Wife of victim of terrorism awarded costs and held entitled to financial relief

Punjab and Haryana High Court: While deciding a petition against the inaction on part of the State Government in denying the benefit of the welfare schemes to the petitioner, whose husband died due to injuries in 1990 sustained at the hands of terrorists in 1988, the Court awarded costs of Rs 30,000 and directed the State Government to release financial help in the form of subsistence allowance along with arrears from the dates the amounts become due under the various policies till the actual dates of payment.
Late Sardar Santokh Singh succumbed to the injuries sustained during a terror attack on March 5, 1988 and was awarded Rs 10,000 during his lifetime by the then Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar for his bravery. The Superintendent of Police had recommended his case for financial relief under the welfare scheme. After his death, the petitioner’s claim was rejected by the Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar. The Bench of Rameshwar Singh Malik, J. observed that since the Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar proceeded on a wholly misconceived and perverse approach, without even considering the strong recommendations made by the Senior Superintendent of Police, the impugned order cannot be sustained. The petitioner was found and declared entitled for the financial help as per the different policies issued by the State Government of Punjab.
The Court observed that “the citizen who laid his life for the welfare of his fellow citizens, as he was made the target by the terrorists because he developed an enmity with the terrorists acting against them with a view to help the State agencies, his widow, as petitioner herein, was entitled for a special award including the minimum financial help, at the hands of the State Government. However, since the respondent authorities proceeded on an arbitrary approach, forcing the petitioner to file the present writ petition for pursuing her genuine claim, her writ petition deserves to be allowed with costs.” [Surjit Kaur v. State of Punjab, 2016 SCC OnLine P&H 7134, decided on September 8, 2016]

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