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HC for policy to compensate terror victims’ families

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday suggested the Centre to come out with a policy to adequately compensate families of those killed in terror attacks instead of paying a standard amount by way of ex-gratia.

A division bench comprising Justices Abhay Oka and AS Chandurkar asked the Union government to file a fresh affidavit by July 30 detailing steps it intended to take to compensate the victims’ families.

The court’s order came after the Union government, in an affidavit, said it has come out with a circular under which an ex-gratia payment of Rs. four lakh would be made to such families. While the Centre would pay Rs three lakh, the remaining would be contributed by the respective state governments.

The bench also asked Advocate General Darius Khambata to appear in the matter to assist the court. The court was hearing a PIL filed by Rajeshwar Panchal, an advocate, who sought a just and fair amount to be given as compensation to the families of people killed in terror attacks.

Panchal argued that the income of the deceased, the social status of the family and the number of dependents needed to be taken into account to determine the compensation.

He said Motor Vehicles Act and Workmen’s compensation Act laid down a formula to arrive at such a compensation. The High Court had earlier observed that giving suitable compensation to the victims of terror attacks or blasts is a liability of the state and such relief cannot be ex-gratia (done from a sense of moral obligation rather than because of any legal requirement).

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