Khargone (Madhya Pradesh): After the communal riots in Khargone on Ram Navami (on April 10), the state government constituted the first Claims Tribunal for recovery of damages to public and private property from the rioters.
In the stipulated time, the state government got 343 cases but in only 34 of them have the accused been identified, while in the remaining 309 the accused are unidentified.
According to information, initially, the time limit for disposal of these cases was fixed at 90 days. But due to the large number of cases and the fact that about 90 per cent of the accused are unknown, this time period has been extended by 3 months and now it will end on September 26.
Notices are being served to the accused some of whom are in jail to hear their side of the incidents, Thereafter, the tribunal will give its decision. Claims commissioner additional collector JS Baghel said that the accused who are in jail, will be served notices there. If necessary, hearing can also be done through video conferencing.
Can award up to two times the loss
The property owner or the controller of the property can apply for damage to personal property within 30 days. The Claims Tribunal is required to determine the damages/compensation as far as possible within three months of applying. This time limit can be extended in special circumstances. The Tribunal can pass an award up to two times the damages. The Tribunal hearing is being held at the collectorate every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
What after the order of the tribunal
In case of non-payment within 15 days of passing the award (recovery of damages) by the Tribunal, the applicant has the right to order recovery of the expenses incurred in the case. If the amount is not deposited within 15 days, the Tribunal can issue a certificate to the Collector for attachment and auction of the movable and immovable property of the concerned for recovery of the arrears. However, this act will not obstruct the action of the police.
Can be challenged in High Court
According to the Madhya Pradesh Prevention of Damage to Public and Private Property and Recovery of Damage Bill- 2021, the tribunal has the powers of a civil court. The order of the Claims Tribunal can be challenged in the High Court, within 90 days of the award (fixing the amount of damages or damages) by the Tribunal.