A court in Andhra Pradesh on Monday ordered seizure of Kurnool District Collector's car over non-payment of compensation to families of workers killed in an accident nearly 25 years ago.
The First Additional District court in Kurnool passed these orders on petitions of the relatives of three deceased workers, who were not fully paid the compensation by the authorities despite the earlier court orders.
According to officials, 19 labourers working in Srisailam reservoir were killed when a truck in which they were travelling plunged into a gorge in 1993.
The government had not paid compensation to the families of three of the victims, forcing them to approach the court. In 1999, the court had directed the authorities to pay the compensation to the families ranging between Rs.1.84 lakh and Rs.3.73 lakh. When they did not implement the orders, the families filed another petition.
Last month, the district authorities paid a part of the compensation. However, as they were not paid the amount as directed by the court, the families filed another petition, seeking direction to seize the collector's car to pay them the balance amount.
This isn’t the first time that the Collector is being pulled up for failing to disperse compensation in time.
In February last year, the Hyderabad High Court fined AP’s principal secretary (irrigation) Sasibhushan Kumar, the Kurnool district collector and the land acquisition officer of Somasila project for the delay in paying compensation to farmers, and asked them to cough up Rs 24,000.
The farmers had given up their lands for the Somasila project in Kurnool years ago, but alleged that they were yet to receive compensation. Following this, they filed a contempt petition with the court.
While the officials sought for an extension of a few months to settle the compensation, the court accused them of deliberately extending the case, and fined them.