MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered the Madurai Collector to disburse Rs 60,000 each as compensation to the Dalits affected in the Uthapuram caste clash.
Disposing the case, a division bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and N Kirubakaran said the relief should be distributed in the office of the Tamil Nadu Legal Services Authority (TNLSA), Madurai, and not Collectorate, within a week. The bench further also ordered the district administration not to deduct the amount already given as interim relief.
The State government, had issued an order dated January 20, 2016, to provide compensation to the tune of Rs 1,14,60,000 to 191 victims, after the court sought an explanation from the district administration based on a contempt petition filed by the All India Women Democratic Association (AIDWA) for failing to implement the court order.
When the case came up for hearing on Wednesday, advocate U Nirmala Rani, representing the petitioner, said compensation was not calculated as per the central government gazette notification on the relief to be given to the SC/ST communities. Instead, the government announced that it would provide Rs 60,000 uniformly to all the affected Dalits irrespective of the magnitude of injuries they suffered due to the lathicharge by the police during the clash.
“They were ready to accept the compensation but the district administration should not deduct the amount already given as interim compensation,” she said
Ordering that the interim relief should not be deducted from the final compensation, the division bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and N Kirubakaran asked the collector to add eight more victims who the petitioner claimed were left out in the list.
And, this takes the number of victims eligible for compensation to 199.
When the Special Government Pleader M Alagudevan said that it was not possible to give away the full amount immediately, the two-memberbench ordered the district administration to disburse the funds available with it as of now and later send a proposal to the government to avail the remaining sum for disbursal.