Defence Ministry releases Rs. 10 lakhs ex-gratia for Manorama`s mother as per Supreme Court order

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IMPHAL, March 13: The sum of rupees ten lakhs awarded as ex-gratia payment to Thangjam Manorama`™s mother by a ruling of the Supreme Court has now been transferred to the Manipur High Court to be delivered to the awardee at the soonest, according to a highly placed source in the court.

The court order awarding the payment said `Mr. R. Balasubramanian, learned counsel for the petitioner has today drawn our attention to an additional affidavit filed on behalf of the petitioner `“ Union of India interalia stating that the Minister of Defence, Government of India have after consideration of the matter at the highest level in the ministry taken a decision to pay a sum of Rs. 10,00,000 as an ex-gratia amount in connection with the incident resulting in the death of Km. Th. Manorama Devi.`

It may be recalled Manorama was raped and killed in custody by the Assam Rifles on the night she was whisked away from her home at Irilbung, Imphal East in 2004.

The court order further said `Mr. Balasubramanian, submits that the payment shall be without prejudice to all contentions that may be open to the appellant in this appeal both on facts and in law. It is urged that given four weeks`™ time the amount of Rs. 10,00,000 shall be deposited by the Union of India either in this court or before any other Court or authority for disbursement to the mother of the deceased who shall receive the same for her benefit and the benefit of other heirs if any left behind the deceased.`

The money is now in the Manipur High Court`™s account and shall be given away to Manorama`™s mother on Monday, and the latter has been intimated accordingly, the source said.

Indicating the counsel appearing on behalf of Manorama will seek no fee for his service the order said `Mr. Colin Gonsalves, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent submits that he has no objection to the payment of the ex-gratia amount nor has any counsel appearing for any other party in these proceedings objected to the receipt or disbursement of the said amount to the mother of the deceased.`

The court directed that the amount be deposited by the appellant `“ Union of India with the Registrar General of the High Court of Manipur at Imphal within a period of six week, and the money accordingly has entered the relevant account.

The court also directed the amount be promptly released in favour of Manorama`™s mother after proper verification and identification by the Registrar General.

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