The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday reminded the Maharashtra government to pay Rs 50,000 each to the two girls, who were illegally detained by police following a Facebook post after the death of Shiv Sena Chief Balasaheb Thackeray.
The NHRC, which held that the detention of the girls was in violation of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution, has also threatened the state government with coercive action if it failed to pay the amount.
This after the rights body did not receive any response of its notice and reminders sent to the state government on the issue. Now, it has directed the state Chief Secretary to submit a compliance report along with the proof of payment within four weeks failing which, it may be constrained to take recourse to coercive pro-cess under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
The girls were arrested in November 2012 on the ground that they had committed the offence under Section 295 (a) (hurting religious sentiments) and subsequently Section 505(2) (committing public mischief by spreading rumours) of the IPC. The allegation was that a comment on the social-networking website made by one of the girls at the time of the bandh in the wake of the death of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray was commented upon by her friend saying she liked it and the incident had annoyed some Shiv Sena activists in Palghar.