Decision to hold Rs 1-cr compensation to cop’s wife not tenable: HC to Delhi govt

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New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday said that city government’s Group of Ministers’ decision to put on hold the ex-gratia payment of Rs one crore to constable Amit Kumar’s wife is prima facie not tenable as reports are clear that Kumar had died during the first wave of Covid while performing his duties.

In December 2022, citing the Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s cabinet decision dated March 13, 2020, the court had asked the case of ex-gratia compensation to Kumar’s wife be placed before a “Group of Ministers”.

“These reports, read along with the tweets of CM and L-G of Delhi at the relevant point of time, leaves no manner of doubt that the constable, who was only 28 years, passed away during Covid-19 duties. Thus, the decision to keep on hold or seek clarification would prima facie not be tenable,” a single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh said on Monday.

Kejriwal in May 2020, in one of his tweets, had said that Kumar’s family will be provided with an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore.

It is the petitioner’s case (Kumar’s wife) that when her husband passed away, she was expecting her child while he was serving at city’s Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital to make sure Covid-19 lockdown measures are adhered to.

Kumar was also the first policeman who died while performing duty during the pandemic.

The minutes of the meeting based on which the Group of Ministers on January 13 rejected the petitioner’s case were placed on record by the counsel representing the city government.

It stated that the case for compensation was kept on hold awaiting clarification from Delhi Police.

The reports of DCP and ACP of North West district were then placed on record.

Justice Singh, in view of the records placed, directed that the matter be placed before the Group of Ministers again and a decision be taken within the next date of hearing.

She then listed the matter for the next hearing on March 2.

The court had earlier observed that the compensation due to Kumar’s wife can no longer be delayed.

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