New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a compensation of over Rs 25 crore from the DAV school management for the families of those killed in a fire at a school function in Dabwali, Haryana in 1995.

An Apex Court bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice K Gopala Gowda dismissed an appeal by the schools' managing committee, thus clearing the decks for the payment of compensation to the victims' kim.

On December 23, 1995, a fire broke out in a banquet hall in Dabwali during the annual function of the DAV School due to short circuit. A total of 446 people including 230 children lost their lives in the incident.

On November 9, 2009, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered a compensation of Rs 46 crore. Out of which, DAV Managing Committee and the Haryana government had to give compensation of 55 percent and 45 percent respectively.

While Haryana paid its share, the DAV Managing Committee appealed in the Supreme Court in 2010. The committee argued that it could not be held responsible for the fire tragedy since the authorities had allowed the hall to function without a licence.

Initially, the Justice T.P. Garg commission that enquired into the tragedy had awarded Rs.18 crore compensation to the victims' kin.


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