Jobs to kin of war heroes: Punjab removes anomaly affecting peace time medals

The rectification of the anomaly remained pending with the government since 2017

Jobs to kin of war heroes: Punjab removes anomaly affecting peace time medals

Photo for representation only. Source: iStock.

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 24

In a move that resolves a long pending anomaly related to grant of benefits to the kin of posthumously decorated armed forces personnel, the Punjab Government has extended the benefits to the families of those awarded peace time gallantry medals before 2017.

The state government had instituted an “Honour and Gratitude” policy in 2000, offering government jobs to families of posthumous gallantry awardees as per their qualifications.

However, due to an oversight, the policy had only included war-time gallantry awards and had left out peace time awards even if those happened to be higher in precedence. 

Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra, are classified as war-time medals and are awarded for gallantry in the face of the enemy, while Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra are peace time medals for acts of courage other than in the face of the enemy.

The policy was finally rectified in the year 2017, but the authorities concerned had interpreted the amendment to mean that family members of only those personnel would be eligible who were awarded after the year 2017 whereas the original policy of the year 2000 did not contain any such cut-off date.

The rectification of the anomaly remained pending with the government since 2017.

In December 2020, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the government to take appropriate measures and introduce clarity in the policy within a period of three months.

The fresh policy issued this week now includes all ‘Chakra’ series awards in its ambit without any cut-off provision as to the date of the award. The applicant, however, needs to be within the prescribed age limits for the job that he or she is applying for.

Sources familiar with the matter said that although the number of affected applicants may not be very high, the rectification of the anomaly is a huge morale booster both for past and future cases and indicates the commitment of the government in resolving such issues, adding that the policy was amended well before the time provided by the High Court. 

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