will be debitable to the head of account '2235 -Social Security & Welfare -200 -Other Schemes (b) Other Miscellaneous expenditure -9 -grants -in -aid -Non -Plan'.

This will come into force with immediate effect.

That in pursuance of this circular the petitioner filed an application before the Law Secretary (Judicial), Guwahati, Dispur (Assam), through the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Barpeta, for payment of Rs. 1,00,000/ - as envisaged by the circular (Annexure 'E' to the writ application) quoted above. But that was turned down vide Annexure 'G'. Hence, this writ application with the prayers as indicated above.

(3.)I have heard Mr. B.C. Pathak, learned counsel for the petitioner and B.L. Singh, learned Government Advocate. As desired by this court, Mr. N.M. Lahiri, the Senior Advocate, has appeared as amicus curiae. He was requested to appear as amicus curiae to throw light on the controversial question involved in this case and he placed the cases mentioned below. The question involved in this case is as to whether Annexure 'E' covers the case of a death in bomb blast in a bus wherein an employee was travelling to attend his duty and whether this can be deemed to be a killing 'on duty' or in connection with the 'discharge of duties' as a result of attack by the extremists.


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