The Maharashtra government has disbursed a sum of Rs. 25 lakh as compensation to families of five candidates who died during police recruitment drives earlier this year, the Bombay high court was told on Thursday.
Assistant government pleader Milind More informed the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice BP Colabawalla that compensation of Rs. 5 lakh has been given to the each of the families of the candidates who died.
Of the five, four candidates died during a recruitment drive in Mumbai, while the fifth death was reported from the recruitment camp of the Thane rural police.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the All Maharashtra Human Rights Welfare Association. In the application, the NGO’s vice president Shyam Shisode had complained about lack of basic facilities at police recruitment drives. The PIL stated that most of the aspiring candidates, who appeared in Mumbai, had come from rural areas and had to spend time on the roads, sleeping under flyovers and open spaces at night. The NGO also alleged that no basic facilities such as drinking water and primary medical care were provided to the candidates.
The four candidates who died after appearing for the recruitment drive in Mumbai were Ambadas Sonawane, 24, from Malegaon, Sainath Mali, 18, from Jalgaon, Vishal Kedar, 23, from Dindori in Nashik, and Rahul Sapkale.
Kedar was among the 1.06 lakh applicants who came to the Vikhroli centre to vie for one of the 2,507 vacant posts in Mumbai. He was rushed to hospital after he felt uneasy upon completion of the 5-km qualifying run, but was pronounced dead upon arrival. His death was attributed to exhaustion. Mali and Sonawane had fallen unconscious during the physical test. The PIL stated that seven other aspiring candidates were admitted to Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar in critical condition.
In its PIL, the NGO had urged the court to form a committee to monitor police recruitment and sought a further direction to the state government to pay appropriate compensation to the families of the deceased candidates.