Thursday, February 29, 2024

Manipur tells Supreme Court it released Rs 5 crore to Women Victims Compensation Fund

The Supreme Court was informed by the State of Manipur that it has disbursed Rs 5 crore to the Women Victims Compensation Fund which was created to compensate women victims of sectarian strife which rocked the State earlier this year. 

A bench comprising Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra had asked the State government to furnish a fresh status report indicating the compensation awarded to women affected by violence, the number of Aadhar cards issued, access to justice, among other heads. 

The Court was hearing a batch of pleas related to the ongoing outbreak of violence in Manipur.

Pursuant to the Court’s directions, a status report was submitted on November 19 which states: “Women Victims Compensation Fund had already been created for disbursement of compensation under the Manipur Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes, 2023. An amount of Rs 5 crores had been credited to their dedicated Bank Account operated by Member Secretary, MASLSA for releasing of compensation by Manipur State Legal Services Authority/District Collectors/competent authorities.”

Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for one of the petitioners, had contended that lawyers from a particular community were being prevented from appearing in person before the High Court. 

In response to this, the State has submitted that the High Court of Manipur has issued a notification “identifying 16 locations as e-sewa kendras to facilitate appearance before the High Court by virtual mode”. 

It has also been submitted that High Court Bar Association has made a statement that “no lawyer is being denied access to court proceedings at all”.

During the last hearing, CJI Chandrachud had expressed concern over illegal entrants to the State and emphasized the importance of verification. Accordingly, the Bench had directed that Aadhaar cards should be provided to all displaced persons whose records are available with the Unique Identification Authority of India after verification.

The State of Manipur has now informed the top court that “so far 3,928 Aadhaar cards have been recreated for people staying in relief camps by opening special Aadhaar camps”.


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