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The Madras High Court directed the state government today to pay a compensation of Rs 10.50 lakh with interest at 9 per cent per annum to the victim's family in a case of custodial death. Justice S Vaidyanathan issued the order on a petition of the widow of Pandian seeking a compensation of Rs 19 lakh. She had alleged that her husband died due to custodial torture and the state was bound to pay the compensation. Pandian was detained by police on April 5, 1995 in connection with a Narcotic Investigation Bureau case. "The respondents are directed to pay the compensation of Rs 10,50,000, less, the compensation already granted i. E.
Rs 1 lakh, with interest at 9 per annum from the date of custodial death i. E. From April 5, 1995 till the date of payment, within 45 days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order," Justice Vaidyanathan said. If they fail to do so, the judge said, the amount of Rs 9.50 lakh would fetch interest at 12 per cent per annum from the date of filing of the plea till the date of payment. "It is seen that the trial court has rendered detailed findings as to how the incident had taken place in the police custody and the accused J Rajendran, a police personnel, was held guilty." "Further, in the instant case, if the report of the Sub- Collector was to be acted upon, all the officials comprised in the team should have been shown as accused, but not done so," the judge said. Justice Vaidyanathan went by the decisions of the Supreme Court pertaining to motor accident and custodial death cases. The judge said "If the said amount of Rs 9.50 lakh is not paid within the time stipulated above, the interest portion at 12 per cent per annum from the date of filing of this writ petition till the date of payment, shall be recovered from the personal accounts of the official(s) concerned who are responsible for the implementation of the court's order.
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