KOCHI: The KSRTC on Friday sought to appoint a claims commissioner as suggested by the Supreme Court to assess the damage to its property during the January 3 hartal, held in connection with the entry of young women into Sabarimala , and recover damages from those responsible.
KSRTC filed the affidavit in response to a petition seeking to recover compensation for the damage from the persons who called the hartal. The hartal had resulted in damage to public and private property, the petitioner submitted.
The hartal supporters damaged 99 KSRTC buses resulting in losses to the tune of `3.35 crore. Consequently, the damaged buses had to be withdrawn from operations and they remained in the workshop for several days causing further loss to the corporation.
The Supreme Court had held the persons, who had instigated, promoted and caused damage to public or private property are liable to provide compensation for the damage. In another case, the Supreme Court had held whenever mass destruction of property take place due to protests, the High Court may suo motu take action and set up a machinery to investigate the damage caused and award compensation. The apex court further held the High Court or Supreme Court could appoint a sitting or retired district judge as Claims Commissioner to estimate the damages and investigate the liability.