Pay due damages to Nandigram victims: HC to WB

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Kolkata, Nov 16: Calcutta High Court today asked the West Bengal government to pay due compensation to the victims of the March 14 Nandigram firing.

It also asked the CBI to continue with the investigation into the incident in which 14 people had been killed and several injured.

A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Surinder Singh Nijjhar, directed the central investigating agency to file a report on the probe before the court in one month.

Even as the bench wrapped up the hearing on the PIL in the third week of July, it had reserved the verdict till today.

The bench ruled that the state government must pay a compensation of Rs five lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the firing, Rs one lakh each to the injured and Rs two lakh each to those raped during the carnage.

The HC also observed that it had a constitutional right to admit the case, which had been argued by state Advocate General Balai Roy.

The PIL was filed after the Chief Justice initiated a suo moto case a day after the incident, expressing concern over the law and order situation in Nandigram.

The court also held that the firing could not be justified.

The High Court Bar Association had also filed a PIL seeking CBI inquiry into the firing on the villagers, who were protesting against the government's proposal to set up an SEZ.

Earlier, the court had directed the CBI to investigate into the firing to which the agency had submitted a preliminary report. The report is, however, yet to be published.

After today's verdict, the Bar Association called off it's indefinte boycott of the court of the Chief Justice to protest the delay in delivering judgement.


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