Mumbai News: HC Asks Govt To Consider Late Maj Anuj Sood’s Widow's Plea For Ex-Servicemen Benefits From State

Mumbai News: HC Asks Govt To Consider Late Maj Anuj Sood’s Widow's Plea For Ex-Servicemen Benefits From State

The HC was hearing a petition filed by Aakriti Sood seeking direction to the state government to grant ex-servicemen benefits.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, March 15, 2024, 09:44 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

Considering peculiar facts of the case, the Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra Government to take “appropriate decision”, in a plea filed by widow of late Major Anuj Sood seeking ex-servicemen benefits from the state.

The HC was hearing a petition filed by Aakriti Sood seeking direction to the state government to grant ex-servicemen benefits.

Anuj Sood, aged 30, sacrificed his life on May 2, 2020, while extracting civilian hostages from terrorist hideouts in Handwara, Jammu and Kashmir. In recognition of his extraordinary bravery, Sood was awarded the "Shaurya Chakra" by the President of India, effective from April 29, 2020.

She challenged the communication received from the government on August 26, 2020, denying benefits “the ground that Martyr Maj. Anuj Sood was not eligible for the claim as he was not fulfilling the condition of being born in the State of Maharashtra or residing in the State of Maharashtra, for the last 15 years”.

The plea contended that the family had been residing in Maharashtra for the last 15 years as wished by her late husband. She added that Sood always intended to reside in Pune, Maharashtra. Also, Sood was a Shourya Chakra holder, the widow was also entitled to a monthly allowance, the plea claimed.

The family was entitled to the ex-servicemen benefits as per the government resolutions dated August 2, 2019 and October 4, 2000.

Taking into account the specific circumstances of the case and without setting a precedent, the high court directed the state government to consider Aakriti’s representation as a special case.

“Having heard the learned counsel for the parties, considering the peculiar facts of the case and without the case being treated as a precedent, as a special case, we are of the opinion that an appropriate decision is required to be taken at the highest level. It is rightly suggested to us that the appropriate decision can only be taken by Respondent No.1 (State),” a bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla on Thursday.

The HC has kept the matter for hearing on January 28.

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