Destruction of Public and Private Properties peaceful protests turning into mob violence, causing damage to public and private properties. = A. Structural and preventive measures a) In addition to the responsibilities ascribed to the Nodal Officer(s) as set out in Tehseen Poonawalla (supra), the said Nodal Officer(s) would also be responsible for creating and maintaining a list containing the various cultural establishments, including theatres, cinema halls, music venues, performance halls and centres and art galleries within the district, and pin point vulnerable cultural establishments 46 and property which have been attacked/damaged by mob violence over the past 5 (five) years. This list would be updated on a regular basis to account for any new openings/closings of establishments. b) In addition to the prohibition against weaponry laid down in paragraph 12 (II) of In Re: Destruction of Public and Private Properties (supra), any person found to be carrying prohibited weaponry, licensed or otherwise, during protests/demonstrations would prima facie be presumed to have an intention to commit violence and be proceeded in that regard as per law. c) The State governments should set up Rapid Response Teams preferably district-wise which are specially trained to deal with and can be quickly mobilized to respond to acts of mob violence. These teams can also be stationed around vulnerable cultural establishments as mentioned hereinabove. d) The State governments should set up special helplines to deal with instances of mob violence. 47 e) The State police shall create and maintain a cyberinformation portal on its website and on its internet-based application(s) for reporting instances of mob violence and destruction of public and private properties. B. Remedies to minimize, if not extirpate, the impending mob violence a) The Nodal Officer(s) will coordinate with local emergency services, including police stations, fire brigades, hospital and medical services and disaster management authorities during incidents of mob violence in order to have a comprehensive and consolidated response to the situation. b) The authorities must consider the use of non-lethal crowd-control devices, like water cannons and tear gas, which cause minimum injury to people but at the same time, act as an effective deterrent against mob force. c) The authorities must ensure that arrests of miscreants found on the spot are done in the right earnest. d) The Nodal Officer(s), may consider taking appropriate steps as per law including to impose reasonable restrictions on 48 the social media and internet-based communication services or mobile applications, by invoking enabling provisions of law during the relevant period of mob violence, if the situation so warrants. e) The Nodal Officer(s) must take coordinated efforts and issue messages across various audio-visual mediums to restore peace and to stop/control rumours. This can extend to issuing communications on local TV channels, radio stations, social media like Twitter etc.C. Liability of person causing violence a) If a call to violence results in damage to property, either directly or indirectly, and has been made through a spokesperson or through social media accounts of any group/organization(s) or by any individual, appropriate action should be taken against such person(s) including under Sections 153A, 295A read with 298 and 425 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. b) In instances where a group/organisation has staged a protest or demonstration resulting in violence and damage to property, the leaders and office bearers of such 49 group/organisation should physically present themselves for questioning, on their own, within 24 (twenty four) hours, in the police station within whose jurisdiction the violence and damage occurred. Any such person(s) failing to present himself/herself in such manner without any sufficient reason should be proceeded against as a suspect and legal process must be initiated forthwith against him/her including for being declared an absconder in accordance with law. c) A person arrested for either committing or initiating, promoting, instigating or in any way causing to occur any act of violence which results in loss of life or damage to property may be granted conditional bail upon depositing the quantified loss caused due to such violence or furnishing security for such quantified loss. In case of more than one person involved in such act of violence, each one of them shall be jointly, severally and vicariously liable to pay the quantified loss. If the loss is yet to be quantified by the appropriate authority, the judge hearing the bail application may quantify the amount of tentative damages (which shall be subject to final determination thereof by the appropriate authority) on the 50 principle stated in paragraph 15 of the decision in In Re: Destruction of Public and Private Properties (supra), after hearing the submissions of the State/agency prosecuting the matter in that regard.D. Responsibility of police officials a) When any act of violence results in damage to property, concerned police officials should file FIRs and complete investigation as far as possible within the statutory period and submit a report in that regard. Any failure to file FIRs and conduct investigations within the statutory period without sufficient cause should be considered as dereliction of duty on behalf of the concerned officer and can be proceeded against by way of departmental action in right earnest. b) Since the Nodal Officer(s) holds the overall responsibility in each district to prevent mob violence against cultural establishments and against property, any unexplained and/or unsubstantiated delay in filing FIRs and/or conducting investigations in that regard should also be deemed to be inaction on the part of the said Nodal Officer(s). 51 c) With reference to the videography mentioned in paragraphs 5(iv), 10 and 12 of In Re: Destruction of Public and Private Properties (supra), the officer-in-charge should first call upon from the panel of local video operators maintained by the concerned police station to video-record the events. If the said video operators are unable to record the events for whatever reason or if the officer-in-charge is of the opinion that supplementary information is required, then he/she can also call upon private video operators to record the events and request the media for information on the incident in question, if need be. d) Status reports of the investigation(s)/trial(s) concerning such offences as set out hereinabove, including the results of such trial(s), shall be uploaded on the official website of the concerned State police on a regular basis. e) In the event of acquittal of any person(s) accused of committing such offences as set out hereinabove, the Nodal Officer(s) must coordinate with the Public Prosecutor for filing appeal against such acquittal, in the right earnest. 52 E.Compensation a) The person/persons who has/have initiated, promoted, instigated or any way caused to occur any act of violence against cultural programmes or which results in loss of life or damage to public or private property either directly or indirectly, shall be made liable to compensate the victims of such violence. b) Claims arising out of such acts of violence should be dealt with in the manner prescribed in paragraph 15 of In Re: Destruction of Public and Private Properties (supra). c) This compensation should be with regard to the loss of life or damage done to any public or private properties, both movable and immovable.

1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.330 OF 2018
Kodungallur Film Society …Petitioners
& Anr.
:Versus:
Union of India & Ors. …Respondent
J U D G M E N T
A.M. Khanwilkar, J.
1. The petitioners have filed the present writ petition on 25th
January, 2018, in the backdrop of mob violence, protests and
demonstrations which erupted across the nation in the recent
past, especially against cultural programmes and
establishments and the ensuing damage to public and private
properties arising out of such violence. Petitioner No. 1 is a
registered film society and petitioner no. 2, is a member of the
2
petitioner no.1 film society. They have highlighted law and
order problems arising out of the release of several films,
especially the violence surrounding the release of the film
‗Padmaavat‘, and submit that fundamentalist outfits and
fringe groups have been issuing threats and engaging in acts
of violence against people and property to disrupt and prevent
public exhibitions of these films on the pretext that they offend
their cultural/religious sentiments. These groups engage in
violence against artistic expression, with utter impunity and
show complete disregard for the rule of law and constitutional
values. The films which are protested against are certified for
public exhibition in accordance with law under the
Cinematograph Act and by attempting to stop their exhibition,
these groups operate as ‗super censors‘, exercising unlawful
authority and power outside the control and without the
sanction of the State. These attacks on films are part of a
larger problem whereby private individuals and groups impose
unlawful restraints by threatening violence upon citizens‘
artistic freedoms and thereby impinge on the freedom of
speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the
3
Constitution of India. The petitioners contend that the
respondent state governments then themselves ban the
exhibition of such films, citing law and order problems,
without clamping down on the root cause of such problems
namely the individuals and groups who incite and commit
violence. It is also contended that many such groups have
tacit support from the political parties in power.
2. The petitioners have consequently prayed for the
following reliefs:
―a) Issue a writ in the nature of mandamus, or any other
appropriate writ, direction or order directing the respondents
to strictly follow and implement the guidelines formulated by
this Hon‘ble Court in In Re: Destruction of Public and Private
Properties v. Govt. of AP (2009) 5 SCC 212 with regard to
measures to be taken to prevent destruction of public and
private properties in mass protestes and demonstrations,
and also regarding the modalities of fixing liability and
recovering compensation for damages caused to public and
private properties during such demonstrations and protests,
particularly mentioned in Paragraph 12 and 15 of SCC
Report of the said judgment.
b) appoint Claims Commissioner in the manner stated in
paragraph 15 of the judgment in In Re: Destruction of Public
and Private Properties v. Govt. of AP (2009) 5 SCC 212 to
assess damages caused to public and private properties by
protestors and also to fix liability not only on the
perpetrators but also on the leaders of the
groups/outfits/organizations which instigated agitations
with their threats against film makers and exhibitors and
through their call for destroying multiplexes, malls, cinemahalls,
theaters etc. in order to prevent the exhibition of films;
c) Issue a writ or order or direction in the nature of
Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ or order directing
4
all the state governments to initiate forthwith action under
the Indian Penal Code 1860 and the Prevention of
Destruction to Public Property Act 1984 against persons who
commit, cause to commit and incite violence and acts of
destruction with the intention of preventing and disrupting
the screening of films which are certified for public exhibition
under the Cinematograph Act, 1952 as it is violative of
Article 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution of India, in the interest of
justice; and ;
d) Issue a writ or order or direction in the nature of
Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ or order directing
the respondents to recover the additional expenditure
involved in providing security to film exhibition centers from
those people who have raised threats against exhibiting
certified films, in the interest of justice; and
e) Issue a writ or order or direction in the nature of
Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ or order directing
the respondents to complete the investigation and trial in
such offences in a time bound manner, in the interest of
justice; and
f) Issue a writ or order or direction in the nature of
Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ or order that the
bail applications, if any, moved by persons arrested for
committing, causing, abetting or inciting acts of violence and
destruction with the intention of preventing and disrupting
the screening of films certified for public exhibition under the
Cinematograph Act 1952 will be allowed only on condition
that they deposit the sum equivalent to the loss quantified to
have been caused by them, or furnish security for such
quantified loss and also, in the interest of justice; and
g) Issue a writ or order or direction in the nature of
Mandamus or any other appropriate Writ or order that the
assets and properties of such arrested persons and also the
leaders of protesting groups which incited or abetted violence
and destruction, will remain under attachment for the loss
quantified to have been caused until its realization, in the
interest of justice; and
h) Issue a writ in the nature of mandamus, or any other
appropriate writ, direction or order directing the respondents
to file status reports regarding the implementation of actions
taken by them with respect to guidelines formulated by this
Hon‘ble Court in strictly follow and implement the guidelines
formulated by this Hon‘ble Court in In Re: Destruction of
Public and Private Properties v. Govt. of AP (2009) 5 SCC,
particularly mentioned in Paragraph 12 and 15 of SCC
Report of the said judgment.
5
i) Issue a writ in the nature of mandamus, or any other
appropriate writ, direction or order directing the respondents
to explore the options of invoking the provisions of Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 against the
outfits/groups/organizations which make brazen threats on
film makers and artists, and indulge in systematic and
organized acts of destruction and damage of property so as
to achieve their unlawful ends by striking terror in society;
j) Please to issue any other writ or direction(s) or
Order(s) as the Hon‘ble Court may deem fit and proper in
view of the facts and circumstances of the case and in the
interest of justice.‖
3. The principal relief is to issue directions to the
States/Union of India to strictly implement the decision
rendered by this Court in In Re: Destruction of Public and
Private Properties Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors.1
concerning the large-scale destruction of properties in the
name of agitations, bandhs, hartals etc. The Court, after
taking note of certain suggestions given by the Committees
appointed by the Court inter alia recommended amendments
to the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 (for
short ‗the PDPP Act’), Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and
other criminal law statutes; and also set out guidelines to
assess damages to property in the absence of a statutory

1 (2009) 5 SCC 212
6
framework. The relevant portion of the judgment is set out
hereunder:
―4. Two reports have been submitted by the Committees. The
matter was heard at length. The recommendations of the
Committees headed by Justice K.T. Thomas and Mr. F.S.
Nariman have been considered. Certain suggested guidelines
have also been submitted by learned Amicus Curiae.
5. The report submitted by Justice K.T. Thomas
Committee has made the following recommendations:
(i) The PDPP Act must be so amended as to incorporate a
rebuttable presumption (after the prosecution established
the two facets) that the accused is guilty of the offence.
(ii) The PDPP Act to contain provision to make the leaders of
the organisation, which calls the direct action, guilty of
abetment of the offence.
(iii) The PDPP Act to contain a provision for rebuttable
presumption.
(iv) Enable the police officers to arrange videography of the
activities damaging public property.
6. The recommendations of the Justice Thomas
Committee have been made on the basis of the following
conclusions after taking into consideration the materials.
In respect of (i)
7. ―According to this Committee the prosecution should
be required to prove, first that public property has been
damaged in a direct action called by an organization and
that the accused also participated in such direct action.
From that stage the burden can be shifted to the accused
to prove his innocence. Hence we are of the view that in
situations where prosecution succeeds in proving that
public property has been damaged in direct actions in
which accused also participated, the court should be
given the power to draw a presumption that the accused
is guilty of destroying public property and that it is open
to the accused to rebut such presumption. The PDPP Act
may be amended to contain provisions to that effect.‖
7
In respect of (ii)
8. ―Next we considered how far the leaders of the
organizations can also be caught and brought to trial, when
public property is damaged in the direct actions called at the
behest of such organizations. Destruction of public property
has become so rampant during such direct actions called by
organizations. In almost all such cases the top leaders of
such organisations who really instigate such direct actions
will keep themselves in the background and only the
ordinary or common members or grass root level followers of
the organisation would directly participate in such direct
actions and they alone would be vulnerable to prosecution
proceedings. In many such cases, the leaders would really
be the main offenders being the abettors of the crime. If
they are not caught in the dragnet and allowed to be
immune from prosecution proceedings, such direct
actions would continue unabated, if not further
escalated, and will remain a constant or recurring affair.
Of course, it is normally difficult to prove abetment of the
offence with the help of direct evidence. This flaw can be
remedied to a great extent by making an additional
provision in PDPP Act to the effect that specified
categories of leaders of the organization which make the
call for direct actions resulting in damage to public
property, shall be deemed to be guilty of abetment of the
offence. At the same time, no innocent person, in spite of
his being a leader of the organization shall be made to suffer
for the actions done by others. This requires the inclusion of
a safeguard to protect such innocent leaders.‖
In respect of (iii)
9. ―After considering various aspects to this question
we decided to recommend that prosecutions should be
required to prove (i) that those accused were the leaders
or office bearers of the organisation which called out the
direct actions and (ii) that public property has been
damaged in or during or in the aftermath of such direct
actions. At that stage of trial it should be open to the
court to draw a presumption against such persons who
are arraigned in the case that they have abetted the
commission of offence. However, the accused in such
case shall not be liable to conviction if he proves that (i)
he was in no way connected with the action called by his
8
political party or that (ii) he has taken all reasonable
measures to prevent causing damage to public property
in the direct action called by his organisation.‖
In respect of (iv)
10. ―The Committee considered other means of adducing
evidence for averting unmerited acquittals in trials
involving offences under PDPP Act. We felt that one of the
areas to be tapped is evidence through videography in
addition to contemporaneous material that may be available
through the media, such as electronic media. With the
amendments brought in the Evidence Act, through Act 21 of
2000 permitting evidence collected through electronic
devices as admissible in evidence, we wish to recommend
the following:
i) If the officer in charge of a police station or other law
enforcing agency is of opinion that any direct action, either
declared or undeclared has the potential of causing
destruction or damage to public property, he shall avail
himself of the services of video operators. For this purpose
each police station shall be empowered to maintain a panel
of local video operators who could be made available at short
notices.
(ii) The police officer who has the responsibility to act on the
information that a direct action is imminent and if he has
reason to apprehend that such direct action has the
potential of causing destruction of public property, he shall
immediately avail himself of the services of the videographer
to accompany him or any other police officer deputed by him
to the site or any other place wherefrom video shooting can
conveniently be arranged concentrating on the person/
persons indulging in any acts of violence or other acts
causing destruction or damage to any property.
iii) No sooner than the direct action subsides, the police
officer concerned shall authenticate the video by producing
the videographer before the Sub Divisional or Executive
Magistrate who shall record his statement regarding what he
did. The original tapes or CD or other material capable of
displaying the recorded evidence shall be produced before
the said Magistrate. It is open to the Magistrate to entrust
such CD/material to the custody of the police officer or any
other person to be produced in court at the appropriate stage
or as and when called for.
9
The Committee felt that offenders arrested for damaging
public property shall be subjected to a still more stringent
provision for securing bail. The discretion of the court in
granting bail to such persons should be restricted to cases
where the court feels that there are reasonable grounds to
presume that he is not guilty of the offence. This is in tune
with Section 437 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
and certain other modern Criminal Law statutes. So we
recommend that Section 5 may be amended for carrying
out the above restriction.
Thus we are of the view that discretion to reduce the
minimum sentence on condition of recording special
reasons need not be diluted. But, instead of “reasons” the
court should record “special reasons” to reduce the
minimum sentence prescribed.
However, we felt that apart from the penalty of
imprisonment the court should be empowered to impose
a fine which is equivalent to the market value of the
property damaged on the day of the incident. In default
of payment of fine, the offender shall undergo
imprisonment for a further period which shall be
sufficient enough to deter him from opting in favour of
the alternative imprisonment.‖
11. The recommendations according to us are wholesome
and need to be accepted.
12. To effectuate the modalities for preventive action
and adding teeth to enquiry/investigation following
guidelines are to be observed:
As soon as there is a demonstration organized:
(I) The organizer shall meet the police to review and
revise the route to be taken and to lay down conditions
for a peaceful march or protest;
(II)All weapons, including knives, lathis and the like shall
be prohibited;
(III) An undertaking is to be provided by the organizers
to ensure a peaceful march with marshals at each
relevant junction;
(IV) The police and State Government shall ensure
videograph of such protests to the maximum extent
possible;
(V) The person in charge to supervise the demonstration
shall be the SP (if the situation is confined to the
10
district) and the highest police officer in the State,
where the situation stretches beyond one district;
(VI) In the event that demonstrations turn violent, the
officer-in-charge shall ensure that the events are
videographed through private operators and also request
such further information from the media and others on
the incidents in question.
(VII) The police shall immediately inform the State
Government with reports on the events, including
damage, if any, caused .
(VIII) The State Government shall prepare a report on the
police reports and other information that may be
available to it and shall file a petition including its
report in the High Court or Supreme Court as the case
may be for the Court in question to take suo motu
action.
13. So far as the Committee headed by Mr. F.S. Nariman
is concerned the recommendations and the views are
essentially as follows:
“There is a connection between tort and crime – the purpose
of the criminal law is to protect the public interest and
punish wrongdoers, the purpose of tort-law is to vindicate
the rights of the individual and compensate the victim for
loss, injury or damage suffered by him: however – the
distinction in purpose between criminal law and the law of
tort is not entirely crystal-clear, and it has been developed
from case-to-case. The availability of exemplary damages in
certain torts (for instance) suggest an overtly punitive
function – but one thing is clear: tort and criminal law have
always shared a deterrent function in relation to wrongdoing.
The entire history of the development of the tort law shows a
continuous tendency, which is naturally not uniform in all
common law countries, to recognise as worthy of legal
protection, interests which were previously not protected at
all or were infrequently protected and it is unlikely that this
tendency has ceased or is going to cease in future. There are
dicta both ancient and modern that categories of tort are not
closed and that novelty of a claim is no defence. But
generally, the judicial process leading to recognition of new
tort situations is slow and concealed for judges are cautious
in making innovations and they seldom proclaim their
creative role. Normally, a new principle is judicially accepted
to accommodate new ideas of social welfare or public policy
only after they have gained their recognition in the society
11
for example in extra judicial writings and even then the
decision accepting the new principle is supported mainly by
expansion or restriction of existing principles which
‗gradually receive a new content and at last a new form‘.
Where persons, whether jointly or otherwise, are part of a
protest which turns violent, results in damage to private or
public property, the persons who have caused the damage,
or were part of the protest or who have organized will be
deemed to be strictly liable for the damage so caused, which
may be assessed by the ordinary courts or by any special
procedure created to enforce the right.
This Committee is of the view that it is in the spirit of
the observation in M.C. Mehta v. Union of India that this
Court needs to lay down principles on which liability
could be fastened and damages assessed in cases in
which due to behaviour of mobs and riotous groups
public and private property is vandalized and loss of life
and injury is occasioned to innocent persons. These are
clearly “unusual situations”, which have arisen and likely to
arise in future and need to be provided for in the larger
interest of justice.
It is on the principles set out above that (it is suggested) that
the Hon’ble Court should frame guidelines and venture to
evolve new principles (of liability) to meet situations that
have already arisen in the past and are likely to arise again
in future, so that speedy remedies become available to
persons affected by loss of life, injury and loss of properties,
public or private, as a result of riots and civil commotions.
Damages in the law of torts in India include:
(a) damages based on the concept of restituto in
interregnum to enable total recompense; and
(b) exemplary damages‖
14. The basic principles as suggested by Nariman
Committee are as follows which we find to be
appropriate:
(1) The basic principle for measure of damages in torts (i.e.
wrongs) in property is that there should be ‗restituto in
interregnum‘ which conveys the idea of ―making whole‖.
(2) Where any injury to property is to be compensated by
damages, in settling the sum of money to be given for
reparation by way of damages the Court should as nearly as
possible get at that sum of money which will put the party
12
who has suffered, in the same position as he would have
been in if he had not sustained the wrong for which he is
now getting his compensation or reparation.
(3) In this branch of the law, the principle of restitution in
interregnum has been described as the “dominant” rule of
law. Subsidiary rules can only be justified if they give effect
to that rule.
(3.1) In actions in tort where damages are at large i.e. not
limited to the pecuniary loss that can be specifically proved,
the Court may also take into account the defendant’s
motives, conduct and manner of committing the tort, and
where these have aggravated the plaintiff’s damage e.g. by
injuring his proper feelings of dignity, safety and pride –
aggravated damages may be awarded. Aggravated damages
are designed to compensate the plaintiff for his wounded
feelings-they must be distinguished from exemplary damages
which are punitive in nature and which (under English Law)
may be awarded in a limited category of cases.
(3.2) “Exemplary damages” has been a controversial topic for
many years. Such damages are not compensatory but are
awarded to punish the defendant and to deter him and
others from similar behaviour in the future. The law in
England (as restated in Rookes v. Barnard affirmed in
Cassell v. Broome) is that such damages are not generally
allowed. In England they can only be awarded in three
classes of cases (i) where there is oppressive, arbitrary or
unconstitutional action by servants of the Government; (ii)
where the defendants conduct has been calculated by him to
make a profit for himself which may well exceed the
compensation payable to the claimant; and (iii) where such
damages are provided by statute.
(3.3) In the decision in Kuddus v. Chief Constable of
Leicestershire Constabulary, the most recent judgment of the
House of Lords, the Law Lords did not say that in the future
the award of exemplary damages should be restricted only in
the cases mentioned in Rookes v. Barnard (as affirmed in
Cassell v. Broome). Lord Nicholls in his speech at page 211
stated that:
“68. …the essence of the conduct constituting the Court’s
discretionary jurisdiction to award exemplary damages is
conduct which was such as to be an outrageous disregard of
the claimant’s rights.
(3.4) ” In this committee’s view, the principle that Courts
in India are not limited in the law of torts merely to
what English Courts say or do, is attracted to the
present situation. This Committee is of the view that
13
this Hon’ble Court should evolve a principle of liability –
punitive in nature – on account of vandalism and rioting
leading to damages/destruction of property public and
private. Damages must also be such as would deter
people from similar behaviour in the future: after all this
is already the policy of the law as stated in the
Prevention of Damage to Property Act, 1984, and is
foreshadowed in the order of this Hon’ble Court dated
18-06-2007 making the present reference.
(3.5) In a Winfield and Jolowicz on Tort 17th Edn. (at pp.
948-49) the authors set out the future of exemplary damages
by quoting from the decision in Kuddus v. Chief Constable of
Leicestershire Constabulary where two Law Lords Lord
Nicholls and Lord Hutton expressed the view that such
damages might have a valuable role to play in dealing with
outrageous behaviour. The authors point out that the
boundaries between the civil and criminal law are not rigid
or immutable and the criminal process alone is not an
adequate mechanism to deter willful wrong-doing. The
acceptability of the principle of compensation with
punishment appears to have been confirmed by the Privy
Council (in Gleaner Co Ltd. Vs. Abrahams AC at 54) where it
was felicitously said that: (AC P.647, para 54)
―54. …oil and vinegar may not mix in solution but they
combine to make an acceptable salad dressing.”
(3.6) The authors go on to say that exemplary damages
certainly enjoy a continuing vitality in other common law
jurisdictions, which, by and large, have rejected the various
shackles imposed on them in England and extended them to
other situations: thus punitive damages was held to be
available in Australia “in cases of “outrageous” acts of
negligence. The Law Commission of Australia has also
concluded – after a fairly evenly balanced consultation-that
exemplary damages should be retained where the defendant
“had deliberately and outrageously disregarded the plaintiffs
rights.‖
15. In the absence of legislation the following guidelines
are to be adopted to assess damages:
(I) Wherever a mass destruction to property takes place
due to protests or thereof, the High Court may issue suo
motu action and set up a machinery to investigate the
damage caused and to award compensation related
thereto.
(II) Where there is more than one state involved, such
action may be taken by the Supreme Court.
14
(III) In each case, the High Court or Supreme Court, as
the case may be, appoint a sitting or retired High Court
judge or a sitting or retired District judge as a Claims
Commissioner to estimate the damages and investigate
liability.
(IV) An Assessor may be appointed to assist the Claims
Commissioner.
(V) The Claims Commissioner and the Assessor may seek
instructions from the High Court or Supreme Court as
the case may be, to summon the existing video or other
recordings from private and public sources to pinpoint
the damage and establish nexus with the perpetrators of
the damage.
(VI) The principles of absolute liability shall apply once
the nexus with the event that precipitated the damage is
established.
(VII) The liability will be borne by the actual perpetrators
of the crime as well as organisers of the event giving rise
to the liability – to be shared, as finally determined by
the High Court or Supreme Court as the case may be.
(VIII) Exemplary damages may be awarded to an extent
not greater than twice the amount of the damages liable
to be paid.
(IX) Damages shall be assessed for:
(a) damages to public property;
(b) damages to private property;
(c) damages causing injury or death to a person or
persons;
(d) Cost of the actions by the authorities and police to
take preventive and other actions.
(X) The Claims Commissioner will make a report to the
High Court or Supreme Court which will determine the
liability after hearing the parties.
16. The recommendations of Justice K.T. Thomas
Committee and Mr F.S. Nariman Committee above which
have the approval of this Court shall immediately
become operative. They shall be operative as guidelines.
xxx
28. The present case is one in which guidelines are
necessary:
(i) to the police to enforce statutory duties, and
(ii) to create a special purpose vehicle in respect of damages
for riot cases.
15
This issue was examined by the Nariman Committee which
considered:
―… where (in such cases) there is destruction/damage to
properties and loss of lives or injuries to persons—
(i) the true measures of such damages,
(ii) the modalities for imposition of such damages, and…‖
(p. 2 of the Report).
29. These guidelines shall cease to be operative as and
when appropriate legislation consistent with the
guidelines indicated above are put in place and/or any
fast track mechanism is created by the statute(s).‖
(emphasis supplied)
After having noted the recommendations made by the
Committees appointed by the Court, in paragraphs 16, 28 and
29 the Court declared that the stated recommendations had
the approval of the Court and shall immediately become
operative.
4. Taking a cue from this decision, the petitioners have
prayed for the reliefs reproduced in paragraph 2 above. To
buttress the reliefs in the writ petition, the petitioners have
articulated some suggestions to ameliorate and curb the
occurrence of such events. The suggestions given by the
petitioners read thus:
16
―A. Regarding protection to freedom of speech and
expression
1. Any protest against creative art including movies,
drama, literature, music or the like, leading to an illegal ban
of the same by use of force, threat or veiled threat etc. are
not permissible. Any person or group who is aggrieved by
any creative expression of any sort shall only seek legal
remedy by resorting to the process of law.
2. State or authorities under state are not permitted to
ban or prohibit any creative expression on the ground of law
and order problem.
B. Regarding modalities for preventive action
3. The organizer of any public meeting, demonstration,
procession, march etc. shall intimate the police and inform
the route to be taken through e-mail or letter.
4. The police officer in charge, as far as possible, shall
allow the request and may review and revise the route to be
taken and lay down conditions for a peaceful march or
protest. There shall be absolute prohibition of possession of
knives, lathis, guns or any other weapons by anyone
participating in the march.
5. The police shall ensure videography of such protests
and the videos thus recorded shall be transmitted to a
central server under copy to the police headquarters with
date and time.
6. In the event of demonstrations turning violent, the
officer-in-charge shall also gather such further information
from the media and others on the incidents in question, and
media and public shall support police by sharing such
information.
7. The police shall immediately inform the State
Government with reports on the events, including damage, if
any, caused.
C. Regarding reporting of cases and police action
8. The Police shall maintain an online ‗cyber-information
reception window‘ on its website/app enabling people to
send instances of mob violence, destructive acts and hate
speech in whatever form, including the spurious videos and
face news. The police shall also make their own
arrangements for photographing violent protests, and take
immediate steps to find out the identity of the persons
involved in such activity.
9. If any such incident is reported to Police, the police
shall without delay register FIR with the names of the
persons so identified and arrest those persons who are
17
involved in the violent protests or hate speech, and follow the
process of law.
10. Provision shall be made by the State Police for online
registration of FIR and information regarding this facility
shall be widely disseminated so that the common man is
encouraged to report offences without facing the hurdles of
procedural formalities. For constructive use of the facility,
identity proof and verification via OTP to the registered
mobile number or email id of the user may be mandated.
11. The police shall immediately conduct an investigation
into the genuineness of the audio and video content within a
period of three days and if contents are prima facie found to
be true, the accused shall be arrested again (if already
released on bail) who shall thereafter be entitled for bail only
in the event of depositing the amount commensurate with
the loss/damage, caused by such act/s directly and
indirectly, as assessed by the police.
12. State shall take steps to establish sufficient number of
forensic labs to verify the authenticity of social media
content and audio/video content which may be in issue in
such cases.
13. If any person or organization including a political party
calls for any violent protest aiming to destroy private
property, or calls for any protest that subsequently results in
destruction of private property, the FIR shall be registered
showing the names of the leaders or persons who expressly
call for such protests. In cases where such a call was made
through the official spokesperson or through the official
social media account/page of the individual, political party
or organization, the charges shall be filed against the chief
office bearers of such political party or organization as the
case may be.
14. Any person who through speech, statement or
otherwise appeals or calls for
(a) violent protests or
(b) destruction of property or
(c) use of force to stop citizens from exercising their
fundamental rights or
(d) incitement to hatred
Shall be immediately arrested and prosecuted under relevant
provisions of law including S.153A, 295A read with section
298 IPC as the case may be.
15. The progress report of the investigation in the above
mentioned cases shall be made to the District
Collector/Chief Judicial Magistrate and shall also be
18
uploaded on the website of the Director General of Police, on
a weekly basis.
16. If anyone is acquitted in any such case, the State shall
file an appeal against the acquittal.
17. The judgment of acquittal or conviction shall be
uploaded on the website of the police where the progress
report of investigation is uploaded.
D. Regarding liability of organizations, groups etc.
18. If any protest that resulted in destruction of property
was organized by a group or by members of any
organization, the office bearers of such group or organization
shall within 24 hours of the incident, report to the police
station/s in whose jurisdiction the disruptive activities took
place.
19. The office bearers shall give all information about such
protest to the police, including the call for protest and the
details of the local leaders of such organization.
20. They may make a statement disowning the act of such
people who were involved in such protest and in case such a
statement is given, such of the members who are disowned
shall be expelled from the organization with immediate effect.
21. In case no statement of disownment is tendered or
disowned members are not expelled, the office bearers and
leaders of such organization shall also be liable for
prosecution under 120B of the IPC.
22. Any glorification or patronization of hate speech or
violence or accused by any person by means of words or acts
of any form shall also be liable for contempt of court.
E. Regarding accountability of police
23. If the police fail to register FIR or conduct investigation
and submit charge sheet within a period of 90 days in any of
the above mentioned instances, the Director General of
Police shall be personally liable for contempt of court.
24. Departmental action shall be initiated against those
police officers who are apparently inactive during such
protests and do not take necessary action as required within
a period of one month from the date of incident.
25. Any delay in taking appropriate action by the police
should be explained with reasons by the DGP and necessary
communication to this effect shall be made through public
notice including through official website of the Police.
F. Regarding claims tribunal and award of
compensation
26. The owners of private property that is destroyed by
mob violence/protestors or their representatives in interest
shall be entitled to claim compensation for destruction
19
caused to their property, movable and immovable. The
claims for compensation for destruction of private property
and the claim for restoration costs shall be filed before a
Claims Tribunal which shall be constituted by the State
Government to investigate the damage caused and to award
compensation related thereto. The Claims Tribunal shall
comprise of a sitting or retired High Court judge or a sitting
or retired District judge (Chairperson) and such other
members (Assessors) as may be prescribed by the
government. The Tribunal shall follow a time bound
summary procedure as may be prescribed by the
Government so that the claims are disbursed within 6
months from the occurrence.
27. The State Government and Director General of Police
shall hand over to the Claims Tribunal the video or other
recordings from private and public sources that would
enable the Claims Tribunal to pinpoint the damage and
establish nexus with the perpetrators of the damage.
28. The principles of absolute liability shall apply once the
nexus with the event that precipitated the damage is
established.
29. Damages shall be assessed for:
(a) damages to public property;
(b) damages to private property;
(c) damages causing injury or death to a person or
persons;
(d) Cost of the actions by the authorities and police to
take preventive and other actions.
30. Exemplary damages may be awarded to an extent not
greater than twice the amount of the damages liable to be
paid.
31. The Tribunal shall specify in its award the amount
towards compensation, amount towards the costs for
restoration of property and exemplary damages separately.
32. The liability to pay compensation shall be apportioned
by the Tribunal amongst the following persons:
(i) persons who actually committed the act of destruction
(ii) persons who made an appeal for such destruction
(iii) the office bearers of the organizations in which such
persons are members whereof, in case the
organizations do not make statement of disownment
and expel such members.
33. The person/s who is/are declared liable by the
Tribunal shall also be ordered to pay 10% of the amount
awarded as costs for meeting the expenses of the Tribunal.
20
34. It shall be the responsibility of the State Government
to restore all properties so destroyed to its original position
within a period of 12 months. The cost shall be realized from
persons declared liable by the Tribunal as arrears of land
revenue.
G. Protection of non-violent democratic form of
processions, march and protests
35. All democratic protests without violence, against the
government policy/action or for social causes shall be duly
respected and shall not incur any liability.
36. Raising slogans against the government or its leaders
shall not be treated as hate speech or as an offence. The
protesters shall have the right to carry posters, banners,
effigies etc. to show their mark of protest.‖
5. We have heard Mr. P.V. Dinesh, learned counsel for the
petitioners and Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General
for India, as also Mr. Aman Lekhi, learned Additional Solicitor
General, on behalf of the respondent No.1 Union of India and
the respondent States.
6. Mr. Venugopal is unequivocal in his submission that
violent protests which lead to loss of life and damage to public
and private properties are against the spirit of democracy. He
submits that pursuant to the judgment in In Re: Destruction
of Public and Private Properties (supra), the Union of India
has advised the respondent states to follow the guidelines laid
21
down therein vide letter dated 6th May, 20132. Further, a Bill is
being introduced to bring in certain amendments to the PDPP
Act in line with the said guidelines, which is currently under

2
―ANNEXURE-2 No.11034/01/2013-IS-IV
Government of India Ministry of Hone Affairs IS-I Division
North Block, New Delhi the
6th May, 2013
To The Chief Secretaries
All State Govts./UTs
Subject: Destruction and Damage to Public Properties in the name of agitations, Bandhs, Hartals etc.- guidelines for
prevention of such destructive activities – regarding.
Sir/madam
The Hon‘ble Supreme Court of India taking a serious note of various instances where there was large scale
destruction of public and private properties in the name of agitations, bandhs hartals and the like vide order dated
16.04.2009 in W.P. (Crl.) No.77/2007 in the matter of Destruction of Public & Private Properties Vs. State of A.P. and
Ors. directed that the following guidelines should be observed as soon as there is a demonstration organized to
effectuate the modalities for preventive action and adding teeth to enquiry/investigation:-
(i) If the officer in charge of a police station or other law enforcing agency is of the opinion that any direct
action, either declared or undeclared has the potential of causing destruction or damage to public
property, he shall avail himself of the services of video operators. For this purpose each police station
shall be empowered to maintain a panel of local video operators who could be made available at short
notices.
(ii) The police officer who has the responsibility to act on the information that a direct action is imminent
and if he has reason to apprehend that such direct action has the potential of causing destruction of
public property, he shall immediately avail himself of the services of the video-grapher to accompany him
or any other police officer deputed by him to the site or any other place wherefrom video shooting can
conveniently be arranged concentrating on the person/persons indulging in any acts of violence or other
acts causing destruction of damage to any property.
(iii) No sooner than the direct action subsides, the police officer concerned shall authenticate the video by
producing the video grapher before the Sub divisional or Executive Magistrate who shall record his
statement regarding what he did for preparing the video graph. The original tapes or |CD or other
material capable of displaying the recorded evidence shall be produced before the said Magistrate. It is
open to the Magistrate to entrust such CD/material to the custody of the police officer or any other
person to be produced in court at the appropriate stage or as and when called for.
(iv) The organizer shall meet the police to review and revise the route to be taken and to lay down conditions
for a peaceful march or protest.
(v) All weapons, including knives, lathis and the like shall be prohibited.
(vi) An undertaking is to be provided by the organizers to ensure a peaceful march with marshals at each
relevant junction.
(vii) The police and State Government shall ensure videography of such protests to the maximum extent
possible.
(viii) The person in charge to supervise the demonstration shall be the SP (if the situation is confined to the
district) and the highest police officer in the State, where the situation stretches beyond one district.
(ix) In the event that demonstrations turn violent, the officer-in-charge shall ensure that the events are
videographed through private operators and also request such further information from the media and
others on the incidents in question.
(x) The Police shall immediately inform the State Government with reports on the events, including damage,
if any caused.
(xi) The State Government shall prepare a report on the police reports and other information that may be
available to it and shall file a petition including its reports in the High Court or Supreme Court as the
case may be for the Court in question to take suo motu action.
2. Though ‗Police‘ and ‗Public Order‘ are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule (List-II) to the Constitution
of India, the Union Government attaches highest importance to prevention of crime. Therefore has been
advising the State Governments/Union Territory Administration from time to time to give more focused
attention to the administration of the criminal justice system with emphasis on prevention and control of
crime.
3. In view of the Hon‘ble Supreme Courts directions, all the State Movements/UTs are advised to take
appropriate steps for effective prevention, detection, registration, investigation and prosecution of all crimes
within their jurisdiction.
Copy to: Yours faithfully.
The Pri. Secretary/Secretary (Home) of all State Govts./UTs. (Rakesh Singh) Joint Secretary to the Govt. of India
The Director General of Police of all State Govt./UTs‖ Tele No.23092736
22
discussion with the stakeholders. The Union of India vide
letter dated 26th March, 20183 has also requested the States
and Union Territories to appoint one or more
district/additional district judges, in consultation with their
respective High Courts, to deal with cases of damage to public
property on a whole-time or part-time basis. Pending the
outcome of the aforesaid discussions, and as an interim
measure, the learned Attorney General has also given certain
written suggestions to increase accountability and timelines
for law-enforcement bodies in relation to such acts of mob
violence. We shall advert to the proposed amendments to the
PDPP Act and the written suggestions shortly.

3
“ANNEXURE-3
No.24013/12/C.C./2013-CSR.III/3997-4105 Ministry of Home Affairs
(CS Division)
Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, India Gate, New Delhi, dated the 26th March, 2018.
To,
Chief Secretaries of all State Governments & UT Administrations.
Subject:- Supreme Court‘s Judgment in Writ Petition (Civil) No.55 of 2013 filed by Koshy Jacob Vs.
Union of India & Ors.
Sir,
The Hon‘ble Supreme Court in its Judgment dated 28-11-2017 in the above mentioned writ petition,
on the issue of dealing with cases of damage to public property has observed that one or more
district/additional district judges can be appointed by the State Government in consultation with the High
Court to deal with such issues either on whole-time basis or on part-time basis, as the situation may require.
In such cases, cadre strength of the judicial officers may require suitable temporary or permanent increase.
2. It is therefore requested that States/UTs may comply with the directions of the Supreme Court‘s
order.
Yours faithfully,
(Krishan Kumar)
Deputy Secretary (CS-I)
Tel:23075291
End.- As above
Copy to;-
1. Home Secretaries of all State Governments & UT Administrations
2. DGPs of all State Governments & UT Administrations.‖
23
7. The present petition highlights the disconcerting rise in
the protests and demonstrations by private entities targeting,
amongst others, exhibition of films and social functions and
including sections of people, on moral grounds, in particular,
using threats and actual violence. In addition to being patently
illegal and unlawful, such acts of violence highlight a deeper
malaise, one of intolerance towards others‘ views which then
results in attempts to suppress alternate view points, artistic
integrity and the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed
by the Constitution of India. Indeed, the people who perpetrate
such actions, especially against private parties, do so without
fear of consequence and reprisal, probably believing that
private parties do not have the wherewithal to hold them
accountable for such actions. In such situations, the State
must step in and perform its duty by taking measures to
prevent such actions from occurring in the first place,
ensuring that law-enforcement agencies exercise their power
to bring the guilty parties to book and imposing time-bound
and adequate punishment for any lapses. This Court has time
24
and time again underscored the supremacy of law and that
one must not forget that administration of law can only be
done by law-enforcing agencies recognised by law. Nobody has
the right to become a self-appointed guardian of the law and
forcibly administer his or her own interpretation of the law on
others, especially not with violent means. Mob violence runs
against the very core of our established legal principles since it
signals chaos and lawlessness and the State has a duty to
protect its citizens against the illegal and reprehensible acts of
such groups. Very recently, we have dealt with almost similar
grievances in Tehseen S. Poonawalla Vs. Union of India &
Ors.
4
8. We must first advert to the exposition in In Re:
Destruction of Public and Private Properties (supra), and
discern as to whether the guidelines enunciated therein are
adequate to meet the challenges under consideration and as to
what extent the said recommendations have been

4 Judgment dated 17th July, 2018 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 754 of 2016; AIR 2018 SC 3354
25
implemented. We also have to examine whether this Court
ought to direct any additional measures.
9. There is a broad consensus that the recommendations
made and directions given in In Re: Destruction of Public
and Private Properties (supra), at paragraph 3 hereinabove
are comprehensive to deal with the issue of large-scale
destruction of private and public properties which unwinds
during violent protests and demonstrations. We find that the
Committee‘s recommendations noted in the said judgment
traverse the length and breadth of the issue at hand and, if
implemented in their entirety, would go a long way in
removing the bane of violence caused against persons and
property. As far as implementation of the said
recommendations, is concerned, and as stated earlier, the
learned Attorney General‘s submission is that the Union is
mindful of the dictum in In Re: Destruction of Public and
Private Properties (supra), and has advised the States to
follow the same in its letter and spirit and also drafted a
bill for initiating legislative changes in conformity
26
with the recommendations of this Court, namely, The
Prevention of Damage to Public Property (Amendment) Bill,
2015, which is currently being examined in consultation with
the Ministry of Law and Justice. The Bill reads as under:
“ANNEXURE – 1
THE PREVENTION OF DAMAGE TO PUBLIC PROPERTY
(AMENDMENT) BILL, 2015
A
BILL
to amend the Prevention of Damage to Public
Property Act, 1984
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-sixth
year of the Republic of India as follows:-
Short title and
commencement.
1. (1) This Act may be called the
Prevention of Damage to Public Property
(Amendment) Act, 2015.
(2) It shall come into force on such date as
the Central Government may, by notification
in the Official Gazette, appoint.
Amendment of Act
3 of 1984.
2. In the Prevention of Damage to Public
Property Act, 1984 (hereinafter referred to as
the principal Act), after the words ―and with
fine‖, wherever they occur, the words ―which
shall be equivalent to the market value of the
public property damaged‖ shall be inserted.
3 of 1984
Amendment of
Section 2.
3. In the principle Act, in section 2, after
clause (a), the following clause shall be
inserted, -namely :-
(aa) ―prescribed‖ means prescribed by rules
made under this Act;‖.
Amendment of
Section3.
4. In section 3 of the principal Act, in subsection
(2), in the proviso, for the words ―for
reasons‖, the words ―for special reasons‖ shall
be substituted.
Insertion of new
sections 4A, 4B,
4C and 40 [sic]
5. After section 4 of the principal Act the
following sections shall be inserted, namely :-
Presumption
against accused.
―4A. Where an offence under this Act has
been committed and it is shown that the
27
public property has been damaged, as direct
consequence of such offence and the accusedparticipated
in the commission of such
offence, it shall be presumed unless the
contrary is shown, that the accused had
committed such offence.
Abetment of 4B. Where damage to public property is
caused in consequence of demonstration,
hartal or bandh called by any organization,
the office-bearers of such organization shall
be deemed to be guilty of the commission of
the offence of abetment of an offence
punishable under this Act and shall be liable
to be proceeded against and punished
accordingly.
Provided that nothing contained to this
Section shall render may such office bearer
liable to any punishment provided in this Act,
if he proves that the offence was committed
without his knowledge or that be had
exercised all due diligence to prevent the
commission of such offence.
Punishment for
abetment of
mischief
4C. Whoever abets an offence punishable
under this Act shall be punished with the
punishment provided for that offence under
this Act.
Procedure for
videography of
incidents of
Demonstration.
4D. Where a call for demonstration, hartal or
bandh has been given by an organization and
the officer-no charge of a police station has
reasons to believe that damage to the public
property is likely to be caused or there is
imminent danger of such damage, he shall,-
(i) Make such arrangements for the
videography of the area where the
demonstration, hartal or bandh is proposed
to be held;
(ii) Deposit the soft copies of videography,
in such manner, with the concerned SubDivisional
Magistrate or Executive Magistrate
who may entrust the same to said police
officer or any other person;
(iii) Get, the statement of the Videographer
recorded before the concerned Sub-Divisional
Magistrate or Executive Magistrate in such
manner, as may be prescribed.‖.
Amendment of 6. In section 5 of the principal Act-
28
Section5.
(i) After the words and figure ―or section
4‖, the words and figure ―or section 4B‖ shall
be inserted;
(ii) After the words ―for such release‖, the
words ―and there are reasonable grounds to
believe that he is not guilty of the said
offence‖ shall be inserted.
Insertion of new
sections 6A and
6B
7. After section 6 of the principal Act, the
following sections shall be inserted, namely :-
Power to make
rules
―6A (1) The Central Government may, by
notification in the Official Gazette, make rules
for carrying out the provisions of this Act,
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the
generality of the foregoing power, such rules
may ―provide for all or any – of the following
matters, namely :-
(a) the arrangement for videography under
section 4D; and
(b) the manner of depositing the soft copies
of videography and recording the statement of
the videographer under section 4D.
Rules to be laid
before Parliament
6B. Every rule made by the Central
Government under this Act shall be laid, as
soon as may be after it is made, before each
House of Parliament, while it is in session, for
a total period of thirty days, which may be
comprised in one session or in two or more
successive sessions, and if, before the expiry
of the session immediately following the
session or the successive sessions aforesaid,
both Houses agree in making any
modification in the rule or both Houses agree
that the ride should not be made, the rule
shall thereafter have effect only in such
modified form or be of no effect, as the case
may be; so, however, that any such
modification or annulment shall be without
prejudice to the validity of anything
previously done under that rule.‖ ‖
29
For the time being, we do not wish to comment on the efficacy
of the proposed legislative changes including as to whether it
would fully address the points noted in the
guidelines/recommendations in In Re: Destruction of Public
and Private Properties (supra). We keep that issue open to
be decided in appropriate proceedings if and when the
occasion arises. We hope that the said Bill will be taken to its
logical end in the right earnest.
10. On the issue of whether additional measures need to be
introduced, the learned Attorney General has also made
certain suggestions which can be implemented as interim
measures, pending the outcome of the aforestated Bill, to
fasten accountability and prescribe timelines for the lawenforcement
agencies. The same are set out hereunder:
―12. While the Union of India is still considering the
amendments, as an interim measure, it is suggested that this
Court may consider issuing the following directions:
a. The offence is covered under Section 3 of the PDPP Act,
which provides that whoever commits mischief by doing any
act in respect of any public property shall be punished with
imprisonment and fine. Mischief has been defined under
Section 425 of the Indian Penal Code as – ―whoever with
intent to cause, or knowing that he is likely to cause,
wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person,
causes the destruction of any property, or any such change
in any property or in the situation thereof as destroys or
30
diminishes its value or utility, or affects it injuriously,
commits ―mischief‖.
b. This Court may consider the example of the Delhi
Development Authority, where, in order to deal with illegal
encroachments, the DDA has divided the city into various
zones and placed them under different officers who would be
held responsible in case there were building law violations in
their respective zones. This has had the result of improving
accountability and reduced instances of illegal encroachment.
c. The liability for compensation has to be fixed on the
organizer(s) irrespective of whether he was himself the
perpetrator of the act which caused the damage.
d. In addition, the actual perpetrators who caused the
damage will also be liable to pay compensation.
e. Accordingly, the State Governments may be directed to pin
the responsibility of maintaining law and order during such
protests, bands, etc. on the Senior Superintendent of police
in charge of that district. If this is done, in all future cases,
the Courts can seek a response directly from the SSP
regarding video recordings, details of FIRs filed, steps taken
etc.
f. In addition, the Court may direct, each police station to
maintain a panel of local video operators who could be made
available at short notices to videograph the incidents of
violence and damage to public property etc.
g. Further, the States can consider setting up helplines to
specifically deal with instances of violence or damage to
property caused during such protests, and have a force that
immediately deals with complaints made on such helplines.‖
11. At this stage, it would be apposite to also consider the
judgment rendered by a three-Judge bench of this Court in
Tehseen S. Poonawalla (supra), where this Court had to deal
with a specific type of mob violence and the resulting
restraints on personal liberty and free speech. In that case, the
petitioners had prayed for a writ to take measures to curb
incidents of lynching and mob violence in respect of cattle
31
trade and related activities. At the macro level, the
dispensation to tackle the incidents of targeted violence and
commission of offences affecting the human body and against
private and public property by mobs operating under the garb
of self-assumed and self-appointed protectors of law would be
similar to that of damage caused due to mob violence for any
other cause. Taking note of burgeoning instances of
vigilantism and lynching, this Court propounded that states
had the duty to ensure that individuals or groups did not take
the law into their own hands to prevent untoward incidents
and to prevent crime which may include damage caused to
property. In that context, the Court observed:
―19. Mob vigilantism and mob violence have to be prevented
by the governments by taking strict action and by the vigil
society who ought to report such incidents to the state
machinery and the police instead of taking the law into their
own hands. Rising intolerance and growing polarisation
expressed through spate of incidents of mob violence cannot
be permitted to become the normal way of life or the normal
state of law and order in the country. Good governance and
nation building require sustenance of law and order which is
intricately linked to the preservation of the marrows of our
social structure. In such a situation, the State has a
sacrosanct duty to protect its citizens from unruly elements
and perpetrators of orchestrated lynching and vigilantism
with utmost sincerity and true commitment to address and
curb such incidents which must reflect in its actions and
schemes.
32
20. Hate crimes as a product of intolerance, ideological
dominance and prejudice ought not to be tolerated; lest it
results in a reign of terror. Extra judicial elements and nonState
actors cannot be allowed to take the place of law or the
law enforcing agency. A fabricated identity with bigoted
approach sans acceptance of plurality and diversity
results in provocative sentiments and display of
reactionary retributive attitude transforming itself into
dehumanisation of human beings. Such an atmosphere is
one in which rational debate, logical discussion and
sound administration of law eludes thereby manifesting
clear danger to various freedoms including freedom of
speech and expression. One man’s freedom of thought,
action, speech, expression, belief, conscience and
personal choices is not being tolerated by the other and
this is due to lack of objective rationalisation of acts and
situations. In this regard, it has been aptly said:- “Freedom
of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; When
this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society
is dissolved and tyranny is erected on its ruins.”
21. Freedom of speech and expression in different forms
is the élan vital of sustenance of all other rights and is
the very seed for germinating the growth of democratic
views. Plurality of voices celebrates the constitutionalist idea
of a liberal democracy and ought not to be suppressed. That
is the idea and essence of our nation which cannot be, to
borrow a line from Rabindranath Tagore, ―broken up into
fragments by narrow domestic walls‖ of caste, creed, race,
class or religion. Pluralism and tolerance are essential
virtues and constitute the building blocks of a truly free and
democratic society. It must be emphatically stated that a
dynamic contemporary constitutional democracy imbibes the
essential feature of accommodating pluralism in thought and
approach so as to preserve cohesiveness and unity.
Intolerance arising out of a dogmatic mindset sows the
seeds of upheaval and has a chilling effect on freedom of
thought and expression. Hence, tolerance has to be
fostered and practised and not allowed to be diluted in
any manner.
22. In S. Rangarajan v. P. Jagjivan Ram and others, K.
Jagannatha Shetty, J., although in a different context,
referred to the decision of the European Court of Human
Rights in Handyside v. United Kingdom wherein it has
33
been held thus in the context of Article 10 of the European
Convention on Human Rights (ECHR):-
“The court‘s supervisory functions oblige it to pay the utmost
attention to the principles characterizing a ‗democratic
society‘. Freedom of expression constitutes one of the
essential foundations of such a society, one of the basic
conditions for its progress and for the development of every
man. Subject to Article 10(2), it is applicable not only to
‗information‘ or ‗ideas‘ that are favourably received or
regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but
also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any
sector of the population. Such are the demands of that
pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which
there is no ‗democratic society‘.”
23. In a rights based approach to constitutional legitimacy,
the right to life and liberty is considered paramount and,
therefore, democratic governments must propel and drive
towards stronger foothold for liberties so as to ensure
sustenance of higher values of democracy thereby paving the
path for a spontaneous constitutional order. Crime knows no
religion and neither the perpetrator nor the victim can be
viewed through the lens of race, caste, class or religion. The
State has a positive obligation to protect the fundamental
rights and freedoms of all individuals irrespective of race,
caste, class or religion. The State has the primary
responsibility to foster a secular, pluralistic and
multiculturalistic social order so as to allow free play of ideas
and beliefs and co-existence of mutually contradictory
perspectives. Stifling free voices can never bode well for a
true democracy. It is essential to build societies which
embrace diversity in all spheres and rebuild trust of the
citizenry in the State machinery.”
(emphasis supplied)
12. Having observed thus, the Court issued extensive
guidelines in the nature of preventive, remedial and punitive
measures to curb incidents of mob lynching and vigilantism as
set out hereinbelow:
34
―40. In view of the aforesaid, we proceed to issue the
following guidelines:-
A. Preventive Measures
(i) The State Governments shall designate, a senior police
officer, not below the rank of Superintendent of Police, as
Nodal Officer in each district. Such Nodal Officer shall be
assisted by one of the DSP rank officers in the district for
taking measures to prevent incidents of mob violence and
lynching. They shall constitute a special task force so as to
procure intelligence reports about the people who are likely
to commit such crimes or who are involved in spreading hate
speeches, provocative statements and fake news.
(ii) The State Governments shall forthwith identify Districts,
Sub-Divisions and/or Villages where instances of lynching
and mob violence have been reported in the recent past, say,
in the last five years. The process of identification should be
done within a period of three weeks from the date of this
judgment, as such time period is sufficient to get the task
done in today’s fast world of data collection.
(iii) The Secretary, Home Department of the concerned
States shall issue directives/advisories to the Nodal Officers
of the concerned districts for ensuring that the Officer Incharge
of the Police Stations of the identified areas are extra
cautious if any instance of mob violence within their
jurisdiction comes to their notice.
(iv) The Nodal Officer, so designated, shall hold regular
meetings (at least once a month) with the local intelligence
units in the district along with all Station House Officers of
the district so as to identify the existence of the tendencies of
vigilantism, mob violence or lynching in the district and take
steps to prohibit instances of dissemination of offensive
material through different social media platforms or any
other means for inciting such tendencies. The Nodal Officer
shall also make efforts to eradicate hostile environment
against any community or caste which is targeted in such
incidents.
(v) The Director General of Police/the Secretary, Home
Department of the concerned States shall take regular review
meetings (at least once a quarter) with all the Nodal Officers
and State Police Intelligence heads. The Nodal Officers shall
bring to the notice of the DGP any inter-district coordination
issues for devising a strategy to tackle lynching
and mob violence related issues at the State level.
(vi) It shall be the duty of every police officer to cause a mob
to disperse, by exercising his power under Section 129 of
CrPC, which, in his opinion, has a tendency to cause
35
violence or wreak the havoc of lynching in the disguise of
vigilantism or otherwise.
(vii) The Home Department of the Government of India must
take initiative and work in co-ordination with the State
Governments for sensitising the law enforcement agencies
and by involving all the stake holders to identify the
measures for prevention of mob violence and lynching
against any caste or community and to implement the
constitutional goal of social justice and the Rule of Law.
(viii) The Director General of Police shall issue a circular to
the Superintendents of Police with regard to police patrolling
in the sensitive areas keeping in view the incidents of the
past and the intelligence obtained by the office of the
Director General. It singularly means that there should be
seriousness in patrolling so that the anti-social elements
involved in such crimes are discouraged and remain within
the boundaries of law thus fearing to even think of taking
the law into their own hands.
(ix) The Central and the State Governments should
broadcast on radio and television and other media platforms
including the official websites of the Home Department and
Police of the States that lynching and mob violence of any
kind shall invite serious consequence under the law.
(x) It shall be the duty of the Central Government as well as
the State Governments to take steps to curb and stop
dissemination of irresponsible and explosive messages,
videos and other material on various social media platforms
which have a tendency to incite mob violence and lynching of
any kind.
(xi) The police shall cause to register FIR under Section 153A
of IPC and/or other relevant provisions of law against
persons who disseminate irresponsible and explosive
messages and videos having content which is likely to incite
mob violence and lynching of any kind.
(xii) The Central Government shall also issue appropriate
directions/advisories to the State Governments which would
reflect the gravity and seriousness of the situation and the
measures to be taken.
B. Remedial Measures
(i) Despite the preventive measures taken by the State Police,
if it comes to the notice of the local police that an incident of
lynching or mob violence has taken place, the jurisdictional
police station shall immediately cause to lodge an FIR,
without any undue delay, under the relevant provisions of
IPC and/or other provisions of law.
36
(ii) It shall be the duty of the Station House Officer, in whose
police station such FIR is registered, to forthwith intimate
the Nodal Officer in the district who shall, in turn, ensure
that there is no further harassment of the family members of
the victim(s).
(iii) Investigation in such offences shall be personally
monitored by the Nodal Officer who shall be duty bound to
ensure that the investigation is carried out effectively and
the charge-sheet in such cases is filed within the statutory
period from the date of registration of the FIR or arrest of the
accused, as the case may be.
(iv) The State Governments shall prepare a lynching/mob
violence victim compensation scheme in the light of the
provisions of Section 357A of CrPC within one month from
the date of this judgment. In the said scheme for
computation of compensation, the State Governments shall
give due regard to the nature of bodily injury, psychological
injury and loss of earnings including loss of opportunities of
employment and education and expenses incurred on
account of legal and medical expenses. The said
compensation scheme must also have a provision for interim
relief to be paid to the victim(s) or to the next of kin of the
deceased within a period of thirty days of the incident of mob
violence/lynching.
(v) The cases of lynching and mob violence shall be
specifically tried by designated court/Fast Track Courts
earmarked for that purpose in each district. Such courts
shall hold trial of the case on a day to day basis. The trial
shall preferably be concluded within six months from the
date of taking cognizance. We may hasten to add that this
direction shall apply to even pending cases. The District
Judge shall assign those cases as far as possible to one
jurisdictional court so as to ensure expeditious disposal
thereof. It shall be the duty of the State Governments and
the Nodal Officers in particular to see that the prosecuting
agency strictly carries out its role in appropriate furtherance
of the trial.
(vi) To set a stern example in cases of mob violence and
lynching, upon conviction of the accused person(s), the trial
court must ordinarily award maximum sentence as provided
for various offences under the provisions of the IPC.
(vii) The courts trying the cases of mob violence and lynching
may, on application by a witness or by the public prosecutor
in relation to such witness or on its own motion, take such
measures, as it deems fit, for protection and for concealing
the identity and address of the witness.
37
(viii) The victim(s) or the next of kin of the deceased in cases
of mob violence and lynching shall be given timely notice of
any court proceedings and he/she shall be entitled to be
heard at the trial in respect of applications such as bail,
discharge, release and parole filed by the accused persons.
They shall also have the right to file written submissions on
conviction, acquittal or sentencing.
(ix) The victim(s) or the next of kin of the deceased in cases of
mob violence and lynching shall receive free legal aid if he or
she so chooses and engage any advocate of his/her choice
from amongst those enrolled in the legal aid panel under the
Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
C. Punitive Measures
(i) Wherever it is found that a police officer or an officer of
the district administration has failed to comply with the
aforesaid directions in order to prevent and/or investigate
and/or facilitate expeditious trial of any crime of mob
violence and lynching, the same shall be considered as an
act of deliberate negligence and/or misconduct for which
appropriate action must be taken against him/her and not
limited to departmental action under the service rules. The
departmental action shall be taken to its logical conclusion
preferably within six months by the authority of the first
instance.
(ii) In terms of the ruling of this Court in Arumugam Servai
v. State of Tamil Nadu 21 , the States are directed to take
disciplinary action against the concerned officials if it is
found that (i) such official(s) did not prevent the incident,
despite having prior knowledge of it, or (ii) where the incident
has already occurred, such official(s) did not promptly
apprehend and institute criminal proceedings against the
culprits.
41. The measures that are directed to be taken have to be
carried out within four weeks by the Central and the State
Governments. Reports of compliance be filed within the said
period before the Registry of this Court.‖
These recommendations comprehensively set out the manner
in which the State and law-enforcement agencies are expected
to deal with the menace of mob violence specifically lynching
and vigilantism and further, assign responsibility and
38
accountability to officials to curb such incidents as also
punitive measures to deter law enforcement agencies from
shirking their duties.
13. Our attention was also invited to the decision in Koshy
Jacob Vs. Union of India and Ors.,
5 wherein an identical
direction was sought for implementation of guidelines issued
by this Court In Re: Destruction of Public and Private
Properties (supra). The two-Judge Bench, after adverting to
the stand taken by the Union of India in its reply affidavit and
the statement made by the Attorney General for India,
disposed of the said writ petition in the following terms:
―10. In view of the stand in the counter affidavit and the
statement of learned Attorney General, we do hope that the
law now proposed by the Union of India is brought into force
within a reasonable time to address all concerned issues.
Learned Attorney General has very fairly stated that the law
may provide for speedy mechanism for criminal liability,
action for administrative failures as well as remedies to the
victims. A suggestion has been made that one or more
district/additional district judges can be appointed by the
State Government in consultation with the High Court to
deal with such issue either on whole-time basis or on parttime
basis, as the situation may require. In such cases cadre
strength of the judicial officers may require suitable
temporary or permanent increase. This suggestion can be
considered in the course of making the proposed law.

5 (2018) 11 SCC 756
39
11. As far as the individual claim of the petitioner is
concerned, the organizers of the agitation are not before this
Court. The petitioner is at liberty to take his remedy at
appropriate forum in accordance with law.
The writ petition is accordingly disposed of.‖
14. In Tehseen Poonawalla (supra), the Court adverted to
the decision in Shakti Vahini Vs. Union of India and Ors.,
6
wherein the Court was called upon to address the issue of
honour killing and other forms of honour crimes inflicted on
young couples/families by Khap Panahcayats. In paragraph
55, the Court issued directions to the States to take measures
to evolve a robust mechanism to meet the challenges of the
agonizing effect of honour crimes by Khap Panchayats.
Paragraph 55 reads thus:
―55. Mr Raju Ramachandran, learned Senior Counsel being
assisted by Mr Gaurav Agarwal, has filed certain suggestions
for issuing guidelines. The Union of India has also given
certain suggestions to be taken into account till the
legislation is made. To meet the challenges of the agonising
effect of honour crime, we think that there has to be
preventive, remedial and punitive measures and,
accordingly, we state the broad contours and the modalities
with liberty to the executive and the police administration of
the States concerned to add further measures to evolve a
robust mechanism for the stated purposes:
55.1. Preventive steps
55.1.1. The State Governments should forthwith identify
districts, sub-divisions and/or villages where instances of

6 (2018) 7 SCC 192
40
honour killing or assembly of khap panchayats have been
reported in the recent past, e.g., in the last five years.
55.1.2. The Secretary, Home Department of the States
concerned shall issue directives/advisories to the
Superintendent of Police of the districts concerned for
ensuring that the officer in charge of the police stations of
the identified areas are extra cautious if any instance of
inter-caste or inter-religious marriage within their
jurisdiction comes to their notice.
55.1.3. If information about any proposed gathering of a
khap panchayat comes to the knowledge of any police officer
or any officer of the District Administration, he shall
forthwith inform his immediate superior officer and also
simultaneously intimate the jurisdictional Deputy
Superintendent of Police and Superintendent of Police.
55.1.4. On receiving such information, the Deputy
Superintendent of Police (or such senior police officer as
identified by the State Governments with respect to the
area/district) shall immediately interact with the members of
the khap panchayat and impress upon them that convening
of such meeting/gathering is not permissible in law and to
eschew from going ahead with such a meeting. Additionally,
he should issue appropriate directions to the officer in
charge of the jurisdictional police station to be vigilant and,
if necessary, to deploy adequate police force for prevention of
assembly of the proposed gathering.
55.1.5. Despite taking such measures, if the meeting is
conducted, the Deputy Superintendent of Police shall
personally remain present during the meeting and impress
upon the assembly that no decision can be taken to cause
any harm to the couple or the family members of the couple,
failing which each one participating in the meeting besides
the organisers would be personally liable for criminal
prosecution. He shall also ensure that video recording of the
discussion and participation of the members of the assembly
is done on the basis of which the law-enforcing machinery
can resort to suitable action.
55.1.6. If the Deputy Superintendent of Police, after
interaction with the members of the khap panchayat, has
reason to believe that the gathering cannot be prevented
and/or is likely to cause harm to the couple or members of
their family, he shall forthwith submit a proposal to the
District Magistrate/Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the
District/Competent Authority of the area concerned for
issuing orders to take preventive steps under CrPC,
including by invoking prohibitory orders under Section 144
41
CrPC and also by causing arrest of the participants in the
assembly under Section 151 CrPC.
55.1.7. The Home Department of the Government of India
must take initiative and work in coordination with the State
Governments for sensitising the law enforcement agencies
and by involving all the stake holders to identify the
measures for prevention of such violence and to implement
the constitutional goal of social justice and the rule of law.
55.1.8. There should be an institutional machinery with the
necessary coordination of all the stakeholders. The different
State Governments and the Centre ought to work on
sensitisation of the law enforcement agencies to mandate
social initiatives and awareness to curb such violence.‖
55.2. Remedial measures
55.2.1. Despite the preventive measures taken by the State
Police, if it comes to the notice of the local police that the
khap panchayat has taken place and it has passed any
diktat to take action against a couple/family of an intercaste
or inter-religious marriage (or any other marriage
which does not meet their acceptance), the jurisdictional
police official shall cause to immediately lodge an FIR under
the appropriate provisions of the Penal Code including
Sections 141, 143, 503 read with Section 506 IPC.
55.2.2. Upon registration of FIR, intimation shall be
simultaneously given to the Superintendent of Police/Deputy
Superintendent of Police who, in turn, shall ensure that
effective investigation of the crime is done and taken to its
logical end with promptitude.
55.2.3. Additionally, immediate steps should be taken to
provide security to the couple/family and, if necessary, to
remove them to a safe house within the same district or
elsewhere keeping in mind their safety and threat
perception. The State Government may consider of
establishing a safe house at each District Headquarter for
that purpose. Such safe houses can cater to accommodate:
(i) young bachelor-bachelorette couples whose relationship is
being opposed by their families/local community/khaps, and
(ii) young married couples (of an inter-caste or inter-religious
or any other marriage being opposed by their families/local
community/khaps).
Such safe houses may be placed under the supervision of
the jurisdictional District Magistrate and Superintendent of
Police.
55.2.4. The District Magistrate/Superintendent of Police
must deal with the complaint regarding threat administered
to such couple/family with utmost sensitivity. It should be
42
first ascertained whether the bachelor-bachelorette are
capable adults. Thereafter, if necessary, they may be
provided logistical support for solemnising their marriage
and/or for being duly registered under police protection, if
they so desire. After the marriage, if the couple so desire,
they can be provided accommodation on payment of nominal
charges in the safe house initially for a period of one month
to be extended on monthly basis but not exceeding one year
in aggregate, depending on their threat assessment on caseto-case
basis.
55.2.5. The initial inquiry regarding the complaint received
from the couple (bachelor-bachelorette or a young married
couple) or upon receiving information from an independent
source that the relationship/marriage of such couple is
opposed by their family members/local community/khaps
shall be entrusted by the District Magistrate/Superintendent
of Police to an officer of the rank of Additional
Superintendent of Police. He shall conduct a preliminary
inquiry and ascertain the authenticity, nature and gravity of
threat perception. On being satisfied as to the authenticity of
such threats, he shall immediately submit a report to the
Superintendent of Police in not later than one week.
55.2.6. The District Superintendent of Police, upon receipt of
such report, shall direct the Deputy Superintendent of Police
in charge of the sub-division concerned to cause to register
an FIR against the persons threatening the couple(s) and, if
necessary, invoke Section 151 CrPC Additionally, the Deputy
Superintendent of Police shall personally supervise the
progress of investigation and ensure that the same is
completed and taken to its logical end with promptitude. In
the course of investigation, the persons concerned shall be
booked without any exception including the members who
have participated in the assembly. If the involvement of the
members of khap panchayat comes to the fore, they shall
also be charged for the offence of conspiracy or abetment, as
the case may be.
55.3. Punitive measures
55.3.1. Any failure by either the police or district
officer/officials to comply with the aforesaid directions shall
be considered as an act of deliberate negligence and/or
misconduct for which departmental action must be taken
under the service rules. The departmental action shall be
initiated and taken to its logical end, preferably not
exceeding six months, by the authority of the first instance.
43
55.3.2. In terms of the ruling of this Court in Arumugam
Servai7, the States are directed to take disciplinary action
against the officials concerned if it is found that:
(i) such official(s) did not prevent the incident, despite having
prior knowledge of it, or
(ii) where the incident had already occurred, such official(s)
did not promptly apprehend and institute criminal
proceedings against the culprits.
55.3.3. The State Governments shall create Special Cells in
every district comprising of the Superintendent of Police, the
District Social Welfare Officer and District Adi-Dravidar
Welfare Officer to receive petitions/complaints of harassment
of and threat to couples of inter-caste marriage.
55.3.4. These Special Cells shall create a 24-hour helpline to
receive and register such complaints and to provide
necessary assistance/advice and protection to the couple.
55.3.5. The criminal cases pertaining to honour killing or
violence to the couple(s) shall be tried before the designated
court/fast track court earmarked for that purpose. The trial
must proceed on day-to-day basis to be concluded preferably
within six months from the date of taking cognizance of the
offence. We may hasten to add that this direction shall apply
even to pending cases. The District Judge concerned shall
assign those cases, as far as possible, to one jurisdictional
court so as to ensure expeditious disposal thereof.‖
15. We are conscious of the fact that the crimes committed
by groups of self-appointed keepers of public morality may be
on account of different reasons or causes, but the underlying
purpose of such group of persons is to exercise unlawful
power of authority and that too, without sanction of State and
create fear in the minds of the public or, in a given situation,
section of the community. The dispensation for preventing
occurrences of such crimes or remedial measures and punitive
44
measures would vest in the same police in the State.
Therefore, a comprehensive structure will have to be evolved in
the respective States so that the issues of accountability and
efficiency in curbing incidents of peaceful protests turning into
mob violence, causing damage to property including
investigation, remedial and punitive measures, are duly
addressed. While doing so, the directions given by this Court
in In Re: Destruction of Public and Private Properties
(supra), Shakti Vahini (supra) and Tehseen Poonawalla
(supra), must be borne in mind.
16. There are overlapping areas of directions which albeit
apply to the situations referred to in the concerned decision.
For the purpose of the present writ petition, we have no
hesitation in observing that the dispensation can be similar to
the one decided recently in Tehseen Poonawalla (supra), for
which reason the guidelines delineated in the said decision
must apply proprio vigore in respect of peaceful protests
turning into mob violence, causing damage to public and
private properties.
45
A. Ex abundanti cautela, we may hasten to clarify that
similar interim measures will operate in respect of any
peaceful protest turning into mob violence, causing loss of life
or damage to public and private properties, including violence
designed to instill fear in the minds and terrorise the common
man, in the absence of any law to that effect. The
recommendations / directions elucidated hereunder are not
exhaustive but only to set out broad contour of the measures
required to be taken and are in addition to the
recommendations/directions given in In Re: Destruction of
Public and Private Properties (supra):
A. Structural and preventive measures
a) In addition to the responsibilities ascribed to the Nodal
Officer(s) as set out in Tehseen Poonawalla (supra), the said
Nodal Officer(s) would also be responsible for creating and
maintaining a list containing the various cultural
establishments, including theatres, cinema halls, music
venues, performance halls and centres and art galleries within
the district, and pin point vulnerable cultural establishments
46
and property which have been attacked/damaged by mob
violence over the past 5 (five) years. This list would be updated
on a regular basis to account for any new openings/closings of
establishments.
b) In addition to the prohibition against weaponry laid down
in paragraph 12 (II) of In Re: Destruction of Public and
Private Properties (supra), any person found to be carrying
prohibited weaponry, licensed or otherwise, during
protests/demonstrations would prima facie be presumed to
have an intention to commit violence and be proceeded in that
regard as per law.
c) The State governments should set up Rapid Response
Teams preferably district-wise which are specially trained to
deal with and can be quickly mobilized to respond to acts of
mob violence. These teams can also be stationed around
vulnerable cultural establishments as mentioned hereinabove.
d) The State governments should set up special helplines to
deal with instances of mob violence.
47
e) The State police shall create and maintain a cyberinformation
portal on its website and on its internet-based
application(s) for reporting instances of mob violence and
destruction of public and private properties.
B. Remedies to minimize, if not extirpate, the
impending mob violence
a) The Nodal Officer(s) will coordinate with local emergency
services, including police stations, fire brigades, hospital and
medical services and disaster management authorities during
incidents of mob violence in order to have a comprehensive
and consolidated response to the situation.
b) The authorities must consider the use of non-lethal
crowd-control devices, like water cannons and tear gas, which
cause minimum injury to people but at the same time, act as
an effective deterrent against mob force.
c) The authorities must ensure that arrests of miscreants
found on the spot are done in the right earnest.
d) The Nodal Officer(s), may consider taking appropriate
steps as per law including to impose reasonable restrictions on
48
the social media and internet-based communication services
or mobile applications, by invoking enabling provisions of law
during the relevant period of mob violence, if the situation so
warrants.
e) The Nodal Officer(s) must take coordinated efforts and
issue messages across various audio-visual mediums to
restore peace and to stop/control rumours. This can extend to
issuing communications on local TV channels, radio stations,
social media like Twitter etc.
C. Liability of person causing violence
a) If a call to violence results in damage to property, either
directly or indirectly, and has been made through a
spokesperson or through social media accounts of any
group/organization(s) or by any individual, appropriate action
should be taken against such person(s) including under
Sections 153A, 295A read with 298 and 425 of the Indian
Penal Code, 1860.
b) In instances where a group/organisation has staged a
protest or demonstration resulting in violence and damage to
property, the leaders and office bearers of such
49
group/organisation should physically present themselves for
questioning, on their own, within 24 (twenty four) hours, in
the police station within whose jurisdiction the violence and
damage occurred. Any such person(s) failing to present
himself/herself in such manner without any sufficient reason
should be proceeded against as a suspect and legal process
must be initiated forthwith against him/her including for
being declared an absconder in accordance with law.
c) A person arrested for either committing or initiating,
promoting, instigating or in any way causing to occur any act
of violence which results in loss of life or damage to property
may be granted conditional bail upon depositing the quantified
loss caused due to such violence or furnishing security for
such quantified loss. In case of more than one person involved
in such act of violence, each one of them shall be jointly,
severally and vicariously liable to pay the quantified loss. If the
loss is yet to be quantified by the appropriate authority, the
judge hearing the bail application may quantify the amount of
tentative damages (which shall be subject to final
determination thereof by the appropriate authority) on the
50
principle stated in paragraph 15 of the decision in In Re:
Destruction of Public and Private Properties (supra), after
hearing the submissions of the State/agency prosecuting the
matter in that regard.
D. Responsibility of police officials
a) When any act of violence results in damage to property,
concerned police officials should file FIRs and complete
investigation as far as possible within the statutory period and
submit a report in that regard. Any failure to file FIRs and
conduct investigations within the statutory period without
sufficient cause should be considered as dereliction of duty on
behalf of the concerned officer and can be proceeded against
by way of departmental action in right earnest.
b) Since the Nodal Officer(s) holds the overall responsibility
in each district to prevent mob violence against cultural
establishments and against property, any unexplained and/or
unsubstantiated delay in filing FIRs and/or conducting
investigations in that regard should also be deemed to be
inaction on the part of the said Nodal Officer(s).
51
c) With reference to the videography mentioned in
paragraphs 5(iv), 10 and 12 of In Re: Destruction of Public
and Private Properties (supra), the officer-in-charge should
first call upon from the panel of local video operators
maintained by the concerned police station to video-record the
events. If the said video operators are unable to record the
events for whatever reason or if the officer-in-charge is of the
opinion that supplementary information is required, then
he/she can also call upon private video operators to record the
events and request the media for information on the incident
in question, if need be.
d) Status reports of the investigation(s)/trial(s) concerning
such offences as set out hereinabove, including the results of
such trial(s), shall be uploaded on the official website of the
concerned State police on a regular basis.
e) In the event of acquittal of any person(s) accused of
committing such offences as set out hereinabove, the Nodal
Officer(s) must coordinate with the Public Prosecutor for filing
appeal against such acquittal, in the right earnest.
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E. Compensation
a) The person/persons who has/have initiated, promoted,
instigated or any way caused to occur any act of violence
against cultural programmes or which results in loss of life or
damage to public or private property either directly or
indirectly, shall be made liable to compensate the victims of
such violence.
b) Claims arising out of such acts of violence should be
dealt with in the manner prescribed in paragraph 15 of In Re:
Destruction of Public and Private Properties (supra).
c) This compensation should be with regard to the loss of
life or damage done to any public or private properties, both
movable and immovable.
17. The recommendations that we have made hereinabove be
implemented by the Central and State governments as
expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of 8 (eight)
weeks from today.
18. While parting, we place on record our sincere
appreciation for the able assistance and constructive
53
suggestions given by the learned Attorney General for India,
the Additional Solicitor General, counsel for the petitioners
and other counsel appearing in this case.
19. We accordingly dispose of the writ petition in the
aforementioned terms.
.………………………….CJI.
(Dipak Misra)
…………………………..….J.
(A.M. Khanwilkar)
…………………………..….J.
(Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud)
New Delhi;
October 01, 2018.