The High Court asked the State to continue any benefit or aid given to the victims earlier.

The Karnataka High Court on Friday granted one more month to the State government to ensure payment of monthly stipend to all the eligible victims of endosulfan in the three coastal districts after the State government conceded that it could pay stipend to only 10 per cent of the victims during last one month.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna directed the State as well as the amicus curie, Vaishali Hegde, to file progress report by April 7, the next date of hearing of the public interest litigation initiated suo motu by the court on the plight of the victims.

The Bench made it clear that the government should take steps within one month to trace all the eligible victims, issue smart cards to them, and open bank accounts in their name for transferring monthly stipend along with the arrears to be paid till now based on an undertaking given by the government to the court on January 27.

Meanwhile, the Bench asked the State not discontinue any benefit or aid given to the victims earlier. The government had agreed to pay an interim stipend of Rs. 1,500 per month for each of those who suffered disability of 25-60 per cent and Rs. 3,000 for those with more than 60 per cent disability.

Meanwhile, Ms. Hegde contended that instead of adhering to disability percentage ascertained earlier among 6,140 victims identified by the government, it had now done a fresh survey to determine disability level and halved the number persons with disability level of more than 60 per cent.

‘Not satisfactory’

She further pointed out that while the progress of identification and payment is good in Uttara Kannada district, it is not satisfactory in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts.

Additional Advocate-General H. Kantharaja assured the court that the amount, transferred to the respective Deputy Commissioners, would be disbursed to the victims promptly within one month.

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