Fixing the liability with the state governments for their failure to maintain law and order,the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Railways to demand damages from authorities in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for losses it suffered during violent agitations.
These agitations were triggered by the arrest of more than 100 people for their alleged involvement in Haryanas Mirchpur violence,in which a 70-year-old Dalit and his physically challenged daughter were burnt alive after a clash broke out between the Jat and Balmiki communities in April 2010.
A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda asked the Railways to file petitions with the claim commissioner or any other other appropriate authority in the two states to recover around Rs 40 crore from UP and Rs 33 crore from Haryana for the losses caused due to agitations. It sought the final order within six weeks.
There has been cases of recovery running into Rs 100 crore. Lets not be a mute spectator. Somebody needs to pay. They need to compensate Railways and also to those who had booked goods for transportation to various places, said the Bench.
It noted that the states could not pass the buck for such losses to the Centre since law and order was a state subject and it was the duty of the state government to take responsible action.
The court,which was also hearing issues relating to rehabilitation of members of the Dalit community,directed the Haryana government to look into their employment under the MNREGA.