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Call to compile loss sustained during AASU, KMSS-called bandh

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, March 26 - The Deputy Commissioner of Goalpara has written to the Superintendent of Police, Goalpara to sumit a detailed report on the financial damages of public and personal properties during the bandh called by All Assam Students� Union (AASU) and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) during the last one year.

The direction of the Goalpara Deputy Commissioner came in the wake of a letter written by the Legal Rights Observatory on the steps to be taken to recover the financial damages faced by public and personal property during the AASU and KMSS-called bandh during the said period.

The Legal Rights Observatory suggested that the damages faced by public and personal property should be recovered from the sponsors of the bandhs as per the directive of the Supreme Court of India.

The Legal Rights Observatory stated in a statement here on Monday that this is the first order of the sort issued by a Deputy Commissioner in the State, which witnesses dozens of bandhs every year for one reason or the other.

It may be mentioned here that recently the Gauhati High Court also issued an order declaring bandhs, besides road and rail blockades as illegal.

Declaring Assam bandh, road blockade and rail blockade called by different organisations as illegal and unconstitutional, the Gauhati High Court also issued guidelines in the form of directions for curbing the menace of frequent bandhs and blockades.

The High Court order came in the wake of a writ petition (Civil) No. 7570/2013) filed by Lower Assam Inter-District Stage Carriage Bus Owners� Association against State respondents and various organisations seeking �imposition of exemplary damages� upon the organisers for calling bandhs. It also pleaded for a direction to the State of Assam for payment of such compensation.

The court of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, after hearing the writ petition, passed a judgement on March 19 last holding that organiser or organisers of such bandhs or blockades, at least the principal office bearers of such organiser(s) would be liable to be prosecuted under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, National Highways Act, 1956 and the Railways Act, 1989.

In addition, those indulging in violence and intimidation, including preventing people from attending to their duties, would also have to be booked under the relevant penal provisions.

The Government of Assam, in the Home and Political Department, shall make an assessment of loss caused to the State on account of bandh or blockade which shall be recoverable from the organisers and main office-bearers as arrears of land revenue. A Bandh Loss Compensation Fund shall be constituted by the Home and Political Department of the State Government within a period of three months which will be maintained by a retired District and Sessions Judge along with one administrative officer.

The quantum of loss recovered from the bandh organisers shall be deposited by the Government of Assam�s Home and Political Department into the Bandh Loss Compensation Fund. The authority of the Bandh Loss Compensation Fund shall evolve its own procedure for quick settlement of claims lodged by the individual, public bodies etc.

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Call to compile loss sustained during AASU, KMSS-called bandh

GUWAHATI, March 26 - The Deputy Commissioner of Goalpara has written to the Superintendent of Police, Goalpara to sumit a detailed report on the financial damages of public and personal properties during the bandh called by All Assam Students� Union (AASU) and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) during the last one year.

The direction of the Goalpara Deputy Commissioner came in the wake of a letter written by the Legal Rights Observatory on the steps to be taken to recover the financial damages faced by public and personal property during the AASU and KMSS-called bandh during the said period.

The Legal Rights Observatory suggested that the damages faced by public and personal property should be recovered from the sponsors of the bandhs as per the directive of the Supreme Court of India.

The Legal Rights Observatory stated in a statement here on Monday that this is the first order of the sort issued by a Deputy Commissioner in the State, which witnesses dozens of bandhs every year for one reason or the other.

It may be mentioned here that recently the Gauhati High Court also issued an order declaring bandhs, besides road and rail blockades as illegal.

Declaring Assam bandh, road blockade and rail blockade called by different organisations as illegal and unconstitutional, the Gauhati High Court also issued guidelines in the form of directions for curbing the menace of frequent bandhs and blockades.

The High Court order came in the wake of a writ petition (Civil) No. 7570/2013) filed by Lower Assam Inter-District Stage Carriage Bus Owners� Association against State respondents and various organisations seeking �imposition of exemplary damages� upon the organisers for calling bandhs. It also pleaded for a direction to the State of Assam for payment of such compensation.

The court of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, after hearing the writ petition, passed a judgement on March 19 last holding that organiser or organisers of such bandhs or blockades, at least the principal office bearers of such organiser(s) would be liable to be prosecuted under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, National Highways Act, 1956 and the Railways Act, 1989.

In addition, those indulging in violence and intimidation, including preventing people from attending to their duties, would also have to be booked under the relevant penal provisions.

The Government of Assam, in the Home and Political Department, shall make an assessment of loss caused to the State on account of bandh or blockade which shall be recoverable from the organisers and main office-bearers as arrears of land revenue. A Bandh Loss Compensation Fund shall be constituted by the Home and Political Department of the State Government within a period of three months which will be maintained by a retired District and Sessions Judge along with one administrative officer.

The quantum of loss recovered from the bandh organisers shall be deposited by the Government of Assam�s Home and Political Department into the Bandh Loss Compensation Fund. The authority of the Bandh Loss Compensation Fund shall evolve its own procedure for quick settlement of claims lodged by the individual, public bodies etc.