Original Application No. 196 Of 2015. Case: Sangita Devi Vs Chief of Army Staff and Ors.. Armed Forces Tribunal

Case NumberOriginal Application No. 196 Of 2015
CounselFor Appellant: Rohit Kumar, Advocate and For Respondents: Shesh Narain Pandey, Central Govt. Counsel assisted by Soma John, OIC Legal Cell
JudgesD.P. Singh, J. (Member (J)) and Air Marshal Anil Chopra, Member (A)
IssueArmed Forces Tribunal Act 2007 - Section 14
Judgement DateSeptember 19, 2016
CourtArmed Forces Tribunal


(Regional Bench, Lucknow)

  1. Applicant's husband 14808163A Naik (MT) Ram Narayan died in an accident during course of duty. After his death, the applicant preferred application for payment of ex-gratia lump sum compensation which has been denied, hence she preferred the present O.A. under Section 14 of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007.

  2. We have heard Shri Rohit Kumar, Ld. Counsel for the applicant and Dr. Shesh Narayan Pandey, Ld. Counsel for the respondents assisted by OIC Legal Cell.

  3. Admittedly the applicant's husband was enrolled in Indian Army on 27.10.1993. Later on he was promoted on the post of Naik. During course of service he met with a road accident on 17.11.2010 while returning back on motor cycle to his quarter No. 240/17, Vajra Complex, Mall Road, Jalandhar Cantt. The applicant's husband sustained severe head injury and was immediately brought to Medical Inspection Room and later he was referred to MH, Jalandhar Cantt on 21.11.2010 where he succumbed to injuries. It is admitted that next of kin (NOK) Smt. Sangita Devi having two minor children i.e. son Master Abhishek Kumar and daughter Kumari Ishiqua Pal.

  4. The court of inquiry was conducted to investigate the circumstances under which Naik Ram Narayan met with an accident on 17.11.2010 resulting into his death on 21.11.2010. According to opinion of the court of inquiry Naik Ram Kumar was performing bonafide military duty when he met with the accident. According to opinion of the court of inquiry death of Naik Ram Narayan was attributable to military service in peace. After death, all retiral dues were released as pleaded in para 4 of the counter affidavit.

  5. So far payment of ex-gratia lump sum compensation is concerned it was processed to PCDA (P), Allahabad. Report of court of inquiry and Adjudication Board was sent to PCDA (P), A Allahabad but the same was returned back pointing out towards policy of 22.09.1998. It was noted that PCDA (P) that in view of policy dated 22.09.1998 (supra) the death in such circumstances is not in any way related to bonafide official military duties and there is no casual connection between the occurrence of death and Government service. Being aggrieved, the applicant submitted petition for ex-gratia lump sum compensation received by the office of Additional Directorate General, Personnel Service, Integrated Headquarters of MoD (Army). The order has been reproduced in para 8 of the counter affidavit which for convenience sake may be reproduced as under:-

    "Case for grant of Ex-Gratia Lump Sum Compensation from Central Govt. to NOK of No. 14808163A Late Nk/MT Ram Narayan of HQ 11 Corps (MT) has been examined by the competent authority i.e. AG/PS-4 (Imp-I). They have intimated that the circumstances of the death in respect of late Nk Ram Narayan do not meet any of the criteria of actual performance of bonafide duties' as per Govt. of India letter No. 20/1/98/D (Pay/Services) dated 22 Sep 1998, as amended. Hence there are no grounds to interfere with the decision of PCDA (Pension) Allahabad not to grant Ex-Gratia Lump Sum Compensation'.

  6. Subject to above, applicant was communicated in response to her application dated 31.07.2013 through letter of ASC Records (South) dated 10.09.1993.

  7. It may be noted that earlier the applicant had preferred O.A. No. 91 of 2014 which was decided by the Tribunal by the order dated 07.07.2014 directing the respondents to decide representation afresh within three months. In consequence there of the applicant preferred representation dated 13.07.2014 alongwith her previous representation dated 30.09.2013 which too was rejected by the impugned order after due processing through Headquarter.

  8. A question cropped up whether denial of ex-gratia lump sum compensation is correct or not? The policy letter dated 22.09.1998 relied by the PCDA (P), Allahabad was subject matter of consideration in O.A. No. 177 of 2013, Smt. Prarthna Singh v. Union of India & Ors decided on 28.04.1016. After considering the policy (supra) we have observed as under:-

    "5. For the purpose of payment of special family pension an Adjudication Board was constituted to assess the attributability and aggravation factor based on the court of inquiry proceedings and the death of the deceased. The...

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