The Orissa High Court yesterday issued notices to the state government and the Railways to file counters within two weeks on a PIL seeking Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the families of 14 persons killed in a train accident near Sambalpur last month.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice S K Mishra issued notices to the respondents, returnable within 15 days. The high court also directed the Odisha government to provide proper treatment free of cost to the persons injured in the accident in which an express train hit a vehicle in which the victims were crossing the railway track at an unmanned level crossing. Advocate and social activist Prabir Das filed the PIL last month stating that 13 of the 14 deceased were women all belonging to the scheduled caste community.
Since they were agricultural workers and their families were covered under BPL category, the petitioner had justified filing the PIL as the Railways had refused to compensate the families of the victims. At least four injured persons are now under treatment at the VSS medical college and hospital in Burla.