Why The Delay In Explaining Unfair Compensation Policy, SC Asks J&K

Why The Delay In Explaining Unfair Compensation Policy, SC Asks J&K

9 September 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
R Sedhuraman

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today took exception to the delay by the J&K Government in explaining its discriminatory policy for payment of compensation to paramilitary personnel who became victims of violence in the state. “We don’t know why they are asking for a further time of two weeks” to respond to the August 23 Supreme Court order on the issue, a Bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjana Desai remarked while hearing a PIL on the recent violence in Kishtwar. In the order, the Bench had directed the state government to justify within two weeks its July 10, 1990, compensation policy meant for CRPF and BSF personnel and those from other paramilitary forces in the event of their becoming victims of militancy or riots. Under the policy, the next of kin of personnel categorised as “state subjects” would get Rs 5 lakh in case of death, while the kin of non-state personnel would be paid only Rs 2 lakh. Similarly, the compensation for each of the injured personnel for the two categories would be Rs 75,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively. Granting two more weeks, the Bench asked senior additional advocate general Gaurav Pachnanda as to why the state had framed a discriminatory policy when it was part of the country. At the last hearing, the Supreme Court had made it clear that the fact that no one had challenged the policy so far did not mean it was justified. Senior counsel Bhim Singh, appearing for petitioner Sudesh Dogra, expressed the fear that the state might manipulate the issue. Allaying the apprehension, the Bench said: “The Chief Secretary’s affidavit (on the policy) is before us. If there is any incorrect statement, do you think we will spare that person?” The PIL petitioner has sought a series of relief measures for the victims of violence at Kishtwar on the occasion of Eid on August 9, while the state government has maintained that it has already done all that was required. State gets 2 more weeks z Granting two more weeks to J&K to file a reply, the Bench asked senior additional advocate general Gaurav Pachnanda as to why the state had framed a discriminatory policy when it was part of the country. At the last hearing, the SC had made it clear that the fact that no one had challenged the policy so far did not mean it was justified z Under the state’s compensation policy, the next of kin of personnel categorised as “state subjects” gets Rs 5 lakh in case of death, while the kin of non-state personnel is paid only Rs 2 lakh. Similarly, the compensation for each of the injured personnel for the two categories is Rs 75,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively.