High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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The State of Punjab & Ors. v. Jagdeep Kaur - RSA-2977-2004  RD-P&H 3881 (9 July 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT FOR THE STATES OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH.
R.S.A. No. 2977 of 2004.
Date of Decision: July 03, 2006.
The State of Punjab & Ors.
Mr. G.S.Cheema, Sr.DAG, Punjab.
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SURYA KANT.
1. Whether Reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgment?
2. To be referred to the Reporters or not?
3. Whether the judgment should be reported in the Digest? SURYA KANT,J.(ORAL)
Aggrieved at the judgment and decree dated 15th March, 2004
passed by learned Additional District Judge, Gurdaspur whereby suit for declaration to the effect that the respondent-plaintiff was entitled to an ex- gratia grant of Rs.3,00,000/- on account of death of her husband in a road accident while on official duty, has been partly decreed and she has been held entitled for an amount of Rs.1,00,000/- (instead of Rs.50,000/-), that the State of Punjab has preferred this Regular Second Appeal.
The husband of the respondent-plaintiff was working as an Executive Engineer in the Drainage Department, Government of Punjab and at the relevant time, he was posted at Gurdaspur. He died in a road accident on 24.8.2001 while he was returning from Chandigarh to Gurdaspur. The respondent was paid an ex-gratia grant of Rs.50,000/-, though, according to RSA No.2977 of 2004. :-2-:
her, she was entitled to an ex-gratia grant of Rs.3,00,000/- as per the government circular No.2/19/2000-3FPPC/641 dated 24.1.2001. Since the amount was not released despite a legal notice, the respondent filed a suit for declaration to this effect.
The appellant-State contested the aforesaid suit primarily on the ground that the husband of the respondent was not on official duty and was on a private visit when he died in the road accident.
On a consideration of the evidence on record, especially letters dated 21.9.2001 (Ex.P2) and 4.9.2001 (Ex.P4), both the Courts have concurrently held that the husband of the respondent died in a road accident while on duty. Notwithstanding the said finding, learned trial Court dismissed the suit as according to it, the respondent was entitled for an ex- gratia grant of Rs.50,000/- only.
On an appeal by the respondent, learned first Appellate Court has considered the respondent's claim in the light of government instructions dated 24.1.2001 (Ex.P1). According to the learned first Appellate Court, the instructions categorically provides that in the case of an accidental death while on duty, the minimum ex-gratia amount to which the family of the deceased is entitled, shall be to the tune of Rs.1,00,000/-.
Consequently, the respondent's suit has been partly decreed and the appellant-State has been directed to pay Rs.50,000/- as an additional ex- gratia amount along with interest @ 8% per annum w.e.f. 1.9.2001.
Notice of motion was issued. However, no one has put in appearance on behalf of the respondent.
I have heard Mr. Cheema, learned Senior DAG, Punjab on behalf of the appellants. Shri Cheema has fairly conceded that the contents RSA No.2977 of 2004. :-3-:
of the government instructions dated 24.1.2001 (Ex.P1), as reproduced and referred to by the learned first Appellate Court, are correct. He, however, lays emphasis on the fact that the husband of the respondent was not on official duty at the time when the accident took place.
After hearing learned counsel for the appellants, I do not find any merit in this appeal. As observed earlier, both the Courts, on an appreciation of the oral as well as documentary evidence, which includes letters Ex.P2 and P4, have concurrently held that the husband of the respondent died in a road accident while on duty. No interference in such like finding of fact is warranted unless a case of perverse findings is made out. This is not the case of the appellants. In view of Government's own instructions which have been relied upon by the first Appellate Court, there can be no escape but to affirm the judgment under appeal. No substantial question of law is, thus, involved in this appeal which is accordingly dismissed.
July 03, 2006. ( SURYA KANT )
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