PIL In Madras HC: Hooch Victims Not Freedom Fighters, Opposes Rs.10 Lakh

Madras High Court

A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking to overturn the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to provide Rs 10 lakh in compensation to all victims of the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy.

When the PIL, filed by Mohamed Ghouse, was heard on Friday, a division bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shafiq remarked that the compensation amount seemed excessive. The case has been adjourned for further hearing in two weeks.

Ghouse argued that the victims were neither freedom fighters nor social activists who sacrificed their lives for public causes. Instead, he pointed out, “the victims had committed an illegal act by consuming spurious liquor.”

He asserted that consuming illicit liquor is illegal and that the state should not sympathize with those who engage in such activities. According to Ghouse, solatium should be reserved for accident victims, not for individuals who engage in illegal acts for personal gratification.

Ghouse further claimed that the compensation order for the hooch tragedy victims was unreasonable and arbitrary. He insisted that consumers of illicit liquor should not be treated as victims deserving of compensation.

The petitioner also highlighted the inconsistency in the state’s approach, questioning why victims of fires or other accidents receive lesser compensation while hooch tragedy victims are granted a substantial amount.

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About the Author: Meera Verma