New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the city government to place before its new Group of Ministers (GoM) its order relating to payment of Rs 1 crore compensation to the wife of constable Amit Kumar, who died on duty during the first wave of Covid.
Justice Pratibha M. Singh was hearing the plea of Kumar’s wife that she was expecting her child while her husband, posted at the city’s Deep Chand Bandhu Hospital to make sure Covid-19 lockdown measures are adhered to, succumbed.
During a hearing in February, the court had said that the GoM’s decision to put on hold the ex-gratia payment of Rs 1 crore to Kumar’s wife is prima facie not tenable as reports are clear that he had died during the first wave of Covid while performing his duties.
On Wednesday, the Delhi government informed the court that the GoM is being re-constituted after the changes — Atishi Marlena and Saurabh Bharadwaj have replaced former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain’s position after they resigned — in the cabinet and sought some time to place its decision on the issue of compensation.
Justice Singh said that the court will be forced to pass an order regarding the compensation if the authorities do not take a decision.
“The order of February 23 and today’s order be placed before the GoM so that a decision is taken within one month,” the court said.
The authorities have been delaying the matter without any reason, petitioner’s counsel contended.
The judge then said that the GoM will have to be re-constituted as they cannot keep all the matter pending for long and listed the matter for further hearing on May 8.
Justice Singh also made it clear that no further time will be granted considering the background of the case.
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”.
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.
Kumar was also the first policeman who died while performing duty during the pandemic.