The Rajasthan High Court granted Rs.50 Lakhs ex gratia compensation promised by the Government of Rajasthan to the wife of a deceased Engineer who died while working on duty during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The petitioner is a widow whose husband (deceased) was working as an Executive Engineer at Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JdVVNL). After the Covid-19 lockdown, the JdVVNL directed the husband of the petitioner to ensure a continuous supply of essential service of electricity to Covid Care Centres/Quarantine Centres.

The Government of Rajasthan had decided to grant Rs.50 Lakhs ex gratia amount to the dependents/family of the employees of Autonomous Bodies/Boards/Corporations who lost their lives while working on duty due to Covid 19 Virus in addition to ex gratia amount of Rs.20 Lakhs which was already payable under the aforesaid Regulation of 29-A of JdVVNL Pension Regulations, 1988 (Regulations).

Subsequently, the husband lost his life due to multi-organ failure because of the Covid-19 virus. Thereafter, his wife submitted an application seeking the grant of ex gratia amount of Rs. 50 Lakhs with an amount of Rs.20 lakhs as per the Regulations.

A Single Bench of Justice Pushpendra Singh Bhati observed, “To ensure the smooth functioning of the Health Sector various other departments of the Government were involved, one of them being the Electricity Department which played a pivotal role in ensuring the continuous supply of electricity to Hospitals and Quarantine Centres/Covid Care Centres, and thus, the personnel belonging to that department played an equally important role in the collective fight against the Covid 19 Virus.

Advocate Rajat Arora represented the petitioner, while Advocate Dinesh Kumar Joshi appeared for the respondents.

The Court remarked that the JdVVNL had approved the adoption of the orders of the government and accordingly inserted the said order under the Regulations.

The Court observed that the wife had established the fact that the death of her husband had occurred due to Covid 19 Virus while he was discharging his duty to fight against the Virus.

The Court observed that “the pandemic was a time of terror and anxiety wherein the entire country had gone into a complete lock down and the people did not wish to leave the safety of their houses, and in such tiring times, the most overworked and burdened was the Health Sector of our country and to ensure the smooth functioning of the Health Sector various other departments of the Government were involved, one of them being the Electricity Department.

The Court noted that the Government had taken various measures to provide insurance policies and compensation to families who had lost their breadwinners to the Covid 19 Virus.

The Court held that the petitioner, being the wife of the deceased was also entitled to receive the compensation since “the respondents, as reflected from the record, do not dispute the entitlement of the petitioner to receive the ex gratia amount of Rs.20 lakhs.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title: Sugan Prajapat v. Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. & Anr. (2024:RJ-JD:7173)


Petitioner: Advocate Rajat Arora

Respondents: Advocate Dinesh Kumar Joshi

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