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HC tells state to pay costs for adjournment to file affidavit

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Pulling up Maharashtra government for seeking adjournments on flimsy grounds, the Bombay High Court imposed costs of Rs. 25,000 on it, while hearing a PIL seeking compensation to kin of bomb blast victims.

The Chief Secretary of Maharashtra state, who was summoned by the court, did not turn up. The state also did not file an affidavit to inform whether there were pending cases in which compensation had not been paid to families of blasts victims.

As the public prosecutor sought time to file an affidavit, a bench comprising Justice Abhay Oka imposed costs on Maharashtra state government for seeking adjournment of hearing in the case on flimsy grounds.

The hearing was deferred till October 13 by the bench which criticised the state government for not filing the affidavit.

“We can understand that the Chief Secretary may be busy because elections are going to be held in the state but why has Maharashtra government chosen to seek adjournment to file an affidavit? Why did the state not file an affidavit today?” the bench asked.

“There is insensivity on the part of the state towards an important issue. The Chief Secretary could not come as he may be busy but why has the state failed to file an affidavit? This shows it is insensitive,” the judges said.

Earlier, hearing the PIL, the court had asked the state to authorise the Thane Collector to pay compensation to kin of four victims of bomb blasts which had taken place on July 13, 2011, in Zaveri Bazaar and other areas of the city. The Collector was asked to pay since the victims lived in Thane.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Prakash Seth, a jeweller in Zaveri Bazaar, who pleaded that kin of four people from Thane district who were killed in explosions may be compensated as soon as possible.

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