HC order on ex-serviceman’s martyr status on Dec 12

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said it will pass order on December 12 on PILs against the AAP government’s decision to declare ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who committed suicide over implementation of OROP scheme, a “martyr” and give his family Rs 1 crore financial aid.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, which was to pass order on Tuesday, postponed it for December 12.

The Delhi cabinet has approved the government’s proposal to provide Rs 1 crore financial aid to Grewal’s family and decided to declare him a “martyr”. But the Public Interest Litigations (PILs) said the Delhi government’s action will promote more suicides for the award of assistance to families and it cannot “glorify” the suicide.

One of the PILs filed by former central government employee Puran Chand Arya, through advocate Abhishek Chaudhary, said 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.”

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 Delhi government’s action 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 cowardly act of suicide, attempt and abetment thereof is a crime under the Indian Penal Code”, it said.

The petitions also objected to the Delhi government’s decision to give a job to any of Grewal’s family members, saying the decision is against public interest as it curtails and infringes upon the fundamental rights of the people, particularly the unemployed youths of Delhi who are waiting and trying for government employment on their own merit.

The Delhi government’s action would send a wrong signal to 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 also sought direction to the government to frame a uniform recognition or compensation policy for martyrs so that all of them would be treated equally.