HC order on No 14 on pleas against martyr status, Rs 1 cr aid to Grewal

New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Monday said it will pass order on November 14 on PILs 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.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal was informed by the Delhi government’s counsel that the government’s decision has to be approved by the Lt. Governor.

“Petitions are premature. If any decision is taken by the council of ministers, it has to go to the LG for his approval,” said advocate Rahul Mehra appearing for state government.

The court reserved the order on the pleas for November 14.

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’, but the Public Interest Litigations (PILs) said the Delhi government’s act will promote more suicides for the award money and it can not “glorify” the suicide.

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.

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”, it said.

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 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.