Supreme Court raps J&K for ‘discriminatory’ compensation scheme for victims of riots

JA Supreme Court bench pulled up the Jammu and Kashmir government for its policy of division in providing compensation to people affected by the Kishtwar curfew (IE)

The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Jammu and Kashmir government for adopting a "discriminatory" policy while deciding compensation for "state subjects" and "non-state subjects" who are victims of riots or other incidents.

"It is the same calamity, affecting all of them equally. You want to give more to certain persons and less to others, is that justified? You are not helping the nation," observed a bench led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam.

"How can you classify two classes affected by the same calamity? We are taking it very seriously and you will have to now explain," the bench told senior advocate Gaurav Pachnanda who appeared for the state government.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Jammu &Kashmir National Panthers Party secretary Sudesh Dogra, seeking directives to the Centre and state government for providing adequate security to pilgrims stranded due to the curfew in Kishtwar. 

"In utter disregard of the constitutional scheme and the fact that Jammu &Kashmir is a part of the same country, the chief secretary says the state has sanctioned Rs 5 lakh for the killed paramilitary personnel if they are state subjects but only Rs 2 lakh will be given... if they are non-state subjects," said senior advocate Bhim Singh, arguing for the petitioner.

"Don't tell us that this scheme is there since 1990. It does not matter to us that it was not challenged by anyone earlier. You file a detailed affidavit and explain it to us," said the bench. The case will come up for hearing on September 9.

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