Most trusted Name in the NRI media
Serving over 22 millions NRIs worldwide


Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to pay a compensation
of Rs 1.23 lakh to 1984 victims

New Delhi, May 23, 2005

Holding the state liable for its failure to protect the life and liberty of citizens, the Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to pay a compensation of Rs 1.23 lakh each to all those who suffered injuries during the anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi here in 1984.

"It is the bounden duty and responsibility of the state to secure and safeguard the life and liberty of an individual from mob violence," Justice Gita Mittal said in her landmark judgment which would benefit about 2,800 Sikhs injured during the riots in the capital.

The court asked the Government to pay the compensation within a month to one Manjit Singh Sawhney, who was injured in an attack by an angry mob which killed seven others at Tuglaqabad Railway Station on November 1984.

It also asked the Centre to pay him an additional amount of Rs 11,000 as cost of protracted litigation that went on for four years in the High Court.

Most importantly, to secure parity among all those who suffered injuries during the riots and were given an ex-gratia amount of Rs 2,000 only, Justice Mittal ordered that they all be paid the enhanced amount.

It took note of the fact that in the case of Bhajan Kaur, who lost her husband on the same place during the riots, a general order was passed in July 1996 directing the Centre to pay the enhanced compensation in all similar cases.

he court calculated the compensation amount payable to the petitioner at Rs 75,000 with interest from the date of incident which was quantified at Rs 50,000. It deducted the Rs 2,000 already paid to him as ex-gratia to reach the final figure.

The Centre had contended that Sawhney could not be given a further amount as there was no FIR or other documentary proof of the incident and that he was discharged from the hospital very soon.

The incidents dates back to November 2, 1984 when a frenzied mob stopped a train at Tuglaqabad Railway Station here and pulled out petitoner Manjit Singh Sawhney, his sister and other Sikh passengers.

Seven persons were killed while Sawhney was battered by the mob which dumped him on the track thinking that he too had died.
Later, Armymen brought him to New Delhi from where he was shifted to LNJP Hospital. However, he got himself discharged from the hospital and went to look for his sister.

Terming the Centre's attempt to take advantage of his early discharge as "unfair" and "insensitive", the court said "concern for his missing sister outweiged all concerns of his own injuries...." The court took exception to the fact that the Government did not have any records relating to the petition.

Noting that the cases relating to prosecution of those allegedly involved in the riots were still pending in courts, Justice Mittal lamented that "there has been little success at bringing the guilty to book and this has only coumpounded the hopelessness in the minds of the victims


Any comments on this article or you have any news: Click here