SC seeks UP's response on riot relief

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday sought the Uttar Pradesh government's response on a plea seeking a CBI probe over a sting suggesting alleged discrimination in giving relief material to the Muzaffarnagar riot victims.

The sting also hinted at the alleged interference in the district administration's response to the violence by some people present in Lucknow.

An apex court bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, Justice R.P. Desai and Justice Ranjan Gogoi sought the response from the state on a petition filed by the NGO Common Cause and another petitioner advocate M.L. Sharma.

Seeking the response from the state government, the court said that the issue raised in the two petitions were "serious" and it would look into them.

"We have seen them, we can't take them lightly. That is why we are seeking your response," the court told the state government.

The court also said that it would take "action" on the report that some advocates who had gone to a riot-affected village impersonated as members of a committee set up by the apex court.

The court said that it would look into all the pleas, as one of the counsel sought a court monitored probe by a special investigation team.

"When we have transferred proceedings from Allahabad High court to ourself, do you think we will leave it like that," Chief Justice Sathasivam told the counsel.

Meanwhile, the central government in its update on the steps taken after the violence said the home secretary Sep 25 sought an update from the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary and asked any help was required from the health or food ministries.

The state government in its affidavit told the court that it had taken several steps for the relief and rehabilitation of those affected by the violence that started Aug 27 and were living in relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamili.

The court was told that 41 such camps were in Muzaffarnagar and 17 in Shamli.

The state government said in Muzaffarnagar district 32 people had died during the riots and two of the dead were still to be identified.

The government said it had also paid compensation to the families of those killed in the violence.

The court would next hear the matter Oct 17.

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