HC imposes Rs 25,000 fine on Maha govt for failing to compensate 2011 blast victims

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Bombay High Court
Bombay, Oct 8: The Bombay High Court imposed a fine of Rs 25, 000 on Maharashtra government in contempt of Court's earlier order to disburse compensation to the kin of those killed in the 2011 serial blasts in Bombay. The High Court has directed the state Government that the money should be paid to the petitioner latest by Monday next i.e., October 13.

The HC took this action in response to a petition filed by Prakash Seth, a jeweller in Zaveri Bazaar. In his petition he has said that the kin of the four persons from Thane who were killed in the blast were not given the allotted compensation.

A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and Girish Kulkarni directed the state to pay the amount by October 13 and posted the hearing of the public interest litigation (PIL) till then.

"The first order was passed on August 12. Why there was so much delay? And notwithstanding the contempt notice, why is the chief secretary not present?" the court asked additional public prosecutor Abhinandan Vagyani.

Earlier the Court had said, "We direct the state government to pay compensation by September 17 to the four victims of bomb blasts that occurred on July 13, 2011 in Zaveri Bazaar and other areas of the city," said a division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka. The judges also issued a contempt notice against the chief secretary to Maharashtra government for not paying compensation despite an order of the high court on August 12.

"This is a fit case to impose costs. There is gross insensitivity and default shown by the state," the court said. "Though we pass orders, the state does not comply. This is how the state makes us helpless," the court said while imposing fine on the state Government.

As per a DNA report, the bench, in its order also observed, "The government is consistently not following court orders. The present matter is (a) very serious one... We want to see if other victims of blast are compensated, but the court has not filed any affidavit to the same. The petitioners have raised a very important issue... this needs to be taken seriously by the government."

The Centre generally gives Rs 3 lakh in compensation to families of victims who are killed in blasts. It informs the concerned state government to make such payment and the latter in turn authorises the Collector to pay compensation. In this case, the Collector of Thane said that he was not yet authorised by the state to pay the compensation and therefore such payment could not be made by his office to the kin of the blast victims.

The 2011 triple blast in Mumbai was a series of three coordinated bomb explosions at different locations in Mumbai on 13 July 2011. The blasts occurred at the Opera House, at Zaveri Bazaar and at Dadar West localities leaving 26 killed and 130 injured.

OneIndia News

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