March 14 Nandigram firing unjustified : HC

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Kolkata, Nov 16 (UNI) Calcutta High Court today held that the March 14 firing in Nandigram, which claimed 14 lives, was unjustified and asked the West Bengal government to pay due compensation to the victims.

A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Surinder Singh Nijjhar, also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation, probing the incident in which several people were also injured, to file a report before the court in one month.

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

The court 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 victims of rape during the carnage.

It also observed that the court 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 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 indefinite boycott of the court of the Chief Justice to protest the delay in delivering judgement.

UNI

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