The Shiv Sena activists who destroyed public property on Saturday will have to cough up fines for their act — immediately.
A letter sent by the state Home Department to the Director General of Police and other officials on July 21 has specified the procedure to be followed to recover compensation for those affected in case of damage to public property.
“In a democracy, a planned agitation is healthy. But if it results in destruction to life and property like the Sena protest, strict and quick action is needed — both imprisonment and fine,” said Naseem Khan, minister of state for Home Department.
He said the communication’s sought to specify on whom the liability of damage can be fixed immediately.
The government has amended the Bombay Police Act, 1951 to treat such compensation as tax, and it is being reviewed by the Finance Department.
The letter, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, specifies action to be taken by district collectors of Mumbai, till the tax issue is resolved.
For pre-announced agitations, the damage must be compensated by the political outfit’s organiser. For a sudden outburst, the collector will decided as per evidence collected by police.
The extent of damage will be based on the panchanama drawn by the investigating officer and tehsildar. The fine will have to be paid within the period specified in the order.
He said the action to be taken against Sena protestors would be as per current law and not as per amendments proposed to enhance the jail term from two years to up to five years.
“We will have to bring it as an ordinance or then as a bill in the assembly. Till then, we can ensure quick recovery.”