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PILs in HC against AAP govt's decision to accord martyr status, Rs 1 cr aid to Grewal
Saturday November 5, 2016 7:05 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Two PILs were filed on Saturday in the Delhi High Court against the AAP government's decision to declare ex-serviceman, Ram Kishan Grewal, who committed suicide over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, a "martyr" and give his family Rs 1 crore financial aid.

The Public Interest Litigations (PILs) said the act of the Delhi government will promote more suicides for the award money and it can not "glorify" the suicide.

The Delhi cabinet has approved the government's proposal to provide Rs 1 crore financial aid to the family of Grewal and decided to declare him a 'martyr'.

One of the PILs filed by a central government ex-employee Puran Chand Arya, through advocate Abhishek Chaudhary, said the act of suicide is a "cowardly act" and it can "never deserve martyrdom/shaheed status".

"Such acts amount to promotion of suicide in the society which is a matter of national shame. Government is wasting public money for political gain.

"Delhi government can't spend the hard earned money of tax payers from the government fund, as it shows that the suicide is being glorified, honoured and recognised," it said.

Another PIL filed by advocate Avadh Kaushik said granting martyr status to Grewal is a "clear abuse, insult and disdain to the real martyrs who sacrifice their lives for the nation and for the good cause".

The act is not only "illegal, arbitrary, biased, malafide, motivated, and amounting to misappropriation of public funds, but it is also a clear case of glorifying and abetting an amiss, heinous and coward act of suicide, attempt and abetment thereof is a crime under the Indian Penal Code", said the plea.

The petitions also objected against Delhi government's decision of granting job to any of Grewal's family members, saying the decision is against public interest by curtailing and infringing the fundamental rights of the people, particularly the unemployed youth of Delhi who are waiting and trying for government employment on their own merit.

The Delhi government's act would send a wrong message and signal to the people and to the society that "committing suicide is an act of heroism and martyrdom", and thus the same is required to be curbed at the very threshold, said Kaushik.

The pleas sought direction for the Arvind Kejriwal government to not grant or bestow status of martyr to Grewal as it would lead to promotion of suicides among the citizen for the huge amount given by Delhi government.

The pleas also sought direction to the governments to form a uniform recognition or compensation policy for the martyrs so that all of them would be treated equally by the government.

"There is no criteria at present either with Central government or state governments to classify a person as martyr or shaheed. In the absence of any such criteria/definition, the exercise of spending the limited public money is likely to be guided by arbitrariness, eg only those people may get the benefit of compensation whose cases have been highlighted in the media/public glare."

The PILs would likely come up for hearing on Monday.


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