Chennai, July 22: The Madras High Court pulled up the Tamil Nadu government for 'administrative lapses' in attacks at three villages in Dharmapuri district in November 2012 reportedly by upper castes in connection with an honour killing and said the picture presented to it was not satisfactory.
The court said it wanted an affidavit to be filed with the signatures of the Secretary concerned, explaining the inquiry held to fix these lapses, who were found responsible and what was the nature of punishment given to those persons.
"We are sure that the period of four years would have been more than enough for completing this task," the First Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan said.
The bench made the observation while disposing of petitions by several persons, seeking relief in connection with the attacks on Dalit colonies at Dharmapuri on November 7, 2012 by uppercaste people, consequent to the death of the father of a girl who married a Dalit boy.
The boy later died mysteriously. "In a democratic country like ours, we are even unwilling to give the major boy and girl the right to determine whom they want to marry. Not only that, life and property are lost in the meaningless fury of one community against the other, reflecting a sorry state of affairs of the society," it said.
Divya, hailing from the Vanniar community, had married a Dalit, Ilavarasan, which was objected to by her father, who committed suicide. The incident triggered violence and 326 houses were burnt in Nathamkottai, Kondampatti and Annanagar villages in Dharmapuri district. Later, Ilavarasan was found dead near a railway track under mysterious circumstances.
In this connection, petitions and PILs were filed in the high court, seeking response from various departments of the central and and state government for suggestions to protect, rehabilitate and provide relief to those affected. Disposing of all petitions, the bench said a mindless frenzy had taken place, resulting in loss of large amount of property - 326 houses were stated to have been burnt down in three villages.
"If we may say, it amounted to complete collapse of administration," it said. The bench said a three pronged endeavour was required -- activation of criminal justice system, rehabiltation measures and pinpointing of responsibility for administrative lapses.
'Discrimination amounted to complete collapse of administration'
"Insofar as the first aspect is concerned, the learned Government Pleader (GP) states the final report will be filed in one month, investigation having been conducted by CB-CID," it said.
It noted the final report was not filed as there were interim directions by it, which, by consent, were now lifted. On rehabilitation, the petitioners' counsel said there are still deficiencies, which they would enlist and inform the GP. The bench referred to an SC order, which said there was nothing honourable in honour killing or other atrocities and in fact it was nothing but barbaric and shameful murder. It posted the matter for September 9 for compliance.