The division bench of the Meghalaya High Court has set aside an order passed in February 2019 directing the state government to pay another Rs 9 lakh to the family of one Late Bisheshwar Das, who was killed in an arson incident during the 2013 ILP agitation.
In its judgment passed on Thursday, the division bench said in the facts of the instant case, such ad hoc directions for payments to be made out by the state of Meghalaya in favour of the respondent/writ petitioner, Sanjay Das as well as the victim’s family are not supported by any firm legal basis or following any well-established Constitutional principles, which could be applied in the facts of the instant case.
“We, therefore, have no hesitation to set aside the impugned judgment and order dated 26th February, 2019 and dismiss the writ petition holding the same to be devoid of any merit or substance,” it said.
It also said a plain reading of the impugned judgment and order reveals that the Single Judge, while issuing directions as contained in the impugned judgment and order, failed to take into consideration a relevant fact that the respondent/writ petitioner himself had volunteered to refund the amount of Rs.5,38,297/- by means of making payment in monthly instalments @Rs.5000, even before the concerned Deputy Commissioner had directed deduction of a sum of Rs.20,000/- per month from the salary of the respondent/writ petitioner.
The actual reason why a sum of Rs.20,000/- per month was required to be deducted from the salary of the respondent/writ petitioner, in terms of the direction of the Deputy Commissioner, is apparent from the brief facts of the case, as stated hereinbefore.
“It was clearly the responsibility of the family of the deceased (being the father of the respondent/writ petitioner) to have paid a sum of Rs.5,38,297/- to NEMCARE Hospital, Guwahati, after having received the same amount from the State of Meghalaya on account of reimbursement for medical treatment rendered to the late father of the respondent/writ petitioner, who succumbed to burn injuries at NEMCARE Hospital, Guwahati, where he was being treated,” it said.
The bench said that apart, the learned Single Judge, without any basis whatsoever, increased the ex-gratia payment to the victim’s family from Rs 1 lakh to a sum of Rs.10 lakhs.
“The learned Single Judge in paragraph-6 of the impugned judgment and order invoked the principle of natural justice, principle of welfare state and issued a direction upon the Government to pay Rs.10 lakhs minus Rs.1 lakh (which was already paid) and the medical expenses to be waived off. Such a direction was issued by the learned Single Judge notwithstanding the fact that the respondent/writ petitioner himself had agreed to pay monthly instalments @5000/-, which was required to be deducted from his salary. In paragraph-7 of the impugned judgment and order, the Government after being directed to pay another Rs. 9 lakhs to the victim’s family was further directed not to press for recovery of medical expenses from the salary of the respondent/writ petitioner,” it stated.