New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed a one-member commission headed by its ex-judge S B Sinha to inquire into the 2006 Meerut fire tragedy in which 64 people died and directed the UP govt to pay an compensation of Rs 5 lakh in addition to Rs 3 lakh already paid to each to the family members of the deceased, reports PTI.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra asked the commission to submit its report by January 31, 2015. It also directed the state governemnt to pay Rs 2 lakh to the seriously injured and Rs 75,000 to persons who suffered minor injury in the incident which took place on April 10, 2006.
“We direct, as an interim measure, that the legal representatives of the deceased shall be paid Rs 5 lakhs more and the seriously injured persons would be paid a further sum of Rs 2 lakhs each and the persons who have suffered minor injuries would be paid an additional sum of Rs 75,000,” it said.
It directed the government to deposit the amount before the District Judge, Meerut, who may nominate an Additional District Judge, on making summary enquiry, shall pay the amount to the legal representatives and the victims within one month from the date of deposit.
It passed the order on a petition filed by Sanjay Gupta who had lost five of his family members in the incident. He pleaded that the administration had demonstrated utterly callous attitude and even the bodies of the victims were allegedly bulldozed at the instance of the top officials of the district administration including the then District Magistrate.
The bench also directed the organiser of the consumer electronic fair to pay Rs 30 lakh with the Supreme Court registry in order to hear its plea challenging the maintainability of Gupta’s plea.
The state government had earlier appointed Justice O P Garg, a former Judge of Allahabad High Court, as one-man Commission to inquire into the incident but its findings were opposed by the organisers saying that they were not heard.
They contended that no opportunity was given to them to cross-examine the witnesses though they are directly affected by the said inquiry and the findings recorded by the Commission.
Accepting their plea, the apex court appointed the Justice Sinha commission to look into the issue.
The state governemnt has already paid Rs 2 lakhs to the legal representatives of the persons who died and one lakh has been paid by the Central Government.
As far as seriously injured persons are concerned, Rs 1 lakh was paid by state and Rs 50,000 to the victims who have suffered simple injuries.