HC issues contempt notice to Modi govt in 2002 riots case

Ahmedabad: The Narendra Modi government was today issued a contempt notice by the Gujarat High Court for not complying with its order regarding compensation to victims of the 2002 riots whose shops were destroyed.

A division bench of justices Akil Kureshi and CL Soni asked the Ahmedabad district collector to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated, based on a petition filed by 56 riot victims, whose shops were burnt down in the post-Godhra riots.

The collector has to file the reply by March 14.

The collector has to file the reply by March 14. Reuters

According the case details, 56 shops in Rakhial area of the city were set on fire during the post-Godhra riots in 2002. The shop owners had applied for compensation, after the Centre announced additional relief package for riot victims in February 2008.

However, there was no response from the Ahmedabad district collectorate, following which, the shop owners, through an NGO — Jan Sangarsh Manch, approached the high court seeking direction to the collector to consider their application and provide compensation.

Based on the application, the court had passed an order in September 2011, directing the collector to examine the application for compensation and do the needful.

According to the applicants, early this month, they received a communication from collector's office that all the 56 applications had been dismissed in August 2011 itself.

Based on this information, 56 shop owners have filed a contempt petition against the collector and the state government for not complying with the court order of examining that applications.

In the petition, they have contended that the collector's office did not provide full facts about the case to the court, as their applications were disposed in August 2011, but the order was passed in September 2011.

"This amounts to contempt of court so action should be taken against them," they have contended.

PTI

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