Angry over growing incidents of damge being caused to properties by politicians and hooligans, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would frame suitable guidelines on Monday to recover the cost from offenders and pay it to the victims.
"Why should the poor taxpayer pay for the fault of these elements?. There are instances where public properties worth crores of rupees are damaged and at best the offenders may be in jail for six months," the apex court said.
A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly said the guidelines would be in force until Parliament makes suitable amendment to the Public Safety Act, 1984.
The guidelines would be framed on Monday next after the Solicitor General G E Vahanvati and amicus curaie Rajeev Dhawan submit their suggestions on the issue.
The apex court's decision assumes significance as at present under the Prevention of Damage to Public Safety Act, a maximum of six months imprisonment is imposed on arsonists damaging public and private properties, but there is no civil liability in the form of compensation to the victims.]
Incidentally, counsel of various states present in the court said they have no objection to such a step and assured that they would abide by the directions of the court.