Mirchpur row: SC slams Haryana Govt

Supreme Court slammed the Haryana Government as no counsel from the state was present when it took up for hearing a PIL on torching of two Dalits by upper caste people in Hissar.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday slammed the Haryana Government as no counsel from the state was present when it took up for hearing a PIL on torching of two Dalits by upper caste people in Hissar district`s Mirchpur village.

"You should be ashamed of your behaviour. You can`t take the court for granted," a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly observed after noting that no counsel was present initially when it was hearing the petitioner`s senior counsel Colin Gonzalves.

At one stage, the court directed the state`s Advocate General to assist the court at the next hearing but after counsel Manjit Singh, who arrived after some time, expressed regret claiming there was some confusion about listing of the case, it relented and desisted from passing any adverse order.

The bench later posted the matter for further hearing to Tuesday.
On April 21, a 70-year-old Dalit man and his 18-year-old physically challenged daughter were burnt alive in the incident, forcing about 150 families to flee the village and take shelter at the Valmiki Temple in Delhi.

At the previous hearing too, the bench had chided the state for its perceived inaction in not arresting the 60 accused persons until the apex court had passed an order on August 26.

The Supreme Court had on August 26 directed the Haryana government to make all possible efforts to arrest by September 10 all the accused involved in the April 21 incident in which 150 houses belonging to Dalits were set on fire.

The Court had slammed the state government for its failure to provide relief and rehabilitation measures to the affected families and directed the authorities to give two quintal of wheat to each affected families.

The apex court had earlier perused the over 100-page report submitted by the state government in a sealed cover along with the fact-finding report prepared by a team of lawyers representing the victims.

The fact-finding report submitted by Gonsalves, who is representing the victims, had said the state government failed to keep its promise of providing adequate relief and rehabilitation.

PTI

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