SC panel for court directives to address civil society interference in Manipur compensation distribution

At least 38 families have rejected the Rs 10 lakh compensation in Manipur violence; the ex-gratia compensation has been successfully provided in only 73 cases

SC panel says civil society organisations ‘obstructing’ Manipur compensation distribution process (photo: Getty Images)
SC panel says civil society organisations ‘obstructing’ Manipur compensation distribution process (photo: Getty Images)

NH Digital

In the aftermath of ethnic violence in Manipur, where at least 38 families have refused the government's Rs 10 lakh compensation, the Supreme Court-appointed panel is navigating obstacles in the disbursement process.

The panel, led by former Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Gita Mittal, which includes former Bombay High Court Judge, Justice Shalini P Joshi, and former Delhi High Court Judge, Justice Asha Menon, submitted its 14th report on 21 October, outlining the complexities faced in providing humanitarian assistance.

The committee, established by the Supreme Court (SC) to examine the humanitarian aspects of the ethnic violence, has brought forth concerns about interference from civil society organisations. The panel is reported to have sought court directions to "prohibit" such organisations from "interfering with and/or obstructing" the compensation distribution process.

While the district administration is actively engaged in persuading the affected families to accept the compensation, the committee's request for legal directives underscores the challenges encountered. The families' refusal, which stands at 38, has been attributed to alleged pressure from civil society organisations such as ITLF, JPO, KIM, among others.

The Manipur government had announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh for families affected by the violence since 3 May. However, the compensation process has hit roadblocks, prompting the panel to seek court intervention to streamline the disbursement.

The committee's 14th report, submitted on 21October, also indicates that, as per state government records, 175 deaths had been reported till 7 October, with victims identified in 169 cases. Of these, ex-gratia compensation has been successfully provided in 73 cases through direct benefit transfer. However, in the remaining 96 cases, verification is pending, and 38 families have expressed their unwillingness to receive assistance.

The upcoming hearing on 4 December, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, will play a crucial role in determining the legal course of action. The panel's endeavor to address civil society interference seeks to ensure a smooth and equitable compensation distribution process for the affected families in Manipur.

With Inputs from Indian Express

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