The Delhi High Court Friday appointed Justice Sunil Gaur (retd) as Claims Commissioner to estimate the damage caused as well as investigate liability of public property that had been damaged during the riots in northeast Delhi following protests in the city related to the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The High Court appointed the Claims Commissioner in pursuance to a March 9 letter by the Delhi government which sought its intervention in reference to the judgment of the Supreme Court which ruled that damage to public and private property must be recovered from perpetrators.
Delhi High Court Registrar General Manoj Jain told The Indian Express that Chief Justice D N Patel has appointed “Justice Sunil Gaur (Retd) as Claims Commissioner in terms of the law laid down by the Supreme Court…”
Jain further said that in March they had informed the Delhi government’s Special Secretary (Home) to fix the Claims Commissioner’s tenure for a “period of six months, subject to further extension, if found necessary”.
On April 13, the Delhi government’s Deputy Secretary issued a formal order intimating Justice Gaur (Retd) of his appointment.
As per the letter written by the Delhi government and the police, “during these anti-CAA/NRC protests, there has been massive and extensive damage of public and private property including public transportation, causing huge losses to government exchequer.”
As per the apex court guidelines, there should be assessment of damages to public and private property, damages causing injury or death to a person or persons and cost of the actions by the authorities and police to take preventive and other action. The Claims Commissioner will make a report to the High Court or Supreme Court which will determine the liability after hearing the parties.
In February, northeast Delhi witnessed riots which continued for over three days resulting in the death of at least 50 persons and leaving hundreds injured. At least 750 cases have been registered in connection with the violence.
Gaur is the same judge, who, on August 20 last year – two days before his retirement – had rejected the anticipatory bail petitions of former finance minister P Chidambaram in alleged corruption and money-laundering cases related to the INX Media case.
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