The Madras High Court Bench here has said that a Dalit woman whose son was murdered by a group of caste Hindus in May 1995 is entitled to enhanced compensation of ₹8.25 lakh as per the latest amendment made to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules of 1995 on April 14 last.

Justice M.S. Ramesh also held that there was no necessity for a murder case to end up in conviction by a competent court for providing the relief amount to the family of the deceased Dalit, since the term ‘conviction’ had been deleted from the statutory rules, thereby paving way for paying compensation without reference to the result of the criminal case.

The order was passed on a writ petition filed by K. Meenakshi in 2011. Her son was murdered here on May 5, 1995 and the government had initially paid her ₹50,000 from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Subsequently, another ₹1 lakh was paid in 1998 in terms of the statutory rules, which mandate such payment towards relief amount.

Though she had filed the case seeking a direction to the State government to pay her another ₹1 lakh, the judge said that the petitioner was entitled to as much as ₹8.25 lakh apart from staking a claim for government employment to one family member, widow pension with admissible dearness allowance, provision of agricultural land and so on.

The judge pointed out that the statutory rules initially provided for a compensation of only ₹1 lakh to the family of a murdered Dalit. This amount was increased to ₹2 lakh, ₹2.5 lakh and ₹5 lakh before reaching the existing quantum of ₹8.25 lakh on the basis of an amendment made to the rules on April 14, 2016.

Payment schedule

The court said 50% of the amount should be paid after the post-mortem report is out and the rest after a charge sheet was laid.

It directed the petitioner to make a fresh application seeking enhanced compensation and other benefits. The Madurai Collector was ordered to consider the same in the light of observations made in the court order.

Courtesy- The Hindu