CHENNAI: THE State government was directed by the Madras High Court to pay a compensation of `10 lakh to a man, who was 44-year-old at the time of incident, who lost sight in his left eye during the violence that followed the arrest of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on June 30, 2001.
It is the duty of the State to maintain law and order and it is also under obligation to protect the life and property of the citizens and when life and property is taken away under the guise of hartal or bandh by any individual or organisation, the State is under mandate to compensate the victim by granting adequate and reasonable compensation. A presumption arises on the leader of the State to protect the life and property of the citizens as and when it is taken away, Justice M Sathyanarayanan said on Tuesday.
The judge was partly allowing a writ petition from S Krishnaswamy, the victim in the case, a native of Coimbatore but was working as a computer operator in a private firm in Madurai. The relief has come after 15 years to the victim, who was 44 years at the time of the incident.
Since the petitioner was very well aware of the consequences of undertaking the journey during a bandh, the act of some miscreants throwing stones was an accidental one, for which the officials could not be held responsible and the petitioner cannot claim compensation against the government, the government submitted.
Rejecting the submission, the judge said that the materials placed before the court clearly revealed that the State had given an assurance that on the eve of bandh, normal life would not be paralysed and essential services would be properly maintained. Based on that assurance, the petitioner undertook the journey and on account of stone-throwing by two persons, he suffered grievous injuries which led to the loss of vision on his left eye, broken jaws and blood clots for which he had undergone surgeries and incurred medical expenses and was also put to grave hardship, mental agony, pain and suffering.
The prosecution launched by the State against two persons, who had caused the injury, has ended in acquittal and the State did not evince any interest in challenging the said order of acquittal passed by the trial court.