Delhi HC expresses displeasure at BRO for not releasing financial aid to family members of missing officer


High Court directed BRO to, on or before June 15, 2021, release a sum equivalent to one year’s emoluments to the parents of the officer

The Delhi High Court has expressed displeasure at the Border Road Organisation (BRO) for not releasing commensurate financial assistance to the family members of the officer, who is missing since his car fell into a deep gorge and rolled into fast flowing Drass river on Zojila-Kargil-Leh road last year.

“BRO appears to feel no pain whatsoever for the families of the personnel employed,” a bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Amit Bansal remarked pointing at the meagre ₹40,000 released to the family member of the missing 27-year-old officer.

The High Court directed BRO to, on or before June 15, 2021, release a sum equivalent to one year’s emoluments to the parents of the officer for the period since when he is missing.

The parents, in their plea, said their son Mr. Shabir Ali was employed with BRO as an Assistant Executive Engineer (Civil) in the Border Roads Engineering Service and was deployed for monitoring Casual Paid Labour (CPL) Quarantine Camp at Minamarg in Leh.

On June 22, 2020, the vehicle in which Mr. Ali was travelling, fell into a deep gorge and rolled into the fast flowing Drass river on Zojila-Kargil-Leh road. Nothing is known about him till now and his body also has not been recovered till now.

The parents have urged the court for a direction to the government to find their missing son and to direct BRO to provide financial assistance to them. The parents said prior to the filing of the petition, only a sum of ₹40,000 was received by them from BRO.

When the petition came up first before the High Court on April 15, 2021, BRO was directed to take a decision and make payment of whatever amount was deemed appropriate, to the family within four weeks.

Advocate Abhinav Garg, representing the family members, stated that in spite of the family member being in “dire financial straits” and in spite of the period of four weeks granted on April 15 being over, no payment whatsoever has been made.

“The aforesaid shows an absolutely callous approach of the officers concerned of the respondents BRO. The officers of the respondents BRO appear to feel no pain whatsoever for the families of the personnel employed in the respondents BRO,” the high court remarked.

“Almost one year has passed since the son of the petitioner has been missing. Till date, no payment save as aforesaid, has been made,” it said.

The high court warned that if the payment ordered to be made before June 15, 2021, is not done, “the incumbent occupying the post of Director General, BRO shall be personally liable for non-compliance”.



This article was originally published on The Hindu