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Dabwali fire victims to get Rs 3.32 cr more

December 13, 2017 06:32 AM

DAV panel to pay for 1995 tragedy


Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12

The victims of the infamous Dabwali fire tragedy would be getting a further assistance of Rs 3.32 crore ahead of the 22nd anniversary of the incident, the worst of its kind that had left 442 people dead and around 150 scarred for life.

A court in Dabwali town of Sirsa has directed the DAV School Management Committee — the tragedy had occurred during the annual function of the local DAV school — to pay the interest amount it had been withholding latest by December 22.

Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate Ritu passed the order yesterday on an execution petition moved by the Dabwali Fire Victims Association, which has been fighting for justice to the victim families since the incident occurred on December 23, 1995. 

Around 1,500 persons had gathered for the function at a marriage palace, when a synthetic tent caught fire due to a short-circuit, leading to a stampede and the 442 casualties, among them over 150 children. 

Association president Vinod Bansal said compensation claims had been submitted before the Punjab and Haryana High Court-appointed TP Garg Commission on behalf of 405 deceased and 88 injured persons.

In November 2009, the High Court had ordered a compensation of Rs 34.14 crore to the victims, 45 per cent of which was to be paid by the Haryana Government and the rest by the DAV School Management Committee.

While the government immediately paid the money, the school committee moved the Supreme Court, where it was directed to first deposit Rs 10 crore with the court.

In 2013, the apex court rejected the DAV committee’s special leave petition and it was directed to make the rest of the payment to the victims. While the committee paid the principal amount, it withheld the interest.

The school again contested the victims’ petition for interest in the lower court, district court, High Court and up to the Supreme Court where the interest was reduced from 10 per cent, as demanded by the victims, to 6 per cent.

On the basis of apex court order, the victims had moved the Dabwali court by filing an execution petition for the recovery of Rs 3.32 crore (interest), said Bansal. 

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