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HC seeks govt's reply on martyr status to farmer

HC seeks govt’s reply on martyr status to farmer

Delhi High Court today sought the city government’s response on its cabinet’s decision to accord “martyr” status to a Rajasthan farmer who had allegedly hung himself at an AAP rally here in April.

“What do you say,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the counsel for the Delhi government, after a copy of the cabinet decision was placed before the court by a petitioner advocate who has challenged it saying suicide was a crime and cannot be glorified.

The court also chided the AAP dispensation saying it was the petitioner, advocate Avadh Kaushik, who had submitted a copy of the April 28 cabinet decision, but not the government.

The incident had occurred during an Aam Aadmi Party rally against the Land Acquisition Bill on April 28 when the Rajasthan farmer, Gajendra Singh Kalyanwat, hung himself from a tree at the Jantar Mantar venue here.

The city government, represented by advocate Raman Duggal, said an FIR was lodged in the matter and probe was going on.

The court, however, asked the Delhi government to say whatever it has to on affidavit and listed the matter for further hearing on September 2.

During arguments, Kaushik contended that the farmer’s act of committing suicide cannot be glorified by granting him the status of a martyr as he had committed a crime.

The court on May 6 had sought the city government’s response on a PIL challenging its decision to declare Kalyanwat as a martyr.

The court’s order had come on the lawyer’s PIL who has also sought directions to restrain the Arvind Kejriwal government from installing a statue in memory of the farmer.

The PIL has sought directions restraining the government “from glorifying, justifying, supporting, propagating and consecrating the act of suicide committed by the politician- cum-farmer on April 22, 2015 at Jantar Mantar.

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