2010 unrest: HC orders ex-gratia for 7 more families

2010 unrest: HC orders ex-gratia for 7 more families

Respondents are duty bound to pay the ex-gratia to other additional persons/ claimants in view of the order dated June 6, 2013.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the government to pay compensation to the families of seven persons killed in 2010 mass unrest. 

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front seeking judicial probe and compensation to the victim families, a division bench of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Janak Raj Kotwal held that the concerned authorities are duty bound to pay compensation to those victim families who have not been paid it so far. 

“Respondents are duty bound to pay the ex-gratia to other additional persons/ claimants in view of the order dated June 6, 2013,” the bench said.

The direction came following the submission of Assistant Solicitor General, S A Makroo, representing the central government. Seeking four weeks’ time to pay compensation to the kith and kin of seven persons, Advocate Makroo submitted that funds are not available with Ministry of Home at this stage and ‘it is for this reason that the matter has been taken up with Ministry of Finance.’

Makroo informed the court that Ministry of Home Affairs is examining the matter in consultation with Ministry of Finance.

About 130 civilians, mostly teenagers, were killed and hundreds of others injured in police and paramilitary CRPF firing on anti-India protests in Kashmir in the summer of 2010.

JKLF had identified 117 cases for compensation. Subsequently, the government had given status of 116 deaths out of those pointed out by the JKLF saying one case had been counted twice and in some cases, the “death was not due to the unrest.”

In the report it was clarified that out of 116 claimants (for grant of ex-gratia), the claim has been disbursed to 105 persons, and only the cases of 11 persons have been exempted for the reason that kith and kin were not killed in the civil disturbances from June 11 to September 25 2010.

Meanwhile, the court had directed that all the cases between January and December 2010 needed to be considered for compensation. However, the court had said it would not mean that those cases would also receive consideration who have died due to the reason other than civil disturbances.

Subsequently the government identified seven more cases for grant of the ex-gratia.

On Feb 6, 2013, the Court had directed the Central and State Government to explain whether the policy decision taken on September 19, 2010, regarding ex-gratia relief to the legal heirs of the victims was confined only to the death of civilians that occurred till October 10, 2010, or for a later period as well.

The supplementary affidavit filed by the state government had indicated that as per the decision of Cabinet Committee on Security an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh to a relative of deceased was to be granted. However the date of commencement for granting the relief was mentioned as June 11, 2010, and there was no closing date for it.

The Court had directed the governments to place on record copies of policy decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security on September 25, 2010, and subsequent decision taken on September 28, 2010. It had also asked the state government to constitute a committee for identifying the rightful claimants.