New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a PIL seeking 'martyr' status for paramilitary and police personnel who sacrifice their lives in the line of duty, on par with army, navy and air force, terming it as "a matter of concern".
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath sent it to a bench of High Court which deals with issues concerning the armed forces and listed it for further hearing on July 29.
The petition, filed by advocate Abhishek Choudhary, has sought a direction to the Centre, Department Of Personnel and Training (DOPT) and Ministry of Defence (MOD) for granting equality to paramilitary and police forces on par with army, navy and air force in granting status of 'martyr' or 'Shaheed' to the deceased personnel.
"Issue direction to the respondents (Centre, DOPT and MOD) to grant equal financial compensation/benefits to paramilitary armed forces personnel at par with army, navy and air force," it said.
The petition has also sought a direction to respondents to maintain proper records of members of paramilitary armed forces personnel who have sacrificed their lives till date and in the future, and publish their names in an official gazette, notification or book.
It claimed that even after 31,895 sacrifices in the last 53 years on the line of duty, the honour of being called a 'Martyr' still eluded the jawans and officers of paramilitary and police forces in the country.
"The personnel of the three armed forces of the country namely army, navy and air force are called 'Martyr' or 'Shaheed' when they are killed during duty, but unfortunately the men/women of police and paramilitary forces who are killed in anti-Naxal operations, rendering internal security duties and guarding our borders in extreme conditions are not given the stature of a matyr or 'Shaheed'," it said.
The petition also claimed that the paramilitary and central forces have made numerous representation in this regard to the Home Minister and state governments for honouring 'martyrs' or 'Shaheed' for these personnel who render a variety of security duties, from tackling Naxalites to manning Indian borders.