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HC admits contempt petition against Defence Ministry

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Mumbai, Feb 23 (UNI) Bombay High Court today admitted a petition against the Defence Ministry and the Centre, for not paying compensation to the widow of Rajendra Kankaria, who was shot dead by from the Sikh Regiment based in Pune in 1994.

The High Court had directed the Defence Ministry, vide its order of April 20, 2005, to pay a compensastion of Rs ten lakh to the widow, Lata Kankaria.

The petition alleged that the ministry had committed contempt of court by not complying with the order and has further said that Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee too is party to it.

According to her counsel Praful Shah, Lata has moved the High Court again since the compensation was not paid to her.

Lata's husband Rajendra Kankaria was fired upon, without provocation, by soldiers of Sikh Regiment based in Pune, while he was riding a scooter on Pune-Mumbai national high way in June, 1984.

As Kankaria died at the hands of the defence personnel, his wife Lata was given Rs 9,000 as initial compensation by defence ministry and was assured more after the formalities were completed.

As she failed to get the further promised compensation, she first moved the civil court in Pune in 1991. After it rejected her application, she filed an appeal in the High Court in 1997.

The High Court, in its April 2005 order, held that she was entitled to further compensation and ordered Ministry of Defence to pay her Rs 10 lakh plus interest at the rate of 9 per cent from 1991.

However, the ministry has not complied with the order and thus she has moved High Court again.

The matter will come up for hearing on March 14.

UNI XR-ARM KD MA GC2202

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