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Madras High Court seeks plan to pay uniform relief for public place mishaps

Tamil Nadu Govt criticised for settlements based on extraneous, political considerations

Madras High Court seeks plan to pay uniform relief for public place mishaps
Madras High Court (File Photo)


The compensation paid to the kin of those who die in accidents that occur in public places was decided on the basis of extraneous and political considerations, criticized the Madras High Court, directing the State government to formulate guidelines to pay uniform compensation to the families.

During the hearing of a batch of writ pleas by petitioners who lost their family members seeking a direction to the government to extend proper ex-gratia, their counsel M Sriram said the authorities did not consider the applications submitted by the kin. “Authorities were insensitive while responding to the families,” he added.

Recording this, Justice SM Subramaniam said the compensation granted to the victims’ kin was inconsistent and varied from case to case. 

When Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram submitted that the government had issued an order on September 18, 2018, stating that Rs 1 lakh compensation would be provided to the victims’ families, the court noted that there was a wide range of discrimination by the government in settling compensation for the victims’ families. 

“The compensations are quantified and settled in an inconsistent manner and based on several other extraneous and political considerations,” Justice Subramaniam said in his order, adding that the basis for determining the quantum of compensation was ‘absolutely unexplained’ and remained a mystery.

The judge then granted the government eight weeks to come out with a policy to decide on the quantum of compensation to the kin of those who die in accidents occurring in public places, and directed the petitioners to file their applications for compensation within 12 weeks. 

“Payment of compensation/ex gratia by the government is not a bar for the eligible victims to claim insurance benefits and compensations under various other welfare legislation,” he added.

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