Committed to providing all assistance to U.P., Centre tells Bench

The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Uttar Pradesh government and the Centre that it would monitor the relief and rehabilitation measures in the communal violence-hit Muzaffarnagar.

A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjana Desai and Ranjan Gogoi reiterated that the State government, in association with the Centre, continue to provide food and water and set up relief camps and provide all required assistance for the affected people.

The Bench passed the order after hearing senior counsel Gopal Subramanium for petitioners Mohd. Haroon and eight other residents of Muzaffarnagar and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association M.N. Krishnamani, Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati and senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan for U.P.

The Bench recorded an undertaking from the AG that the Government of India was committed to providing all required assistance to the State government. It also recorded the submissions of Mr. Dhavan that the State would take further steps to provide food, shelter, water, medicine and other requirements. To ascertain further developments, the Bench sought a report from the State and the Centre and posted the matter to September 26.

In the meanwhile, the Bench gave liberty to other petitioners “who are aware of the sufferings of the people of the area to hand over the material” to the State government for its consideration.

Earlier, Mr. Subramanium, after going through the compliance reports of the Centre and the State, alleged that the relief measures were inadequate.

Mr. Vahanvati said, “We are not here to trample upon the powers of the State government. There is no blame game here. It is a human tragedy. We have galvanised every ministry and whatever the State governments wants, we will give.”

“It’s tragedy of India”

Mr. Dhavan said: “through you [the court] they want to establish a condition for invoking Article 355 which is impermissible. They are trying to bring in politics. It is a tragedy of India. It occurred even in Gujarat and it was dealt with.”

The CJI told counsel for the petitioners: “Take politics out of it. We cant’s presume that the Centre and the State had not taken any steps. Maybe according to you they are inadequate.”

Mr. Dhavan said families of 50 persons who died were given Rs. 10 lakh; 27 persons seriously injured Rs. 50,000 and 46 persons with simple injuries Rs. 20,000.

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