Monday, February 14, 2011

State govt can’t give jobs to kin of riot victims: HC

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Monday refused to direct the state government to provide jobs to kin of the 2002 riots victims on ground of compassion. Ensuring that the riot-affected get jobs is part of the Centre’s rehabilitation programme. The high court ordered that it cannot pass any order or express any opinion in this regard because it is not a matter of state government’s discretion. The court reached this conclusion after the state government reiterated its stand on the issue.

One of the components of the rehabilitation package, apart from the monitory compensation, is to offer government jobs to the kin of riot victims. Petitioner Gagan Sethi’s counsel Amit Panchal has time and again raised the issue saying compassionate appointments are an important aspect of rehabilitation. State government pleader Prakash Jani informed the court that providing jobs does not fall under its jurisdiction, and hence the government cannot give jobs on this ground. Moreover, the riot-affected people have been compensated in monitory terms by the state government as well as the Centre. An affidavit filed by the state government also raises question on how many times the Centre has given co-mpensatory appointments after making the rehabilitation programme in 2007.

However,the high court directed the state government to expedite disbursement of Rs 85.75 crore towards compensation for damage to uninsured commercial and industrial property in the 2002 riots. Earlier, upon the HC’s order, state government disbursed Rs 262.44 crore given by the Centre among the riots victims.

After state government disbursed Rs 262 crore, the petitioner raised the issue of compensating uninsured commercial property. Another petitioner wanted compensation for women who were sexually assaulted during the riots. But this demand was rejected.

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