“Panel on Uthapuram exceeded jurisdiction”

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: A two-member committee appointed by the Madras High Court to probe into alleged police excess against Dalits in Uthapuram near here had exceeded its jurisdiction by recommending compensation of Rs. 15.2 lakh for 193 victims, according to the State government.

Assailing a report filed by the committee before the Madurai Bench of the High Court, Additional Advocate-General S. Ramasamy on Monday contended that the court had asked the committee only to enquire into the alleged attack and not come out with a compensation package.

The AAG also said that the committee had come to the conclusion that there was gross violation of human rights solely on the basis of affidavits obtained from the alleged victims.

Stating that the committee members had failed to ascertain the views of police personnel, he sought time to file written objections to the report.

A Division Bench of Justices V. Ramasubramanian and D. Hariparanthaman asked the AAG to file his objections by June 27 and adjourned the matter for further hearing on August 4.

S. Thirupathy, a retired District Judge, and K. Venkatasami, secretary of Madurai District Legal Services Authority, had filed their report on June 20.

The High Court had appointed the committee on January 22 following a public interest litigation petition filed by All-India Democratic Women’s Association which alleged that the Dalits were beaten up pursuant to a clash between them and caste Hindus on October 1 over painting the walls of a local temple.

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