The Gauhati High Court on November 30 has directed the State Government to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakhs to the daughter of a man who lost his life during the Assam Movement in 1981. The court ordered the compensation under the ex gratia compensation scheme, overturning the initial denial based on the claim that the amount had already been disbursed to the deceased man's brother.
The single judge bench of Justice Devashis Baruah stated that the ex gratia amount was wrongly paid to the brother (respondent no. 4) of the deceased without the proper documentation, leading to the denial of the rightful entitlement to the petitioner, the daughter of Late Loknath Saikia.
The court noted, "Under such circumstances, this Court is of the opinion that the Respondent Authorities cannot deprive the Petitioner of the grant of ex-gratia amount of Rs.5 lakhs on account of their fault of disbursing the said amount wrongfully to the Respondent No. 4."
The petitioner, the daughter of Late Loknath Saikia, had applied for the ex gratia compensation scheme after learning about it. However, the claim was initially refused, citing the disbursement to the deceased man's brother.
Justice Baruah highlighted the fault in the disbursement process and stressed the petitioner's rightful entitlement. The court directed the State Government to take appropriate steps to disburse the amount of Rs. 5 lakhs to the petitioner within a period of 60 days.
The State Government, in its affidavit, mentioned that the payment to respondent no. 4 was based on a report received from the Deputy Commissioner, Nagaon. The government argued that since the amount was already paid, the question of payment to another beneficiary did not arise.
The court, however, pointed out that the petitioner being the next of kin was not in dispute, and the Deputy Commissioner, Nagaon, had highlighted this matter as far back as December 27, 2016.
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