SC Flays UP Govt for Muzzafarnagar Riots
In a major embarrassment to the Akhilesh Yadav government in UP, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that it was prima facie responsible for negligence in preventing communal violence in Muzaffarnagar and the adjoining areas, but refused to direct a CBI or SIT probe into the cases.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said that the incidents of communal clashes and subsequent violence could have been prevented by the state government if the intelligence agencies had detected these problems.
“Had the Central and State intelligence agencies smelt these problems in advance and alerted the district administration, the unfortunate incidents could have been prevented. Thus, we prima facie hold the state government responsible for being negligent at the initial stage in not anticipating the communal violence and for taking necessary steps for its prevention,” it said.
The Bench directed the government to pay compensation of `15 lakh to the family members of those who lost their lives and `5 lakh to rape victims. The court passed a slew of directions for proper investigation in the cases and directed the government to bring to book all accused irrespective of their caste, religion and political affiliation.The court said that the CBI or SIT probe cannot be directed at this stage in view of the various steps taken by the state government including the setting up of a special investigation cell. “However, we are conscious of the fact that more effective and stringent measures are to be taken by the state administration for which we are issuing several directions,” it said.
The court said the security cover provided to rape victims shall continue till they desire or the completion of the trial, whichever is later.