A cycle-rickshaw puller from a remote part of Maharashtra was in tears when a special court conducting the 26/11 terror attack trial asked the prosecution to ensure that he was adequately compensated for taking three days break from work to depose as an eye witness in the case.
How much do you earn? asked judge M L Tahaliyani and Niranjan Sardar, who hails from Akola, replied "Sir, I manage to earn Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 a month."
The judge immediately asked the investigating officer Ramesh Mahale whether the witness had been paid to and fro ticket from Akola to Mumbai and also whether he had been compensated for three days of his stay in Mumbai.
Mahale replied that the witness and his wife, who too had deposed, were given to and fro tickets from Akola to Mumbai.
Niranjan and his wife Sangeeta had deposed on Monday. They had sustained bullet injuries when Mohammed Ajmal Kasab and slain terrorist Abu Ismael had fired at them from AK-47 rifle at Chhatrapati Shivaji Rail Terminus.
Normally, a witness is treated with a cup of tea and biscuits or even lunch but he is not compensated for taking leave from work.
In this case, the court, in a humanitarian gesture, suggested the authorities to consider paying Niranjan compensation because he had a meagre income.