Assam Authorities Assert Right to Recover Losses Incurred from Bandh

Guwahati, 29th February: Amidst concerns over the economic impact of frequent blockades in Assam, Director General of Police (DGP) GP Singh addressed the issue, emphasizing the state government’s prerogative to reclaim losses stemming from such disruptions, as per a 2019 Gauhati High Court ruling.

In a recent statement posted on X platform, GP Singh underscored the significance of the Gauhati High Court’s 2019 directive, highlighting the substantial economic repercussions of a single day’s bandh on Assam’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), estimated at INR 5,65,401 Crore. He reiterated that the state has the legal authority to seek restitution, citing Para 35(9) of the aforementioned court order.

The 2019 court order outlines a framework for assessing and recovering losses incurred from bandhs or blockades. It mandates the Government of Assam to evaluate the financial impact at various levels – state-wise, district-wise, or locality-wise – with the incurred losses to be recouped from the organizers and key office bearers responsible for initiating such disruptions.

Furthermore, the directive calls for the establishment of a Bandh Loss Compensation Fund within three months, to be overseen by an authority chaired by a retired District and Sessions Judge, potentially augmented by an Administrative Officer. This body is empowered to enlist the aid of assessors or valuers in evaluating compensation claims, ensuring a swift adjudication process.

Recovered losses pursuant to the court’s directive are to be funneled into the Bandh Loss Compensation Fund under the purview of the Government of Assam’s Home and Political Department. The fund will serve as a mechanism for compensating individuals, entities, or organizations – both public and private – impacted by bandhs or blockades, with a commitment to expeditious resolution of claims.

In effect, the legal framework delineated by the Gauhati High Court aims to mitigate the socio-economic fallout of disruptive events like bandhs, underscoring the state’s resolve to safeguard public welfare and financial stability in Assam.

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