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Allot land to war veteran in 4 months, says Bombay High Court

Hindurao Ingle had been denied benefits under a Government Resolution of December 1971

mumbai Updated: Feb 28, 2018 01:04 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Bombay high court,war veteran
Ingle was denied the benefit primarily because of “misreading” of the scheme document by the authorities.(HT FILE)

Nine years after he was denied benefits under the Government Resolution (GR) of December 31, 1971, a 71-year-old war hero got justice.

Hindurao Ingle, who resides at Hingnole village along with his wife and a mentally challenged son, had been denied land under the GR on the ground that he was not awarded a gallantry award. He was denied the benefit primarily because of “misreading” of the scheme document by the authorities.

On Tuesday, the Bombay high court directed the Karad tehsildar to allot Ingle a piece of land in four months.

The division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla also directed the state government to pay Rs50,000 to Ingle as litigation cost. The bench noticed that the former army man was denied benefits under the GR only because of its misinterpretation by the Satara district sainik welfare officer and other revenue officers that benefits under the GR can be extended only to gallantry award winners.

“It is unfortunate that it took more than nine years for the petitioner to get some relief,” said the bench, referring to the fact that the 71-year-old had applied for land under the GR in February 2008.

The bench said the stand taken by the district sainik welfare officer Lt Col Rajendra Jadhav in Ingle’s case was “shocking.”

“The approach of the government officials, including the district sainik welfare officer, ought to have been sympathetic, especially when they were dealing with application of an ex-army man who participated in 1971 Indo-Pak war and sustained severe bullet injuries,” the bench added.

The judges were irked to note that the district sainik welfare officer flatly refused to take into consideration three medals awarded to Ingle for his service to the nation and three letters written to him by Commanding Officer of the 216 Medium Regiment, where Ingle had served, confirming that the Satara resident participated in 1971 Indo-Pak war and sustained severe injuries.

Ingle claimed that because of the multiple bullet wounds he has been rendered immobile as the injuries led to a bone disease, and so he had sought benefits under the GR.

WHAT THE GR SAYS

Under the GR of December 1971, army men, who have fought 1971 Indo-Pak war and either sustained bullet injuries or received gallantry awards for bravery, are entitled to up to four hectares of dry crop land or two hectares of seasonally irrigated land or one hectare of perennially irrigated land for cultivation and residential purposes.

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 01:04 IST