Private property ordinance comes in force
Governor NN Vohra has promulgated “The Jammu and Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017” which amends the existing law relating to damage to public property to more effectively discourage/ prevent the deleterious activities of individuals/ organizations which result in damage to public and private properties. The amendment to the existing law has been made to implement the directions given by the Supreme Court in the case titled “In Re-Destruction of Public and Private Properties vs. State of A.P and others (2009)”.
This Ordinance has been enacted to achieve the following twin objectives: (i) to make mischief to public and private property due to direct action punishable; and (ii) to make any person calling for direct action liable for abetment of such offence. Consequently, whoever announces direct action in the form of strikes, demonstrations, or other public forms of protests which result in damage to public as well as private property can be punished with imprisonment for a period of 2-5 years and can be imposed a fine equivalent to the market value of the property damaged or destroyed. Further, the scope of the existing law which was earlier restricted to public property, i.e primarily Govt. property or property owned by Govt. entities, has been enlarged to also include private property.
As the State Legislature is not in Session, the Governor, on the recommendations of the Chief Minister, in exercise of the powers conferred upon him under Section 91 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir promulgated the aforesaid Ordinance, which will come into force with immediate effect.