Prevention of Destruction of Public Property (PDPP) Amendment Bill

  • Union Home Ministry is reworking the proposed Prevention of Destruction of Public Property (PDPP) Amendment Bill to exclude provisions that hold leaders of political parties responsible for such damage,
  • The move runs contrary to the ministry’s stand in 2015, when it had argued for severe measures to hold leaders of political parties accountable for damage to public property caused during bandhs, protests and demonstrations called by them.
  • It had also pushed for the parties to pay the market value of property destroyed by their supporters.
  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Tamil Nadu (1,671), Uttar Pradesh (1,131) and Haryana (529) recorded the highest number of cases under the PDPP Act in 2015.

Reasons behind making changes in the proposed bill?

  • Law enforcement agencies expressed the fear that the amended law may be misused to frame Opposition leaders who call for bandhs, by inciting violence and damaging property.
  • It can be used to send their political opponents behind bars.
  • Plan to emphasise on improving the quality of evidence, which will require police officers to record on video all protests, hartal or bandhs,
  • The soft copies of video evidence will be deposited by the officer in charge at the local police station with the sub-divisional magistrate or executive magistrate who will hand it over to the investigating officer.
  • The Bill may also include a provision to make such offences non-bailable unless “there are reasonable grounds to believe that (the accused) is not guilty”.
  • However, the provision to include “damage to private properties” is likely to be dropped in the reworked Bill, since they are covered under different insurance schemes.



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