Identify kin of prisoners who died unnaturally, for compensation: Karnataka High Court

The High Court of Karnataka on Monday directed the State government to appoint Deputy Commissioners of each district as the authority to identity kin of prisoners, who died unnaturally in various prisons in the State from 2012 to May 30, 2019, and disburse the ad hoc compensation amount computed by the government based on the notional income of the deceased prisoner.

Laying down guidelines to identify kin and disburse the compensation amount, the HC directed the DCs to first secure the details of kin from the respective prisons and also issue public notice in local newspapers with a wide circulation in the district to publish the names of deceased prisoners and inviting his kins to submit claims for compensation.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar issued the direction while hearing a PIL petition, suo motu registered by the HC on the apex court’s direction to all High Courts to grant compensation to those prisoners who died unnaturally in the prison.

Kin of around 40 prisoners are eligible for compensation. A few prisoners, who committed suicide outside the prison and those who were already paid compensation on the orders of State Human Rights Commission, were kept out of purview of the exercise.

The Bench said that the DCs, after giving sufficient time to submit claims, will have to adopt the summary enquiry process to ascertain the identity of the kin. They will have to ensure that claimants will have to open accounts in nationalised banks and compensation will have to be paid through bank accounts after obtaining indemnity bonds subject of final determination of compensation, the Bench said, while clarifying that the DCs can use the service of police officers, assistant commissioners, tahsildars, and other revenue officers for assistance.

Though the Bench has allowed disbursement of ad hoc compensation amount, as computed by the government, it clarified that it is yet to decide the question of determination of compensation at a later stage. It said there was a need to re-examine the notional basic income amount.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 10:51:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/identify-kin-of-prisoners-who-died-unnaturally-for-compensation/article30670252.ece

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