Moga molestation: High court questions government on relief

Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday questioned the Punjab government on compensation and job assurance to the family of a 13-year-old girl who was molested and thrown out of a moving bus near Moga town.

The bus was owned by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's Orbit Aviation transport company.

The girl died while her mother, who was also molested, was seriously injured.

At the very onset, a division bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Lisa Gill referred to certain media reports on compensation and assurance of job to the victim's family.

In response, advocate general Ashok Aggarwal read out an affidavit filed by the director general of police before contending that the amount was not being paid by the state, but by the Orbit company.

Taking note of his assertion, the bench asked the advocate general to file an affidavit in this regard.

Amicus curie S.C. Arora, while referring to newspaper reports, said 25 percent of private buses were plying illegally without permits.

He also asked the court to direct the state to furnish information on the issue.

The bench, however, didn't pass any order to this effect.

It listed the matter for next hearing on July 30.

Harcharan Bains, advisor to the chief minister on national affairs and media, had said on May 3 that Orbit Aviation company would pay the Rs.24 lakh compensation announced by the state government for the family of the victim.

He said the bus company would deposit the amount in the account of the Moga district Red Cross, which would in turn issue a cheque to the aggrieved family.

The state government has also decided to offer a job to one of the family members of the victim in the government, a board or a corporation.

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