The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking review of its August 2017 decision, setting aside a 2012 Gujarat High Court order which had asked the state government to grant compensation for restoration of religious places damaged during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, rejected the plea for reviewing its August 29 order, stating that there was no merit in it. “The present review petition has been filed seeking review of judgment dated August 29, 2017…Having carefully gone through the review petition and the papers annexed therewith, we do not find any merit in the same,” the bench said.
Allowing an appeal filed by the Gujarat government, the apex court had last year “accepted” a scheme set up by the Gujarat government under which it had agreed to pay a maximum of Rs 50,000 compensation to all places of worship that were damaged during the riots.
The HC order of February 8, 2012, had not set any limit on the compensation and appointed the Principal District Judges of the various districts as the Special Officers for deciding the amount required for the restoration of those religious places of worship situated within the territorial limit of their respective court.
Setting aside the HC order, the bench also relied on an earlier order of the court which stated that the “object of Article 27 is to maintain secularism and the said Article would be violated if the substantial part of the tax collected were to be utilised for promotion or maintenance of any particular religion”.