Twenty-six years after the serial blasts ripped parts of Mumbai, victims who did not receive compensation may still be compensated under the state’s victim compensation scheme. Following an order passed by the special court over a year ago on September 7, 2017, the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) has recently started identifying victims who did not receive compensation.
On March 12, 1993, 257 people were killed and 713 injured in 12 explosions across the city. In 2017, while deciding on the punishment for the men accused of conspiring and executing the blasts, Special Judge G A Sanap had recommended that the DLSA should decide and award compensation to the dependents of the dead and injured while observing that the fine amount imposed on the accused would be “very meagre and inadequate” to rehabiliate the victims.
Based on the directions, the CBI had made a list of 232 people, who had died and 638 who sustained injuries. The DLSA, however, had concluded that as per rules of the state’s victim compensation scheme, those who have already been granted compensation cannot be disbursed money again.
“According to the rules, we cannot compensate those who were already given compensation by the state. We are verifying those who did not receive any compensation, which includes mostly those who suffered injuries in the blast, and they will be adequately compensated as per the scheme,” said DLSA Mumbai secretary Yatin Game.
He added that the DLSA is the in process of verifying some claims it has received on the basis of the list submitted by the CBI. “Probation officers are verifying the claims and will submit reports on the injured victims, based on which, compensation claim and amount will be decided. We are still open to any claimants coming forward,” Game said.
On September 7, 2017, the special court had found six men guilty of charges, including murder and conspiracy. The court had said the victims were entitled to get compensation as per provisions of Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In 2017, the CBI had said the identity of at least 100 victims remained unknown, as many bodies were charred. Also, some names of the injured were incomplete due to the chaos on the day of the incident.