AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Wednesday sought an explanation from the Gujarat government on why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against for not complying with a court order on compensating a group of 2002 riot victims.
A group of shop keepers , whose businesses were torched in the 2002 riots in Rakhial area, filed the contempt petition against government authorities for not responding to their request for compensation. The bench of justices Akil Kureshi and C L Soni has kept further hearing on March 14.
The 56 people applied for compensation for their uninsured shops in May last year after the high court ordered the government to pay the amount as per the Centre's policy announced in 2007, which gave the victims nine times more compensation then that of the state government. Their names did not figure in list of beneficiaries in 2002, and hence they were not covered in the scheme. They approached the court through civil rights organization Jan Sangharsh Manch after the district collector did not respond to their representations. The high court asked the district collector on September 15 last year to decide on the list of riot victims who claimed damages and pay compensation accordingly.
"In reply to our legal notice , the government revealed that the representation for compensation was dismissed in August last year. But none of the claimants had any intimation about this. Therefore we filed a contempt petition," said their counsel Utpala Bora. As per the 2007 circular by the Centre to pay ex-gratia amount to the riots victims, the state and central governments have paid Rs 83.68 crore in 19 ,373 different cases of damage to commercial properties. The state government also told HC in November last year that it has not paid Rs 2 crore towards compensation in 355 cases for various reasons.
|SOURCE: The Times of India|