Gujarat high court issues contempt notice to Modi government

In fresh trouble for the Narendra Modi government, the Gujarat high court today issued a contempt notice to it for failing to comply with its order on compensation to people whose shops were burnt down in the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

A division bench of justices Akil Kureshi and C L Soni has asked the Ahmedabad district collector for an explanation as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated, based on a petition filed by 56 riot victims, whose shops were burnt down in the post-Godhra riots.

The reply has to be filed by the collector by 14 March. The shops located in the Rakhia area of the city were torched during the post-Godhra riots in 2002. The shop owners had applied for compensation, following the centre's announceent of additional relief package for riot victim in February 2008.

However, since the Ahmedabad district collectorate failed to respond,  the shop owners, approached the high court, through NGO Jan Sangarsh Manch to seek direction to the collector to consider their application and provide compensation.

The court, acting on the application, passed an order in September 2011, directing the collector to examine the application for compensation and do the needful.

The applicants said, early this month, they received a communication from the collector's office that all the 56 applications had been dismissed in August 2011 itself.