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HC asks Maharashtra govt to compensate 2011 blasts victims by Nov 24

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court directed Maharashtra state government here today to pay compensation to the victims of the triple blasts of 2011 by November 24.

The government would also have to pay interest thereon at the rate of 18 per cent from September 2013 till September 2014 since it had failed to pay the compensation to the blast victims until the issue was brought to the notice of the court, the court said.

The bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Justice Girish Kulkarni also directed the Maharashtra government to issue a detailed list of victims of all bomb blast cases and Maoist attacks in the state, who have not been paid the compensation as stipulated under a Central Government scheme, by December.

"There was an inordinate delay in releasing compensation. Only after the petition was filed, did the state make payments to the next of kin of the victims," the judges said. "A complete neglect on the part of the state government officers is seen. As there is no explanation for the delay, the next of the kin of victims will have to be compensated by paying interest," the judges said.

The court gave this direction while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a jeweller from Zaveri Bazar, who pleaded that kin of four victims from Thane and Ulhasnagar have to be compensated as soon as possible. Advocate Rahul Kadam, said that families of Himmatbhai Gadia, Baburam Das and Bhupatbhai Navadia of Thane and Lalchand Ahuja of Ulhasnagar did not receive compensation till date.

There were others too, who never got compensated. Kadam also argued before the court that the central government scheme may not have been implemented properly and other blast victims may not have been compensated.The court also agreed with his statement and directed the Secretary for Relief and Rehabilitation to call for necessary data from all districts to ascertain if relief has been extended to all people.

A total of 26 people were killed and about 130 injured in co-ordinated explosions at Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar (West) in 2011.

In August, the High Court had directed the Thane Collector to pay compensation amount of Rs 3 lakh, announced by the central government to victims of the triple bomb blasts, within four weeks. However, four victims are still to be compensated.

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