‘Sorry state of affairs’: HC on official delay in providing death certificate to widow

‘Sorry state of affairs’: HC on official delay in providing death certificate to widow

Srinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh described the action of government authorities as “lackadaisical” and “a very sorry state of affairs” after a woman approached the court stating that the authorities were denying her the death certificate of her late husband for no reason.
The petitioner, Sharngat Kour, told court that upon death of her husband at Hutamarah Tehsil Mattan, District Anantnag, she applied before Tehsildar Mattan for issuance of a death certificate of her husband, which application is stated to have been forwarded to SHO Police Station, Mattan.
It was told to court that the application was forwarded to Numberdar/Chowkidar for spot verification, which stands conducted and despite the fact that case of the petitioner for issuance of the said death certificate of her husband being complete in all respects, is not being issued till date.
It was further stated that the said certificate is required by the petitioner in order to enable her to have the case settled before the competent authority for grant of family pension as the husband of the petitioner had been a government servant.
Justice Javed Iqbal while taking the matter seriously recorded that the grievance projected by the petitioner in the instant petition reflects a very sorry state of affairs insofar as the working of the government officials is concerned particularly in the matter of issuance of death certificate in favour of dependents.
“Even though many statutes/acts are in place requiring the government servants to discharge their public duties well in time promptly with due diligence and without any delay, yet the instant case seemingly is a glaring example of callous and lackadaisical approach of the government servants being SHO Police Station Mattan and Tehsildar Mattan,” Justice Iqbal said.
It was recorded that the court would have proceeded against the officers for such lackadaisical approach, but in the interest of justice an opportunity is provided to the respondents to issue the death certificate within a week’s time.
“In the event of failure of the respondents to comply with the order as directed above, SHO Police Station Mattan, as well as Tehsildar Mattan shall appear in person on the next date of hearing along with the relevant record of the case,” the court directed.
The court will again hear the matter on 23 August.

 

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