High Court awards Rs 5 lakh compensation to victims
By Express News Service - CUTTACK
21st November 2012 12:44 PM
The Orissa High Court on Tuesday directed the State Government to pay Rs 5 lakh each as compensation to the families of seven children who had died in a wall collapse at Suansahi Anganwadi Centre in Nayagarh district on July 9.
Disposing of two PILs filed by Committee for Legal Aid to Poor (CLAP) president Bikash Das and rights activist Prabir Das, a division bench comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice B N Mohapatra directed the State Government to ensure completion of payment of the compensation amount after deducting the interim award within four weeks.
If the State Government failed to pay the amount within the stipulated time, it will have to bear a 6 per cent interest per annum till the date of payment. The State will also bear the medical expenses of all the children who were injured in the incident.
The bench had earlier directed the Government to pay Rs 1 lakh more in addition to the Rs 2.10 lakh paid by it to the families of the victims. The Government had complied with the directions.
The court also directed the Government to develop and fix the system of accountability in the department while managing the ICDS Centres.
Adequate steps should be taken to prevent such incidents in future. The State is directed to take proper action against its functionaries, who are responsible for this shocking incident in accordance with law. It is further instructed to bear all the medical expenses of the injured children, the bench ruled.
The petitioners had sought Rs 10 lakh compensation for each family of the victims along with fixing of accountability on the erring officials and staff of the department. The CLAP had called for a quick review of the conditions of the buildings and shelters in which the Anganwadi centres were functioning.
It had sought immediate detection of unsafe buildings and making alternative arrangements for the children.
The organisation, in its petition, had also prayed for constitution of a task force comprising Government and civil society representatives to review the situation and devise effective plans for infrastructure development of the Anganwadi centres. Along with appropriate infrastructure, proper physical environment should also be provided to aid the learning and growth of the children, the petitioner had submitted.
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