Chennai, June 9: The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay eight per cent interest on compensation to the heirs of the manual scavengers, who had died in the course of their duty since 1993, calculating it from October 1, 2014 till the date they received the money.
The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice P T Asha gave the direction recently on a petition filed by Change India Organisation and disposed of the plea.
Observing that six months would have been a reasonable time for the government to identify the victims and pay compensation pursuant to a Supreme Court order dated March 27, 2014, the bench said the interest shall be calculated from October 1, 2014.
Referring to the apex court order in the Safai Karamchari Andolan vs Union of India case, the petitioner had contended that the state government was obligated to identify and pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of those who had died doing manual scavenging since 1993.
Stating that not all the families of the victims were given the compensation amount at one go, the petitioner had claimed that in many cases, they were given the money in two or three instalments.
Claiming that due to this, the victims' families could not utilise the full compensation amount of Rs 10 lakh at a time, the petitioner had made representations to the authorities concerned, saying it was only appropriate to pay interest on the compensation, 30 days from the death of the victims till the date of actual realisation of the full compensation amount.