2007, 2008 riots: SC issues notice to Odisha govt over compensation disbursement

The Supreme Court acting on a contempt petition filed by Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) on Friday (7th September) issued notice to Odisha Chief Secretary to grant additional relief to the victims of 2007 communal violence in Odisha as per the judgment passed in 2016. In 2007 and 2008, two waves of communal violence struck Odisha’s Kandhamal region. In the violence 93 people died, 12 injured and two women were raped. Around, 6000 houses were also destroyed or damaged apart from widespread destruction of property in the two waves of communal attack. In 2008, a writ petition (Civil) no 404 of 2008 was filed in the Supreme Court, seeking compensation for the victims of communal riot of 2007 and 2008 in Orissa. Judgment was passed by the Supreme Court of India in WP(C) no 404 of 2008 directing for the payment of compensation to the victims of communal riots in Orissa. HRLN, who is providing legal aid to the petitioner in the Odisha communal violence case, filed contempt petition against the non-compliance of directions issued by the Supreme Court in its order dated 2nd August 2016, in which the apex court had granted additional relief to the victims of the communal violence that occurred in the state of Odisha in 2007 and 2008. The petitioner in the contempt petition had stated that, the state had only made partial implementation and many of the reliefs granted have not yet been implemented and further stated in the petition that the administration has not made any effort to assess and quantify the damage caused. In both communal violence waves, people were killed or injured and houses were destroyed or damaged. In respect of those who were killed or injured and those whose houses were destroyed or damaged during the 2008 riot, compensation has either been paid or is in the process of being paid. However, the petitioner in his contempt petition claimed that all the victims of the 2007 riots have not been paid the additional amount as directed by the Supreme Court. All of them have been left out. In its notice, the Supreme Court asked Odisha government to present a reply on petitioner’s claims that the state government had failed to disburse additional compensation for the victims of 2007 communal violence.