Andhra High Court recalls order on compensation to Muslim youth

Hyderabad, Sep 19 : Andhra Pradesh High Court Thursday recalled its earlier orders setting aside the government order to pay compensation to Muslim youth wrongly arrested in 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blasts case.

A division bench of Chief Justice Kalyan Jyothi Sen Gupta and Justice K.C. Bhanu stayed its orders till the people who received compensation from the state government are heard.

The court directed issuance of notices to those people who got compensation from the government after they were discharged from the case and adjourned the hearing by two weeks.

The bench observed that since the people who received the compensation were the affected parties, they need to be heard before passing the final orders.

The court on Sep 15 had set aside the government order and directed the government to recover the money already paid to some people. Dealing with a petition filed by a lawyer, it had ruled that mere acquittal or discharge from a criminal case can't be basis for payment of such compensation.

The government in January last year had paid Rs.3 lakh each to 20 people and Rs.20,000 each to 50 people. This was the first time in the country that the government paid compensation to people wrongly arrested and tortured on charges of terrorism.

All of them were picked up by police after May 18, 2007 blast at the historic Mecca Masjid, which claimed nine lives.

A fact-finding panel of the state minority commission found that police kept the youth in illegal confinement and tortured them.

All the youth were later acquitted by the court and subsequent investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) revealed that right-wing Hindu groups were involved in the blast.

Acting on the recommendation of the National Minorities Commission, the state government decided to pay the compensation to Muslim youth.

--IANS (Posted on 19-09-2013)

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