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‘Victims Were Not Freedom Fighters’: Petition Challenges Rs 10 L Compensation In Tamil Nadu Hooch Tragedy

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A petition has challenged the Tamil Nadu government’s order to grant Rs 10 lakh compensation to the families of the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy victims.

A petition in the Madras High Court has questioned the amount of the compensation announced for the families of the victims killed in the Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy. The plea sought an order to scrap the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to award Rs 10 lakh as compensation to each of the families of those who died as a result of consuming spurious liquor in the Kallakurichi district.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Mohamed Ghouse was heard on Friday by a division bench of acting Chief Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shafiq. Questioning the amount, the judges observed that the compensation seemed excessive, reported news agency PTI. The bench scheduled the matter for a hearing after two weeks.

Ghouse argued that the victims were neither freedom fighters nor social activists who had sacrificed their lives for public welfare. Instead, he stated, they had in the illegal act of consuming spurious liquor.

As many as 65 people died in Tamil Nadu’s Kallakurichi after drinking spurious liquor in June. The issue became a political weapon for the Opposition in the state. The matter was raised even in the state, leading to multiple disruptions.

Ghouse said that the consumption of illicit alcohol is a criminal offence and that the state ought not to show leniency towards individuals who break the law. He argued that compensation should be reserved for accident victims rather than those who engaged in illegal activities.

The PTI report quoted him as saying that the compensation order for the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy victims’ families as unreasonable and arbitrary. He said that those who consume illegal alcohol should not be viewed as victims deserving of compensation.

The petitioner questioned the rationale behind the state’s decision to provide a higher solatium to hooch tragedy victims compared to the lesser amounts given to victims of fires or other accidents. He argued that the basis for the disparity was unclear and unjustified.

source by : abp

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