HC seeks GoI’s response on PIL seeking compensation for Tosa Maidan firing victims
Post by Syed Rukaya on Friday, December 16, 2022
Srinagar, Dec 15: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh on Thursday granted two weeks time to the Government of India (GoI) to file a response to litigation seeking compensation to the families of the victims of Tosa Maidan firing range for the loss caused due to artillery shelling and military exercise by the Indian Army.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice Tashi Rabstan and Justice Rajesh Sekhri directed Deputy Solicitor General of India, T M Shamsi to file a response to the plea seeking implementation of a court order passed on October 31, 2017, directing the government to conduct a survey in the area for compensating the victims and take steps in accordance with the mandate of law.
The bench passed the direction after T M Shamsi sought some time to file a reply to the plea. The court fixed the matter for hearing on February 20, 2023.
Earlier, Tosamaidan Bachao Front through its president Dr Sheikh Ghulam Rasool filed litigation through counsel Mohammad Altaf Khan stating that the respondents have failed to conduct the military exercises and artillery practices in adherence with the law and thereby caused tremendous suffering to the people living in the vicinity.
“Many people have lost their lives and hundreds have been injured, most of them permanently disabled and incapacitated for life. The loss has not even been documented properly and no survey has ever been conducted to assess the actual loss suffered by the area and the people in terms of death and disability and loss of livelihood,” the petition said.
It also mentions that the loss and degradation caused to the forests, water bodies, wildlife, natural environment and eco-sensitive zones has neither been assessed nor documented with a submission that the earlier PIL was filed however, even after the passing of orders by this court nothing has changed in the area.
“Moreover, some new facts and challenges have come up that need to be dealt with by this court and bring justice and peace to the entire area,” the petitioner claims.
For the redressal of the grievance of the public at large, the petitioner sought adequate compensation in favour of the families of deceased persons, disabled, handicapped or impaired due to the negligence of respondent authorities.
Moreover, it also seeks a humane system to protect forests, wildlife, and water bodies and prevent these violations in the future.