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Six-month fiat to settle dues

Ranchi, Jan. 10: Jharkhand High Court today asked central and state governments to settle compensation applications from eligible next-of-kin of persons killed in Naxalite violence within six months.

The division bench of Chief Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh, hearing a petition filed by one Gopi Nath Ghosh, were told some applications were pending since over a decade.

In response, the bench ordered governments to ensure speedy disposal of compensation claims and money transfer to bereaved family members.

The bench asked the home secretary, director general of police, deputy commissioners and superintendents of police should circulate the order to subdivisions, blocks and thanas to follow the guidelines to select eligible beneficiaries.

Ghosh’s counsel A.K. Agarwal told the court: “In 2009-10, there were 64 cases of civilian deaths and injuries while the figure shot up to 96 in 2010-11.”

Agarwal added the central government has announced a package of Rs 3 lakh as compensation for deaths.

He added that the Jharkhand government scheme provides for Rs 1 lakh in the case of death, Rs 50,000 for permanent disability and Rs 10,000 for serious injury.

“The government needs to be more responsive towards the family members of victims of Naxalite violence. The eligibility criteria of beneficiaries should be checked immediately after applications are filed. The police FIR, post-mortem and permanent incapacitation certificates should be examined by the district committee headed by the deputy commissioner concerned,” the court observed.