Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Compensate Maoist victims by June: SC
The Supreme Court on Monday ordered Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and other top leaders of the seven-party alliance to compensate Maoist victims within six months.
The order, which upholds what the court termed the victims' right to life, property and other fundamental rights, comes at a time when the government continues to be indifferent to the demands of Maoist victims for compensation and rehabilitation. The exact number of such victims is still unknown.
"The interim constitution has guaranteed Maoist victims' rights to life, property, education of their children, employment and other fundamental rights. Even after one year since the constitution was promulgated, nothing has been done to compensate the victims," Justices Bal Ram KC and Tahir Ali Ansari said, while ordering Koirala and other leaders.
The court passed the order in response to a writ petition filed by Bhoj Raj Timalsena, coordinator of the Maoist Victims' Struggle Committee. The committee moved the courts last April after the government showed continued indifference to their demands for compensation, memorandums and protests.
The apex court also ordered the government to form a commission to ascertain the actual situation of Maoist victims before providing them any relief material. Such a committee should comprise representatives of political parties from each development region, Maoist victims and individuals of the government’s choice.
The decision on the writ petition was delayed since Maoist Chairman Prachanda, one of the defendants, continued to ignore the show cause notice from the Supreme Court. But Prachanda accepted the notice when the court sent it to him by post. However, he has still not replied to the notice, according to court officials.

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