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Delhi L-G rejects Kejriwal govt plan to give Rs 1 cr to OROP suicide victim's family

Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, has rejected Arvind Kejriwal government’s proposal to award Rs 1 crore compensation to family of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who had allegedly committed suicide in 2016 over non-implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP).

Baijal rejected the proposal on March 6, cleared by the Delhi cabinet in December last year, which also granted martyr status to Grewal, because the “death did not occur in line of duty, as mandated under the policy”.

Grewal, a 70-year-old ex-serviceman from Haryana, had committed suicide in Delhi in November 2016 demanding immediate implementation of OROP.

“L-G has returned the file saying that the proposal is not in line with the policy to provide ex-gratia to servicemen. The policy clearly states that compensation could be given to servicemen only when the death occurs while discharging the duty. The cabinet proposal clearly states that the retired armyman (Grewal) died by consuming poison and an exception was being made for him. The L-G has clearly mentioned on the file that it is not in sync with the existing policy,” a senior official said.

This is the first major decision of Kejriwal government that has been rejected by Baijal after clearing a slew of files that were stuck with the L-G office since the time of his predecessor, Najeeb Jung.

The proposal was also rejected as the serviceman was neither associated with any service with the Government of NCT of Delhi, nor a resident of the national capital, reports say.

Grewal, a resident of Bhiwani in Haryana, had allegedly committed suicide in Delhi on November 3 last year.

“Domicile of any individual being granted with ex-gratia is equally important. The person needs to either be serving with any agency in Delhi at the time of death, or was a resident of Delhi at the time of joining service. In this case, even that does not meet the criteria,” an official said.

While the L-G rejected the proposal this week, the matter to expedite the file was brought before Baijal by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal during an informal meeting last week.