THE Bombay High Court Thursday asked the state government to reconsider its order issuing a notice to Raza Academy for the recovery of damages worth Rs 2.74 crore during the riot at Azad Maidan on August 11, 2012.
The court expressed dissatisfaction over the collector’s order issued Wednesday, following which a showcause notice was issued to the organisation that held a protest rally at Azad Maidan that later turned violent.
Justices Naresh Patil and Anuja Prabhudesai felt that the order was passed in haste and asked the state government to re-asses the losses incurred by various parties during the riot.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Sanket Satope and Uday Joshi, members of Deshbhakta Patrakar Sangh, seeking the court’s intervention to compensate media organisations whose equipment was damaged in the violence.
“How have you arrived at the figure? You have to determine the damage to public property and assert its worth. Then apply your mind and arrive at a conclusion,” Justice Patil told the state government.
The court said that the government should not only rely on the losses reported by the police but also conduct an independent inquiry. The government could also seek the assistance of insurance companies, the court said.
While assessing the losses, the court said, the government must take into account the versions of both the accused in the case as well as the victims of the violence. The court asked the collector to consider withdrawing the order seeking to claim Rs 2.74 crore and issue a fresh order.
Earlier, the court had questioned the state government for not taking into account the loss suffered by those injured in the attack. The court said that damage to property was accounted for, damage caused to ‘person’ was not.
The government had informed the court last month that 77 accused and 964 witnesses in the case were being questioned by the police.
The petitioners claimed that about 3,000 people had taken to violence in a gathering of 15,000-20,000 protesting alleged atrocities against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar.