NEW DELHI: A day after it was held that a Chief Minister's promise to citizens is clearly enforceable, the Delhi High Court on Friday told the Delhi government that it should honour his promise of granting Rs one crore ex-gratia to the family of a constable who died due to COVID-19 on line of duty.
"You have to honour the promise. Your Chief Minister cannot make promises for ABC reasons," Justice Rekha Palli orally observed and referred to the judgement delivered on Thursday by the high court which directed the AAP government to decide on Arvind Kejriwal's announcement that if a poor tenant was unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state would pay it.
"The Chief Minister has to honour his promises", Justice Palli observed while hearing a plea seeking direction to the government to disburse the promised Rs one crore ex-gratia to the family of Delhi Police Constable Amit Kumar's wife seeking Rs one crore ex-gratia on husband death due to COVID-19.
The judge granted time to Delhi government to file certain additional documents and listed the matter for October 4.
Justice Palli also referred to the judgement delivered by Justice Prathiba M Singh on Thursday in which it was held that a Chief Minister's promise to citizens is clearly enforceable.
In the present case, the court noted that the petition was primarily based on the tweet issued by the chief minister in which it was categorically stated by him that Rs one crore will be given to the family members of constable Amit Kumar.
The Delhi government, in its reply filed in the court, said Kumar cannot be granted the amount since he was not deployed on COVID-19 duty.
The reply, filed through Delhi government standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi, said the case of Kumar was examined in terms of Cabinet decision and he was not found covered as he was not deployed on the COVID-19 duty by the Delhi government and the decision was conveyed to the DCP, north west on November 2, 2020.
Constable Kumar's wife Pooja, in her plea filed through advocates Sundeep Sehgal and Anand Prakash Sharma, said she was running from pillar to post to secure the compensation promised by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet on May 7, 2020, a day after the death of her husband.
The plea referred to Kejriwal's tweet stating, Amitji did not care for his life and kept serving us Delhi people. He got infected with corona and passed away. I pay homage to him on behalf of all the Delhites. His family shall be given an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore.
The court had earlier issued notice on the plea in which the woman submitted that Kumar was the sole breadwinner of the family and due to his death, she was in a dire financial crisis.
The woman said her husband was the first person from the force to succumb to COVID-19 and that she was pregnant at the time of her husband's death and now has two children -- one aged five years and the other five months.