Dead man comes back home, admin demands relief money
BAREILLY: A 28-year-old mentally challenged man, who was thought to have died near a railway crossing at Fatehganj two years ago, walked back home on Friday, bringing tears of happiness to his older brother and aged mother.
After recovering from the initial shock, his relatives began celebrations in earnest, but the administration, which also heard about the news, is now planning to ask his family members to give back Rs 5 lakh handed over as compensation under the state government’s Krishak Durghatna Bima Yajna, also called Farmers Accident Insurance Scheme.
As per reports, 28-year old Krishan Pal alias Kaloo, a resident of Beharipur village under Fatehganj, went missing from his home in January 2013.
His family members, fearing the worst, tried hard to trace him and after being unable to find him, filed a missing persons complaint with the police.
A few days later, dead body of a person was found at Dhaneta railway crossing. The head of the body was missing, but family members, during identification process by police, identified it to be of Krishan Pal and thereafter performed his last rites too.
Later, Pal’s mother, Kamla Devi, applied for KDBY under which she was provided with insured amount of Rs 5 lakh by local administration officials.
Talking to TOI, SDM Kuwar Pankaj said, “After his family members completed all the legal formalities, the insurance amount was given to them under KDBY. However, now, as the man has returned alive, they will be asked to reimburse the amount. They have agreed for this.”
After recovering from the initial shock, an emotional Kamla Devi said she would pay back the entire amount at the earliest. “My son is more valuable for me than Rs 5 lakh given by local administrative officials. We will certainly pay back the whole amount at the earliest. We are trying to selling 1-2 bigha of our land to raise the money and talks in this regard are on.”
When asked if she would appeal for an exemption, Devi refused outright, saying that they would be able to pay the money.
Pal’s elder brother Bhupal added that on the body found at Dhaneta railway crossing, ‘Krishna Pal’ was written on the hand, which had led them to believe that Pal was dead. “Now that he has returned, local officials have asked us to reimburse the amount that was paid to us under KDBY which we are trying to do at the earliest.”
Meanwhile, principal of private law college and member of legal aid clinic in city, Dr Ravi Bhatnagar said, “It is a case of mistaken identity and the law clearly states that the family which was facilitated by the scheme should come forward to reimburse the whole amount given to them on the basis of the death of the family member which was verified by local administrative officials at the time it was given to them. If the family members are not willing to reimburse the amount, as per law, officials can recover the amount under land revenue recovery, as per which where family members will also be charged interest rate.”
He added that in some such cases, it is not possible for family members to reimburse the whole amount in one go. “After submitting an affidavit, they can opt to pay in installments as per administrative settlement between both parties. The government has its right reserved on exemption of family members from reimbursement of the amount too,” Bhatnagar said.
He added that DNA sampling should be conducted whenever a dead body is found to avoid confusion, but this is usually not the case, leading to such instances.