By Accommodation Times News Service
Political leaders calling street protests, bandhs or strikes will now have to be extremely careful as the Narendra Modi-led government plans to bring damage to ‘private properties’ during demonstrations under the ambit of Prevention of Damage to Public Property Bill, 2016.
The decision to include private properties was taken after Home Ministry invited suggestions from the public in May last year on the draft amendments, said officials familiar with the matter.
The Bill till now only covered government properties, including buildings and vehicles, but the officials said that they received representations and suggestions from various sectors to include private properties that are damaged during protests.
However, policy makers differed on this aspect since most private properties are covered under different insurance schemes where owners can claim damages. A final call on whether to include ‘private properties’ in the bill will be taken by Home Minister Rajnath Singh who is also likely to present the bill before the Cabinet ahead of the next Parliament session, said people in the know of things.
According to home ministry officials, the amendment to the bill is to hold leaders of political parties responsible for damages and face jail term if any property is damaged during a bandh or protest. In 2007, the Supreme Court had asked the government to bring amendments to the three decade-old PDPP Act, 1984.