Agartala: Amid opposition of CPI-M legislators, the state assembly today passed Tripura Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Bill 2021 to deal with acts of violence at public places and recover the loss of damages of properties from the perpetrators.
The chief minister stated that under the Act provision of recovery of damages during hartal, bandh, riots, public commotion and protest would be done in awarding compensation to the victim. The state government would constitute one or more Claims Tribunal consisting of at least two members under the Chairmanship of District and Session Judge and Additional District Magistrate level officer as a member.
The officer in-charge of police station would investigate such incidents of damage to public or private property either based on FIR or gathering information from other sources and file the claims of damage to the Claims Tribunal for compensation preferably within three months of the incident. If the tribunal thinks fit, appoint a Claim Commissioner to estimate the damage and investigate liability to assist it in holding the investigation, the Act said.
“The liability of damage will be borne by the actual perpetrators of the crime or instigated or incited giving rise to the liability to be shared. However, every order or award passed by claim tribunal shall be final and an appeal can be preferred in the High Court only,” the Act reads.
Meanwhile, opposing the move CPI-M legislator Ratan Bhowmik argued that the Act would be redundant, as existing law of the land has provision to recover the damage from the perpetrators of crime but separate such Act would be in use as an instrument against the opposition by the government even on false claims.
“Police officers have been given the absolute authority to file the claim based on the preliminary investigation, which will often be used by the government as a repressive tool. Such Act is nothing but a step to prevent the rights of the movement against the government,” Bhowmik added.