Pending claims of Delhi riot victims, 40 more evaluators to help fast-track things.

Witnessing the huge backlog of unsettled claims and victims’ relief, Delhi Lt Governor Binai Kumar Saxena on Wednesday approved the appointment of 40 more assessors to assist the North East Delhi Riot Claims Commission (NEDRCC) and also issued instructions to expeditiously dispose of all cases within it. Three months, officials said.

Officials said the appraisers are chartered accountants, accounting firms or lawyers. They assess the damages claimed by the victims of the 2020 northeast Delhi riots and then submit the report to the Claims Commissioner for his recommendations to be forwarded to the High Court, the officials added.

According to LG House officials, 2,775 claims have been submitted and only 200 cases have been cleared. “After more than 1.5 years, out of 2,775 claims submitted till date, the commission has been able to process only 200 which is 7% of the claims made. Interestingly, out of the 25 evaluators appointed earlier, only 14 are conducting the survey without any fixed time frame, resulting in prevalent delays,” officials said.

The LG’s office also said there was “unreasonable delay” in submitting the claim. “The Union Home Ministry has been pursuing the initial assessment and submission of claims with the GNCTD since April and there has been undue delay so far. After a meeting held in April 2022 to review the progress of compensation for damages, the Ministry of Home Affairs directed the GNCTD to assess the damages holistically and submit the claim to the Claims Commissioner to decide the compensation,” they said.

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Officials said LG expressed anger at the laxity that caused the victims to suffer. “He has directed the existing 14 assessors to submit reports within three weeks, failing which their services will be terminated and they will be blacklisted from a panel of assessors,” officials said.

During the riots in February 2020, several houses, private and government properties, shops, petrol pumps etc. were damaged.

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