Those Who Die For Their Country Do Not Need An Official Tag Of 'Martyr', Says Delhi High Court

"Such sacrifice by a person is remembered by the society at large."

19/10/2016 12:34 AM IST | Updated 19/10/2016 12:43 AM IST
Mukesh Gupta / Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Anyone who lays down his life for the country is a martyr, who remembered by society, and no other recognition like a certificate of 'shaheed' from the government is needed, Delhi High Court said today.

"Any person who lays down his life or is killed during any action for the country, does not need any certificate or a nomenclature of being declared a martyr or 'shaheed'.

"Such sacrifice by a person is remembered by the society at large. You laid down your life, so you are a martyr/ 'shaheed', no other recognition is required from anyone," a bench of justices Indira Banerjee and V Kameswar Rao said.

The court's oral observation came during the hearing of a PIL seeking 'martyr' status for paramilitary and police personnel who sacrifice their lives in the line of duty on par with the Army, Navy and Air Force.

The bench also noted that as per the government, there was no such word as 'martyr' used in the three services and "no such order/notification has been issued by Ministry of Defence (MoD)" to call those killed in duty as a martyr.

Similarly, no such notification has been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifle (AR) personnel, it noted.

"Therefore, no such direction to the Centre is required to be passed by this court," it said and disposed of the PIL.

It, however, asked the ministry concerned to consider the 7th Pay Commission's recommendation that in case of death in the line of duty, personnel of CAPFs should be accorded martyr status at par with the defence personnel.

The petition, filed by advocate Abhishek Choudhary, had sought a direction to the Centre, Department Of Personnel and Training and MoD for granting equality to paramilitary and police forces on par with army, navy and air force in granting status of 'martyr'.

It had pleaded for a direction to the respondents to grant equal financial compensation/benefits to paramilitary armed forces personnel at par with army, navy and air force.

In its reply to the PIL, the government had said that "in army/navy/air force, the nomenclature for the word 'martyr' is battle casualty and physical casualty. The word 'martyr' is not used in the three services."

"Therefore, the prayer of the petitioner that the status of 'martyr' or 'shaheed' be given to the deceased Paramilitary Armed Forces personnel at par with army, navy and air force is misconceived and unfounded. It is denied CAPF personnel are being deprived of the honour they deserve.

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