NEW DELHI, JULY 2: After continuous pressure from the Punjab Government and Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal, the Centre has agreed to pay its share of Rs 2.16 crore to compensate the 40 men who were detained after Operation Blue Star at Golden Temple in 1984. Additional Solicitor General of India Satya Pal Jain Monday informed the Punjab & Haryana High Court that the Centre has sanctioned 50% of the total Rs 4.5 crore amount awarded by an Amritsar Court to the victims last year. The Punjab Government has already paid its share of the compensation to 38 men.
An Amritsar court last year had directed the Punjab and Union Governments to pay Rs 4 lakh compensation each to 40 Sikh men who were held in illegal custody at a temporary prison after their arrest from Golden Temple complex in 1984. The court ruled that there was no evidence that these 40 men had opened fire at the Army during its operation.
On June 2 this year, the CBI had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court to challenge the Amritsar court’s order. Courting its inability to produce charges against each individual in writing, the CBI had argued that the District Judge “could not appreciate the highly tense and surcharged situation under which such operation was being conducted”. It also argued that the lower court “has not considered the Articles 15, 19, 21, 22 of the Constitution of India that in the greater interest of the country and for security and integrity of India, restrictions imposed regarding the fundamental rights of the individuals…” The CBI has withdrawn its appeal now.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh had said that if the Centre failed to contribute the compensation amount, the Punjab Government will bear the entire cost of Rs 4.5 crore on its own. (Courtesy: IE)