Bangalore Riots 2020
Bangalore Riots 2020
Litigation News

Bangalore Riots: State government moves Karnataka HC seeking appointment of Claims Commissioner to assess damage caused to property

The petition points out that the Supreme Court has issued detailed guidelines regarding investigation and compensation to be awarded for damage caused to property during protests and riots.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The state government has moved Karnataka High Court seeking the appointment of a Claims Commissioner to investigate and estimate the damage caused to private and public property during the Bangalore riots of August 11.

The PIL filed by the State claims that on the said date, a mob of around 300 people gathered near DJ Halli Police Station in East Bangalore, protesting against an allegedly derogatory Facebook comment on Prophet Mohammed posted by one P Naveen, nephew of Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy.

The mob proceeded to gather outside the residence of Murthy and caused extensive damage to his house and property.

It is further submitted that the mob also set fire to police vehicles and attacked police personnel of DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations. The mob pelted stones and attacked police personnel with deadly weapons, injuring more than 80 cops, the plea states. It goes on to state,

"...33 Government vehicles and 109 private vehicles were either completely burnt and destroyed or extensively damaged. Significant damage was also caused to the Police Station building of DJ. Halli and K.G. Halli, as well as the residence of MLA Sri. Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy. In addition, 8 buildings were also damaged by the acts of vandalism and arson. Arms and ammunition used by the police were also destroyed by the mob."

The State has submitted that 64 criminal cases have been registered so far and investigation is under process. 270 accused persons have been arrested thus far.

The petition points out that in In Re: Destruction of Public and Private Properties, the Supreme Court has issued detailed guidelines regarding investigation and compensation to be awarded for damage caused to property during protests and riots.

This judgment also directs that the High Court may appoint a sitting or retired High Court Judge/District Judge as a Claims Commissioner to estimate the damages and investigate liability, asserts the plea.

Thus, the plea urges the Court to initiate suo motu action and appoint a Claims Commissioner to estimate the damages, investigate the liability, and award compensation in accordance with the Supreme Court guidelines.

The matter is likely to be heard tomorrow, August 20.

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