The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Maharashtra government to inform it whether compensation has been paid to the legal heirs of 168 people, who were listed as missing during the 1992-93 communal riots in Mumbai.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, AS Oka and Vikram Nath asked whether these 168 people were included among the 900 identified victims.
It further asked the State government to apprise it whether any compensation was paid for the loss of property, when was the compensation paid and the time lag between the date of the incident and payment of compensation.
The top court asked the government to file its affidavit within two weeks. The bench was hearing a plea which has raised the issue relating to the payment of compensation to the victims of the Mumbai riots.
During the hearing, the top court observed that as per the chart placed before it, 900 people have died in the violence.
It said, “168 persons have gone missing. After completion of seven years, their families must get compensation.”
The Supreme Court said the other two issues raised before it, one is there must be adequate compensation taking into context the time period and in the matters where police officers are involved, and second is every endeavour should be made to have an independent investigation.
In February 2020, the apex court had asked the Maharashtra government to inform it of the action taken against the police officers who were allegedly indicted by the Commission of Inquiry that probed the Mumbai riots, while taking into note that the commission headed by Justice BN Srikrishna, retired Supreme Court judge, had filed its report in 1998.
Justice Srikrishna was appointed head of the Commission to inquire December 1992 to January 1993 riots that shook Mumbai when he was a sitting judge of the Bombay high court.
The Commission report, submitted in April 1998, had indicted leaders of some political parties and police officers.
The pleas pending before the top court also sought direction for the implementation of the recommendations made in the Justice Srikrishna Commission report.