Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court Friday ordered the West Bengal government to deposit the compensation announced for families of hooch tragedy victims at a post office, allowing them to earn monthly interest.
With a view to providing rehabilitation to families of the victims, the court Friday ordered the state government to deposit the money under a monthly income scheme which would allow the beneficiaries to earn a monthly interest, petitioner and advocate Chittaranjan Panda said.
The order was given by a division bench of Chief Justice JN Patel and Justice Sambuddha Chakrabarty while hearing a petition filed by Panda challenging the government`s decision to award compensation.
"Except for the amount of interest, the beneficiaries will not be allowed to withdraw any money. The money will remain in the bank till the court gives its final verdict," Panda said.
The court had Feb 6 stayed the award of compensation to victims following Panda`s petition.
At least 171 people -- mostly masons, labourers and hawkers -- died after consuming spurious liquor at shanties in the South 24-Parganas district Dec 13-14 last year.
Following the tragedy, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced a Rs.2 lakh compensation payable to the families of those who died.
Fifteen people are currently behind bars for their alleged role in the incident.