The Delhi High Court on Thursday expressed concern over claims of destruction of evidence regarding identity of the police personnel who were involved in the 1987 Hashimpura massacre and diversion of compensation meant for the imemdiate kin of the victims. A bench of Justices Gita Mittal and Anu Malhotra termed it as “painful” that despite 42 people losing their lives in the massacre, the state government did not have the records about to whom weapons and bullets were issued on that day.
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“We are informed that despite clear statutory provisions, the district level legal services authority was attempting to divert the aid to distant relatives who are disentitled to compensation.
“We are also told the pro rata distribution of the compensation among the dependants of the victims was being unfairly done. This cannot be countenanced,” the court said, noting that the compensation was only meant to be disbursed to victims and their dependants.
While it did not pass any order regarding the evidence aspect, the court directed the secretary of the district legal services authority, which was disbursing the compensation, to put the distribution on hold till the next date of hearing on January 12, 2017.
It also directed the authority to place before it the list of people identified for payment of compensation.
During the brief hearing, senior advocate Rebecca John, who appeared for the victims, told the court that compensation was being disbursed to distant relatives and not the immediate kin or dependants of the victims and survivors of the massacre.
She and advocate Vrinda Grover, who appeared for the National Human Rights Commission, contended that people were called for identifying the accused nearly 20 years after the incident.
Both the advocates also alleged that the state did not carry out the elementary investigation and also destroyed evidence.
NHRC has intervened in the matter seeking further probe into the massacre in the Hashimpura locality of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.