The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Gujarat government to furnish details and produce documents indicating “which are the religious places affected by 2002 communal riots for which compensation has been claimed.”
A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra also asked the State to quantify the amount needed for building and repairing those sites.
The State had filed an appeal against the Gujarat High Court order passed on a writ petition by the Islamic Relief Committee of Gujarat to pay compensation for the damage and destruction caused to religious places during the riots.
Additional Advocate-General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the State, pleaded for more time to produce documents.
He questioned the High Court order contending that the State exchequer could not be used for building and repairing religious sites.
The Bench, which was not convinced with the argument, told counsel: “You [State] compensate if a house is washed away in a flood or if it is damaged in an earthquake or tsunami. Then why not in the case of a religious place?”
When counsel said the High Court ought not to have given such a direction, the Bench said it would look into whether public funds could be used for restoring the damaged sites. The court directed the State government to file an affidavit on the religious sites affected by the riots and posted the matter for further hearing on July 30.