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HC asks Assam CS to file affidavit on disbursement of funds

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Guwahati, June 11: The Gauhati High Court has directed the chief secretary of Assam to file an affidavit indicating why funds have not been made available for disbursement of compensation to the victims under the Assam Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012, and the steps proposed to be taken to release the amount at the earliest.

The High Court’s directive came during a hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue of non-payment of compensation to the victims under the Assam Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012 on Monday.

The Court had, while passing an order on April 5, 2024, directed the Assam government to “come with a definite proposal for release of the requisite funds.”

“We are forced to make a comment that it is a very sorry state of affairs that the compensation is not being disbursed to the victims for lack of funds. The state is having its primary responsibility to provide funds for disbursement of compensation to the victims,” it had remarked.

However, on May 20, 2024, the counsel appearing for the state finance department, submitted that during a joint meeting held between the finance and law departments, it was agreed that the law department would submit a proposal regarding disbursement of the requisite funds to the victims under the scheme.

It was further submitted that after submission of the requisition from the law department, the finance department would consider the same and take effective steps for release of the requisite funds to be disbursed to the victims under the compensation scheme.

However, during the hearing on Monday, the counsel appearing for the Assam State Legal Services Authority (ASLSA) informed the court that against the demand of around Rs 44 crore, only Rs 9 crore has been provided under the Scheme of 2012.

“It appears that there is lack of coordination between the home and the finance department. In such circumstances, we are forced to direct the chief secretary to the state of Assam to file an affidavit indicating as to why required money has not been made available for disbursement of compensation to the victims under the Scheme of 2012 and the steps proposed to be taken to release the amount at the earliest. The said affidavit be filed by the next date of hearing (July 16, 2024),” the court said.

The Court further said that by the next date of hearing, with the coordination between the concerned departments, the state government shall come with a definite proposal for release of the requisite funds to be disbursed to the victims under the scheme.

 

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