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Over 400 N-E Delhi riots victims look to move court for compensation amount

New Delhi: More than 400 victims of the north-east Delhi riots have now decided to approach the Delhi High Court with petitions to expedite their compensation requests, citing that they have either not received the compensation funds as mandated by the Delhi government or have received only a small part of the funds. Several of these victims who have not received any compensation have already filed their petitions in the Delhi High Court.

In one such case, a petition stating the case of a victim who had been shot during the riots had said, "Petitioner filed compensation from under the scheme in the first week of March 2020. Till date, no compensation (interim/final) has been paid to the petitioner."

Justice Pratibha M Singh, in this case, said that the petitioner's application should be processed expeditiously. "There is no doubt that the petitioner has suffered a serious injury. There is no reason for any delay in releasing the compensation. Accordingly, it is directed that the Petitioner's application may be processed in accordance with the requisite procedure and upon satisfaction, compensation in terms of the scheme shall be released to the petitioner within a period of ten days from today," said Justice Singh in her order.

The order said that if the SDM office finds a deficiency in the petitioner's application, the same shall be communicated by July 10. The matter was argued by Mr. Rajshekhar Rao and the Petition was filed by advocates Aanchal Tikmani and Mishika Singh.

However, many other victims have claimed that their application for compensation was not accepted irrespective of whether they filed online or physically. The Delhi government has said that the applications had been received and shall be released as stipulated in the scheme.

In one such case, where the victim was left homeless and jobless and did not receive the compensation, was left helpless since the lockdown was imposed. The petition was filed by the same lawyers adding that the victim was not present during the riots but their house was looted and destroyed. Due to the lockdown, the petitioners were unable to file the claim for their compensation.

"Since the lockdown, SDM offices have been shut, which further delayed the compensation process. Many victims have been waiting for their compensation. Another problem was soon after things simmered many victims went back home and very few were here. Post lockdown when they came back, many faced the compensation problem," one of the victims' lawyers told Millennium Post.

The Delhi government had announced that a compensation of Rs 10 lakh would be provided to the kin of the deceased, Rs 5 lakh for permanent disability due to injury, Rs 20,000 for minor injuries and Rs 5 lakh for the damage in case of residential units, among other categories.

The lawyers who filed the petition have received about 450 cases from those who are still awaiting the compensation or have received half the said compensation.

They added that because the number of victims waiting to file petitions is so high, they are awaiting parity orders so that their cases can be heard by the court.

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