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Uttarakhand government approves tough "anti-riot" law to compensate for public damages

Dehradun (Uttarakhand): Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's government has approved the country's most stringent law (ordinance) to provide compensation for the entire loss caused during riots.

"The Cabinet has approved the formation of a special tribunal during the Cabinet meeting today with the aim of strictly curbing the cases of riots and unrest, Dhami said.

He said that the "damage caused to public property during the riots would be compensated by the rioters themselves".

The Chief Minister said, "Those who disturb the peace of the state will have to pay a heavy price and will set an example that will be remembered for years by the generations of rioters who tarnished the sacred land of Devbhoomi".

After implementing the country's strictest anti-copying law and passing the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's cabinet passed the Uttarakhand Public (Government) and Recovery of Damage to Private Property (Ordinance) Act 2024 on Monday to stop riots and deal with rioters.

Under this law, full recovery will be made from the rioters for causing damage to private and government property. Apart from this, a huge fine of up to Rs 8 lakh and expenses incurred on government staff and other work in riot control will also be compensated. The Pushkar Singh Dhami Cabinet on Monday approved this law and sent it to the Governor for approval.

With this law, those who cause damage to private and public property during disturbances like riots, strikes, bandhs in the state will be dealt with strictly. In addition to compensation for the loss of government and private property, if someone's body is mutilated during the riot, the entire cost of treatment will be recovered from the rioter.

Apart from this, the entire expenses incurred during the riots by the police, administration or other agencies for riot control will also be recovered. The government has also decided to impose a fine of up to Rs 8 lakh on the rioters under this law along with other punishment and action.

The government has also approved setting up a formal Claims Tribunal so that strict action can be taken against the rioters through the tribunal.

If the government registers a case against the rioters, action will be taken under the Uttarakhand Recovery of Damage to Public and Private Property Ordinance 2024.

The government has also duly approved the Claims Tribunal. Under this tribunal, the recovery will be made from the rioters and their family members as well as their property. An Additional District Magistrate (ADM) category officer has been given the responsibility of Claims Commissioner. The Claims Tribunal also includes members other than the retired judge.

After approving this law in the cabinet, the government has sent it to the Governor for approval. Since the State Legislature is not currently in session, the Governor has the authority to implement this law in the state by using the powers conferred by Clause 1 of Article 213 of the Constitution of India.

After the approval of the Governor, the "Uttarakhand Public and Private Property Recovery Ordinance 2024" will be implemented in the state.

Earlier on Sunday, Dhami distributed appointment letters to eight Assistant Accountants and 342 Gram Panchayat Development Officers of the Panchayati Raj department in the appointment letter distribution ceremony organised by the Panchayati Raj department at the Chief Sevak Sadan located at the Chief Minister's residence.

While Assistant Accountants have been selected through the Public Service Commission, Gram Panchayat Development Officers have been selected through the Subordinate Services Selection Commission.

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