SC Manipur committee wants hike in victim aid

The Asian Age With Agency Inputs

India, All India

On August 7, SC ordered the establishment of a committee to oversee relief, rehabilitation, and compensation for victims

Supreme Court (PTI)

NEW DELHI: A panel led by former high court judge Gital Mittal, tasked with overseeing relief and rehabilitation for victims of violence in Manipur, submitted three reports to the Supreme Court on Monday. One of these reports addresses the need to enhance the compensation scheme for the people of the strife-torn state.

The Supreme Court announced that it will issue orders on Friday to facilitate the operation of this three-member panel. The bench, consisting of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justices J.B. Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, instructed that copies of the three reports should be provided to all relevant lawyers. Advocate Vrinda Grover, representing one of the victims, was directed to gather suggestions for the panel.

The bench also noted that the committee led by Justice Mittal had submitted three reports, which touched upon issues like document loss and the necessity to upgrade the Manipur compensation scheme, aligning it with the National Legal Services Authority policy.

According to the bench, "The reports submitted by the Justice Mittal-led committee show that essential documents need to be re-issued, and the Manipur victim compensation scheme needs an upgrade. A nodal administration expert should be appointed."

On August 7, the Supreme Court ordered the establishment of a committee comprising three former women high court judges to oversee relief, rehabilitation, and compensation for victims, as well as the monitoring of criminal cases by former Maharashtra police chief Dattatray Padsalgikar. The court had specified that the panel would directly submit reports to it.

The bench clarified that the committee would be chaired by former Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Mittal, with Justices Shalini P. Joshi, a former judge of the Bombay High Court, and Asha Menon, an ex-judge of the Delhi High Court, as members.

The court had earlier stated, "We will appoint a committee of three former high court judges," and had listed the issues the panel would address, including relief, remedial measures, rehabilitation, compensation, and the restoration of homes and places of worship.

Additionally, the bench indicated that the committee of judges would visit relief camps to assess the conditions there. The bench is currently hearing approximately ten petitions related to the escalating violence in Manipur, including those seeking a court-monitored probe into the cases and measures for relief and rehabilitation.

Since ethnic violence erupted in the state on May 3 during a 'Tribal Solidarity March,' where the hill districts protested against the majority Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status, more than 160 people have lost their lives, and several hundred have been injured.

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