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Delhi riots: Delhi High Court appoints Justice Sunil Gaur as Claims Commissioner to recover damages from the rioters

Justice Gaur along with his team will evaluate the cost of damages done to public and private property during the riots and recover the same from people identified by the police as 'rioters' by initiating legal proceedings to recover the damages.

The Delhi High Court has appointed a claims commissioner to look into the extent of damage done to public property by mobs during the anti-Hindu Delhi riots in north-east Delhi.

According to the reports, the Delhi High Court has appointed retired Justice Sunil Gaur as the Claims Commissioner to estimate the damage caused and also investigate the liability of public property that had been damaged during the anti-Hindu riots that occurred in the national capital.

The High Court appointed the Claims Commissioner after the Delhi government had written a letter seeking approval for the appointment. This was done in reference to the judgment of the Supreme Court which had ruled that damage to public and private property must be recovered from perpetrators. Delhi govt had written to Delhi Hich Court io March 9 to appoint the claims commissioner.

In the letter to the High Court, Delhi govt had written that “during these anti-CAA/NRC protests, there has been massive and extensive damage of public and private property including public transportation, causing huge losses to government exchequer.”

Justice Gaur along with his team will evaluate the cost of damages done to public and private property during the riots and recover the same from people identified by the police as ‘rioters’ by initiating legal proceedings to recover the damages. In case the accused fail to pay, stringent action will be taken by the concerned authorities. The Claims Commissioner’s tenure has been fixed for six months, which may be extended in required.

Delhi to follow Uttar Pradesh to recover damages

Delhi seems to be following in the footsteps of Uttar Pradesh to collect the damages to the public properties from the rioters. Soon after the violence unleashed by the Muslim mobs in the Uttar Pradesh under the guise of protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Uttar Pradesh government had a similar initiative to send notices to at least 400 people who were identified as ‘rioters’ to recover damages to properties.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced tough measures to combat the anti-citizenship amendment act (CAA) rioters and promised to seize the property of every rioter and use its funds to repair the damaged public property.

The Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Adityanath had also walked the talk on their promise of making rioters pay for damaging the public property in the state as Muslim residents of Bulandshahr was made to pay over Rs 6 lakh to the district magistrate.

Anti-Hindu riots in Delhi

On the day of US President Donald Trump’s visit to India in February, the national capital had witnessed large-scale violence under the garb of anti-CAA protests. The anti-CAA riots turned communal in Delhi resulting in severe violence on the streets of  Delhi. The anti-Hindu riots that engulfed the streets of Delhi have resulted in deaths of around 53 persons and more than 250 people sustained injuries in the violence.

The riots cost huge losses to life and property. Over the course of the investigation, the role of Radical Islamist organization PFI and others came to the fore. 

Earlier, JNU student leader Umar Khalid was booked under UAPA in a case related to the anti-Hindu riots in Delhi. Two other leaders from the Jamia Coordination Committee, Meeran Haider and Safoora Zargar were booked under the same Act. The two are now in judicial custody after they were arrested last week. The Police had claimed in the FIR that the communal violence was a “premeditated conspiracy” by Khalid and others.

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