Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has asked the Tamil Nadu Government to explain the action it took on the representations submitted by tribal residents of Vachathi, seeking compensation for police excesses.

A Division Bench comprising Justices S.J. Mukhopadhaya and R. Sudhakar further directed the Registrar (Judicial) of the court to find out, from the Principal Sessions Judge of Krishnagiri, as to why the Vachathi case was not yet disposed of and why it was clubbed with a counter case. "If necessary, the High Court may engage a lawyer and submit a status report by the next date," it said.

Asking the Central Bureau of Investigation to state as to why the two cases should not be heard and decided separately, the Judges posted the matter to April 4 for orders.

Vachathi, a 200-house tribal hamlet in Dharmapuri district, shot into the limelight after an attack allegedly by Forest and Police personnel for about three days from June 20, 1992. The case was handed over to the CBI on February 24, 1995. The chargesheet in the case was filed on April 23, 1996, and the trial transferred to Krishnagiri on October 16, 1996.