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Allahabad High Court asks Hathras case lawyers to list facilities provided to victim’s family

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The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday asked the advocates associated with the Hathras case to address the court on the next hearing about facilities provided to the family and the facilities that can be given to them under the law.

The Division Bench of Justice Rajan Roy and Jaspreet Singh passed this order on a PIL titled Right to decent and dignified last rites/cremate by suo moto cognizance in the Hathras case. The petition said that one of the issues which arise for consideration at this stage pertains to the benefits made available to the victim and/or her family as per the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

In the context the court have been informed by Seema Kushwaha, advocate that an amount of Rs 25 lakh has been paid to the victim’s family, however, Amicus Curiae and also Kushwaha have invited the court’s attention to Rule 12 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, specifically sub-Rule (4) thereof the said Rules which prescribe relief in cash or in kind or both, to be extended within 7 days, to the victims of atrocity, their family members and dependents according to the scale as provided in the said petition.

The petition refers to norms for relief amount. The counsel contend that it is to be considered as to whether the various reliefs provided in the said petition are to be added so as to arrive at the final sum payable to the victim or her family in terms of money or they are exclusive.

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The Court noted that, moreover, it is also an issue to be considered as to the scope which includes payment of a basic pension to the widow or other dependents of the deceased person belonging to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe amounting to Rs. 5000.00 per month as applicable to a government servant of the concerned State Government or Union Territory Administration, with admissible dearness allowance and employment to one member of the family of the deceased, and provision of agricultural land, a house, if necessary by outright purchase; full cost of education upto Graduation level etc. and provision of utensils, rice, wheat, pulses etc. for a period of three months.

It is in the context that a lot of emphasis was laid that a house and employment as envisaged under the aforesaid provisions have not been provided, as is mandatory, nor has the pension been provided.

“Let the Amicus Curiae as also other counsels appearing for the victim’s family and for the State etc. address the Court on these aspects relating to the benefits to which the victim’s family is entitled under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and Rules made thereunder as also the benefits which have already been made available to them,”

-the Court ordered.

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on September 24.

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