KOCHI: The High Court on Monday directed the Centre to take a decision on providing compensation to the victims of Emergency within six months.The order came on a petition filed by 67-year-old Vaikom Gopakumar and 39 others saying they had suffered during the Emergency imposed between June 25, 1975 and March 21, 1977.
The petitioners had sought a directive to the Centre for declaring the fight against Emergency as the second freedom struggle and its participants as freedom fighters.
General P Vijay Kumar’s argued granting compensation or pension to Emergency victims came under Centre’s purview and the court could not issue such an order. To this, Justice A Muhammed Mustaque replied while Kumar was right in his submission, the plight of the victims could not be overlooked.
“The manner in which the issue has to be addressed is purely within the Centre’s domain,” the court observed. If the petitioners submit a representation with the Centre, it should be taken to its logical conclusion within six months, the court said.