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In his first verdict as CJI, Justice Dipak Misra sets aside Guj HC order on repairs of mosques

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court set aside the Gujarat High Court order asking the state government to pay for the reconstruction and repair work of religious structures damaged during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice P C Pant allowed the Gujarat government’s appeal challenging the High Court verdict that it should pay for reconstruction and repair works of religious structures damaged during riots.
 
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who had represented the state government, said that “our plea has been allowed” and moreover the state government had told the court that it was willing to pay from ex-gratia amount for repair and reconstruction works of various structures, shops and houses which were damaged.

“This scheme (of the government) has been accepted,” Mehta said.

The court was hearing an appeal filed by the Gujarat government against an order of the high court directing it to pay compensation to over 500 shrines damaged during the 2002 riots, triggered after the Godhra incident.

The massacre of 2002 during Narendra Modi’s term as the state’s chief minister had left thousands of people dead and billions worth properties damaged. According to unofficial figure, more than 4000 people, mostly Muslims, were massacred while official estimate put this figure to 1200.

Two of the main culprits, Maya Kodnani, who was a vinet colelague of Modi, and Babu Bajrangi, have been setenced to life, but are out on indefinite bail prompting critics to question the impartiality of the judicial system.

(With PTI inputs)