Law Commission Proposes Reforms on Prevention of Damage to Public Property

  • 05 Feb 2024

On 2nd February, 2024, the 22nd Law Commission of India presented its findings, encapsulated in Report No. 284, titled "Revisiting the Law on Prevention of Damage to Public Property," to the Government of India.

  • The report addresses the persistent issue of destruction of public property, causing significant financial losses to the public exchequer and inconveniences to the general public.

Key Points

  • Background and Motivation: The destruction of public property has continued undiminished causing gargantuan losses to the public exchequer and inconvenience to the general public.
  • Bearing in mind the gravity of the issue and the loss being borne by the state exchequer, the 22nd Law Commission suo motu undertook to prepare this Report.
  • The destruction has been a continuous challenge, prompting the commission to conduct an extensive study.
  • The study encompassed an analysis of constitutional and statutory provisions, judicial decisions nationwide, and incidents involving substantial damage to public property.
  • Recommendations for Legal Amendments: After thorough deliberations, the Law Commission recommends amendments to the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984.
  • These proposed changes aim to address the gravity of the issue and provide more effective legal mechanisms for preventing and penalizing damage to public assets.
  • Call for a Separate Law: In addition to amendments to the existing Act, the Commission suggests considering the enactment of a separate law or necessary amendments to the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita or the Indian Penal Code.
  • This proposal specifically targets the prolonged and willful obstruction of public property, emphasizing the need for a dedicated legal framework to address such situations