The Tamil Nadu Government Tuesday informed the Madras High Court that compensation as determined by One Man Commission of Inquiry will be paid with interest from the date of occurrence to the families of children who died in the Kumbakonam school fire accident in 2004.
An affidavit was filed by the Deputy Secretary to Government, School Education Department, in this regard before the court. Ninety four children were charred to death in Sri Krishna aided primary School and Saraswathi Primary School at Kumbakonam in a fire mishap on July 16, 2004. Some children were grievously injured and others suffered minor injuries.
The court had earlier directed the government to consider a plea to enhance the interest rate on the compensation for the victims of the school fire tragedy from six per cent to nine per cent per annum. The interest was granted by the High Court-appointed one-man Commission led by Justice K Venkatraman. The Commission was set up to fix compensation to the families of the victims.
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When the matter came up today, the government filed an affidavit accepting to pay the interest from the date of occurrence at the interest rates prevailing for different financial years as on 2004-11 at eight per cent, 2011-12 at 8.6 per cent and 2012-2016 at 8.7 per cent.
The court recorded the statement and also the submission made by the Additional Advocate General that the beneficiaries disclose their respective bank accounts to government through their counsel, so that the amount would be transferred directly to the accounts within four weeks. It then closed further proceedings on the petition. The Commission had fixed the compensation as Rs five lakh each to the families of the 94 children.