Exgratia Payment Granted To The Wife Of A Deceased Executive Engineer During Covid: Rajasthan High Court

Posted On - 14 March, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

The Rajasthan High Court in Civil Writ Petition No. 7194/2022 directed Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam (JdVVNL) Ltd to disburse an ex-gratia amount of Rs 70 Lakhs to the dependent of an executive engineer who died from Covid-19 while on duty. The Court emphasized the significant role played by the deceased engineer in ensuring uninterrupted electricity supply to Covid Care Centres during the pandemic. It noted that the Finance Department of Rajasthan had proposed Rs 50 Lakhs as ex-gratia to dependents of those who died while on duty fighting COVID-19. JdVVNL adopted and approved this proposal, adding it to existing pension regulations. The Court observed that the deceased engineer contracted the virus while discharging his duties, as acknowledged by the supervising Chief Engineer. Despite this, JdVVNL rejected the wife’s claim for the ex-gratia amount, citing a lack of conclusive proof. After reviewing relevant documents, including the RTPC test and death certificate, the Court concluded that the deceased fell within the category entitled to the additional ex-gratia amount. It quashed JdVVNL’s order and directed payment of Rs 70 Lakhs to the deceased’s wife. The Court has also mandated interest at 9% per annum if the amount is not paid in full within three months.