Mecca Masjid blast: Andhra High Court stays minority compensation
Zee Media Bureau
Hyderabad: In a significant development, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday cancelled the compensation given to 70 Muslim youth wrongly arrested in connection with blasts cases and asked the state government to recover money from them.
The High Court, while setting aside a 2011 state government order offering compensation to 70 Muslim youngsters who were wrongly detained and later acquitted in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, said there was no legal basis for it.
The High Court, while passing the verdict that is likely to have major ramifications, said the government went beyond its jurisdiction while awarding the compensation.
The order was passed in response to a citizen`s petition which challenged the government`s authority to pay such compensation.
The complainants were free to file a civil case for compensation, the High Court said.
A large number of Muslims youths had alleged that they were tortured in custody.
In 2011, on the recommendation of the National Minorities Commission, the state government had offered Rs 20,000 to 50 Muslim youngsters and Rs 3 lakh each to 20 others who were arrested and allegedly tortured in police custody.
The state government also decided to implement the recommendations made by the National Commission of Minorities to undo the injustices done to these youths. Fourteen people were killed and 118 injured in the blasts and subsequent police firing on agitators.
As most of the amount has already been disbursed, the state government is likely to file an appeal.