Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra has promulgated an ordinance making persons calling for strikes or demonstrations, which lead to damage of public property, liable for fines and imprisonment up to five years, an official spokesperson said on Friday.
The Jammu and Kashmir Public Property (Prevention of Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 amends the existing law relating to damage to public property and comes into effect immediately.
“It will more effectively discourage/prevent the deleterious activities of individuals/organisations which result in damage to public and private properties,” said a statement.
This ordinance, the spokesperson said, has been enacted to achieve the twin objectives of making such acts punishable and of making any person calling for direct action liable for abetment of such offence.
Whoever announces direct action in the form of strikes, demonstrations or other public forms of protests which result in damage to the public as well as private property can be punished with imprisonment for a period of two to five years and can be imposed a fine equivalent to the market value of the property damaged or destroyed.
Moreover, the scope of the existing law which was earlier restricted to public property -- primarily government property or property owned by government entities -- has been enlarged to include private property.
The spokesperson said the amendment to the existing law has been made to implement directions given by the Supreme Court in the case, ‘In Re-Destruction of Public and Private Properties vs. State of A.P (Andhra Pradesh) and others (2009)’.
As the state legislature is not in session, the governor, on the recommendation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, exercised his powers under Section 91 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir to promulgate the ordinance.