Protesters to pay for vandalism

Protesters to pay for vandalism

Protesters to pay for vandalism

The Centre is planning amendments in law to prevent protesters from vandalising public property by making organisers face jail term of up to 10 years and a fine that is equivalent to the market value of property damaged.

The Union Home Ministry has invited suggestions for proposed amendments in the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act 1984, which “seek to deter prospective violators” from vandalising public property during protests.

At present, only those involved in damaging public property face jail while protest organisers escape jail term.

As per the proposed amendment, the fine would be “equivalent to the market value of the public property damaged”. Those who abet people to damage public, private property or machinery would also be booked under the new provisions. At present, a person would face rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years if the offence is committed using fire or explosive substances. In other cases, the maximum punishment is five years.

The amendments came as the Supreme Court-appointed a committee under Justice K T Thomas concluded that the present law was inadequate and ineffective to deal with the increasing number of instances of public property damage.

The suggestions on the proposed draft amendments can be submitted on or before July 20 and sent to Ministry of Home Affairs, Centre-State Division, 5th Floor, NDCC Building, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi-110001. 

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