Decided on December 02,1993

STATE Appellant
Riyaz Ahmad Kakiloo Respondents


- (1.)THIS letter patent appeal is directed against the judgment passed by learned Single Judge on 17 -4 -1992 in OWP No. 1623 of 1991 titled Riyaz Ahmad Kokiloo and other versus State and others, whereunder the writ petition has been allowed.
(2.)THE facts in brief are that a devastating fire broke out on 7 -10 -1990 at Rangtang, Kawadara Srinagar, resulting in gutting of number of houses including those of respondents herein. The Govt. has given relief and other compensation to the fire sufferers and whose houses/property had gutted in the said fire. During the days when the fire had broken out, it is alleged that the Government employees were on general strike and it were the Mohalla people who formed a committee for assessing the loss of gutted houses and in the meanwhile Tehsildar had also prepared list of fire sufferers assessment of damage. However, another committee was constituted by the Government comprising of Assistant Commissioner (R) Srinagar and Executive Engineer, Construction Division -II, Srinagar to enquire into the incident and to verify and assess the damage caused. The said committee was constituted under the office order No: 907/RN dated 18 -1 -1991 issued by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Srinagar which also assessed the damages caused to the property and it was maintained that the assessment made by the Tehsildar and Assistant Commissioner (R) as well as Executive Engineer, Construction Division -II, Srinagar could not actually find out and ascertain the loss caused by the devastating fire. However, the Government after having considered the report given by Mohalla committee disbursed Rs.4,000/ - each as interim relief in favour of fire sufferers including the petitioners on the basis of the Mohalla Committee report and it was further stipulated that ex -gratia relief be given to the fire sufferers on the pattern of Handawara fire sufferers.
(3.)IT is further alleged that the cases of other fire sufferers have been assessed on individual basis and they were disbursed sum of Rs. 50,000/ - each, but the petitioners who claim that they are also fire sufferers with other fire sufferers of the area have been singled out and discriminated. They have not been paid ex -gratia relief of Rs. 50,000/ - individually but have been assessed as joint families. On this count they have prayed for issuance of a writ of mandamus to respondents 1 to 3 to pay to the petitioners sum of Rs. 50,000/ - on individual case basis as compensation as fire sufferers and so on.
The petition was admitted to hearing on 29 -10 -1991 and respondents appeared through Mr. S.K. Gupta, Government Advocate who despite opportunities and adjournments granted miserably failed to file any counter affidavit. So the case was finally heard by learned Single Judge without having any counter affidavit before him on behalf of the respondents, but whatever records were produced, were perused by learned Single Judge.

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