The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued a contempt notice to the State government for not complying with its orders on compensation to some victims whose shops in Ahmedabad were damaged or destroyed during the 2002 communal riots.

A Bench of Justices Akil Kureshi and C. L. Soni asked the District Collector to file his reply by March 14 explaining why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against the government.

The order was issued on a petition filed by 56 victims, whose shops in the Rakhial locality in old Ahmedabad were burnt down in the post-Godhra riots. The shopowners applied for compensation after the Centre had announced an additional relief package for the victims in February 2008.

The shopowners, through the Jan Sangharsh Manch, filed the petition as they failed to get any response from the Collectorate on their applications for compensation. In September last, the court directed the Collector to examine the applications and do the needful.

However, the applicants said, earlier this month they received a communication from the Collector's office that all 56 applications had been examined and their claims dismissed by the government in August 2011 itself.

The shopowners returned to the High Court with a contempt petition against the Collector and the State government. The petitioners contended that the Collector's office did not provide the court full facts of the case during the earlier hearing, as their applications were claimed to have been disposed of even a month before the court's order asking the government to examine the applications.

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