Justice HS Kempanna
Justice HS Kempanna
Litigation News

Bangalore Riots: Karnataka HC appoints former judge Justice HS Kempanna as Claims Commissioner to estimate property damage

The State has been directed to give wide publicity of the appointment of the Claims Commissioner and call upon persons whose property has been destroyed or damaged to submit the particulars before him.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court today appointed its former judge, Justice HS Kempanna as Claims Commissioner to estimate the damage caused to property during the Bangalore Riots that took place on August 11.

The Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi also passed the following directions:

  • State to provide infrastructure such as office, furniture, vehicles, as well as adequate staff to the Claims Commissioner.

  • State to fix remuneration considering his status as a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court.

  • State to provide all the benefits which are available to sitting judges of the High Court. Pensionary benefits also to be taken into consideration while fixing remuneration.

  • State to issue notification regarding his appointment within one week.

  • State to give wide publicity regarding the appointment of the Claims Commissioner and call upon persons whose property has been destroyed or damaged to submit the particulars before the Claims Commissioner.

  • State to supply list of empaneled list of property value assessors to the Claims Commissioner.

  • State to issue a notice calling upon public to submit existing videos and recordings to the Claims Commissioner to pinpoint the damage and establish nexus with the perpetrators of the damage. State to also submit videos and recordings to the Claims Commissioner.

  • If Claims Commissioner requires directions to be issued for summoning witnesses or directing the production of documents, a request can be made to the Registrar General of the Court.

During the hearing, Advocate Shridhar Prabhu contended that the investigation in the case should either be monitored by the High Court or by an agency that invokes confidence in the minds of the prosecution and the people.

Prabhu argued that as the police machinery was the victim in the case, tomorrow a "blame-game" may happen. In order to avoid this situation, Prabhu suggested transferring the investigation of the case to a Central agency.

As the hearing proceeded, the Court once again asked the state government to place on record the steps it had undertaken in the investigation so far.

While passing its directions, the Court further clarified that it had not gone into the correctness of the First Information Reports (FIRs) and the directions had been issued only regarding the destruction of property caused during the said riots.

The matter will be next heard on September 11.

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