In circumstances of death while on duty, ex-gratia can be allotted as per both unamended and amended rules: Rajasthan High Court
The Rajasthan High Court passed a judgement on 15-01-2021 in the case of Mewa Devi vs State of Rajasthan, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 3538/2018. The Honorable Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma allowed a writ petition which was filed aggrieved by an impugned order which dealt with the issue of allotment of ex-gratia amount.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
Counsel for the petitioner, Mr. Anoop Dhand submitted that petitioner’s husband was holding the post of Assistant Sub-Inspector and while undergoing Promotion Cadre Course (PCC) for which he had been sent by his superiors, suffered severe heart attack and expired. He further submitted that the petitioner’s husband died while on duty, she was entitled to receive ex-gratia amount of Rs 20 lakhs as per Rule 75(2)(b) of the Rajasthan Pension Rules, 1996 as well as special pensionary award in terms of Rules 109, 110 & 111 of the Rules of 1996.
Counsel for the respondent, Mr. Pushpendra Singh Naruka for Mr. Rupin Kala, GC submitted that petitioner’s husband had expires after the amendment was introduced in Rules 109, 110 & 111 of the rules of 1996 vide notification dated 8-9-2015 and that the petitioner’s case would be now covered only as per the amended Rules for the purpose of grant of special pensionary award.
The Court perused Rule 75(2)(b) of the unamended Rules of 1996 and amended Rules 109,110&111 of the rules of 1996 and derived that Rule 109(i)(a) mentions circumstances which police personnel would be entitled for ex gratia payment which was that a police personnel who dies while on duty or dies due to act of violence by terrorists or dacoits or criminal or anti-social elements or dies in bomb blasts in public places or in course of conformation with the mob or crowd during agitation, riot or disturbance or due to the circumstances that the benefit of ex gratis would be released.
The court further explained that the interpretation of rule must be with the purpose sought to be made by the rule making authority. The instances mentioned in Rule 109(I) are illustrative and there can be circumstances of different nature where a person may die while on duty, duty has already been defined under the Rajasthan Service Rules. The court was of opinion that according to the interpretation the Rule must be read in favor of the petitioner and therefore, the petitioner would be entitled to receive special pensionary award in terms of Rule 109 of the Rules of 1996 and receive ex gratia amount in terms of Rule 75(2).
The court further noted that Rule 75(2) of the Rules of 1996 mentions grant of Rs. 20 lakhs as ex-gratia on account of unfortunate death of an official. Thus, any death which may occur while in service would result in granting of ex-gratia amount of Rs. 20 lakhs as of today. However, so far as the present case is concerned, it is to be governed by the Rule which was existing prior to 2019 but thereto under Rule 75(2), the case falls and the petitioner is, therefore, entitled to receive ex-gratia amount of Rs. 20 lakhs as well as special pensionary award on account of death caused to her husband while on duty relying on the case decided in Rameshwari Devi vs. State of Rajasthan, SBCWP No. 2072/2015, dated 31-05-2017.
The court allowed the petition and directed to release the amount along with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of the petitioner’s husband.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY CHANDANA SHEKAR