Postmasters whose sentences have been commuted in the Horizon scandal are expected to receive up to Rs 100,000 in interim compensation from the government.
The ministers said the move would ensure that those affected by the scandal would not be left out of pocket as they and the post office were moving forward with full resettlement for these “immense difficulties”.
The appellate court cleared 12 more former sub-master masters who were convicted earlier this week – the total number of overturned judgments is now 57 and more similar judgments are expected.
Many postmasters were fired or prosecuted between 1999 and 2015 after missing money from accounts in their respective branches.
This information came from the Horizon computer system used in the post office branches which proved to be faulty.
Some sub-masters were jailed for stealing money.
The Post Office is now contacting Postmasters to offer interim payments within 28 days of receipt of the application by those whose reversal of sentence depends on evidence based on the horizon.
The Minister of Postal Affairs, Paul Scully, said: “The pain and suffering that these postmasters and their families are going through cannot be eradicated.
“Although they will suffer for years after this horrific injustice, I hope this initial step will bring some relief.
“The Post Office is beginning to take a turn for the worse in dealing with its past mistakes – and this government will support them wherever possible.”
Nick Reid, the post office’s chief executive, said: “Ensuring compensation as soon as possible is the post office’s priority. I welcome the government’s cooperation in enabling interim payments that hurt people Those who fail begin to make amends.
“Unless we can change the past, this is an important step towards meaningful compensation for victims and we will offer payment as soon as possible.”