It appears the organisation doesn’t feel pain whatsoever for families of personnel, says Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court has expressed displeasure at the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for not releasing commensurate financial assistance to the family members of an officer, who has been missing since his car fell into a deep gorge and rolled into the fast-flowing Drass river on the Zojila-Kargil-Leh road last year.
“The BRO appears to feel no pain whatsoever for the families of the personnel employed,” a bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Amit Bansal said pointing at the meagre ₹40,000 released to the family of the missing 27-year-old officer.
It directed the BRO to release — on or before June 15 — a sum equivalent to one year’s emoluments of the officer to the parents for the period since when he is missing.
The parents, in their plea, said their son Shabir Ali was employed as an Assistant Executive Engineer (Civil) in the Border Roads Engineering Service and was deployed for monitoring the casual paid labour (CPL) quarantine camp at Minamarg in Leh.
On June 22, 2020, the vehicle in which he was travelling fell into the gorge. Nothing is known about him and his body has not been recovered till now.
The parents have urged the court for a direction to the government to find their missing son and to direct the BRO to provide financial assistance to them. The parents said prior to the filing of the petition, they received only ₹40,000 from the BRO.
When the petition came up first before the court on April 15, 2021, the BRO was directed to take a decision and pay whatever amount was deemed appropriate, to the family within four weeks.
Dire financial straits
Advocate Abhinav Garg, representing the family members, said in spite of the family members being in “dire financial straits” and the four weeks granted being over, no payment has been made.
“The aforesaid shows an absolutely callous approach of the officers concerned of the respondents BRO. They appear to feel no pain whatsoever for the families of the personnel employed in the respondents BRO,” the court said.
“Almost one year has passed since the son of the petitioner has been missing. Till date, no payment save as aforesaid, has been made,” it said.
The court warned that if the payment is not made before June 15, “the incumbent occupying the post of Director General, BRO shall be personally liable for non-compliance”.
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