Govt pulled up for not honouring promise to kin of martyred officer

Not allotting plot to slain officer’s family was disrespecting his martyrdom: HC

It was shame that State government failed to provide the promised plot to the family of a martyred IFS officer even nearly 12 years after his death, Telangana High Court Chief Justice Hima Kohli said on Tuesday.

Observing that not finalising the allotment of plot to the officer’s family amounted to disrespecting his martyrdom, the CJ instructed the government to ensure the officer’s family secured the plot immediately. A division bench comprising the CJ and Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy was hearing contentions of government over a letter written by the martyred officer V. Venkateshwar Rao’s wife Malathi Rao. The letter was taken up as PIL petition by the HC.

Mr. Rao, an IFS officer of 1990 batch working as diplomat in Afghanistan, was killed in a terror attack outside his office in Kabul in 2008. On May 23, 2014, the then undivided Andhra Pradesh State government issued a GO allotting a plot of 475 square yards in Jubilee Hills to Mr. Rao’s family.

Subsequently, Hyderabad District Collector informed the martyr’s family that the said plot could not be allocated to her since the extent of land mentioned in the GO was 475 square yards but actual area of the plot was less. Revenue officials requested the late officer’s wife to visit the site and select another plot there. The officer’s family identified plot no. 53 in Bharani layout.

However, handing over of the plot to the officer’s family did not materialise. When the matter came up for hearing, the government counsel said that a plot admeasuring 411 square yards was available for allotment. Government Pleader C.V. Bhaskar Reddy said the government was ready to allot the plot of 411 square yards if the martyred officer’s wife places a request to that extent.

“She will not make a request… You will make a request… Ask your Revenue department officials to find her and approach her with that request,…” the CJ said. The CJ also made it clear that government should file an affidavit stating that no plot of 475 square yards was available at that site since the GO relating to plot allotment to the officer’s family was issued.

The matter was posted to July 29 for next hearing.

In a separate matter, Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili on Tuesday instructed the HC Registry to place before the court all records pertaining to a writ petition filed by TRS MLA from Vemulawada Chennamaneni Ramesh challenging order of Union Ministry of Home Affairs cancelling his Indian citizenship. The documents were required for final hearing of the matter, the judge said. The petition was posted to July 15 for final hearing.

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