Volume VII
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RIOT DAMAGES ordinance

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.



2. Interpretation.

3. Provision of compensation for damage by riots.



4. Minister may appoint Commissioners.

5. Duties of Commissioners.

6. Powers of Commissioners.



7. Notice of assessment.

8. Limit of time for claims for assessment.

9. Notice of adverse claims.

10. Assessment to be conclusive.



11. Riot areas.

12. Power of Minister.

13. Apportionment among administrative divisions.

14. Amount of apportionment to be a charge on the administrative division.



15. Allotment among persons liable.

16. Method of allotment.

17. Exemptions and modifications.

18. Publication of notice of allotment.

19. Conclusiveness of lists.

20. Supplementary allotment.

21. Commutation of liability by the performance of labour.



22. Recovery of amounts allotted.

23. Alternative method of enforcement.



24. Power of village to discharge liability by money payment or bond.

25. Substitution of allotment under Ordinance.



26. Riot Damages Fund.

27. Payment of compensation.

28. Subsequent claims barred.



29. Special provisions for Municipalities.

30. Appointment of Commissioners.

31. Amount of assessment to be a charge upon Municipal revenue.

32. Municipal Council may frame scheme.

33. Power to borrow.

34. Rate to be Municipal rate.

35. Action claimants for compensation.



36. Adverse claims.

37. Exemptions.

38. Power to special police force.

39. Status of Commissioners

40. Protection of Commissioners.

23 of 1915,

6 of 1916,

14 of 1916,

61 of 1939,

3 of 1946,

29 of 1947.

AN ORDINANCE to make provision for the payment of compensation in the case of damage caused by riots.

[Date of Commencement: 18th October, 1915]

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Riot Damages Ordinance.



2. Interpretation.

In this Ordinance the expression "administrative division” means—

(a) in the case of a village, the Grama Niladhari division;

(b) in the case of any town or village within the jurisdiction of an Urban Council or a Pradeshiya Sabha the area contained within the administrative limits thereof.

3. Provision of compensation for damage by riots.

Where any house, shop, or building has been injured or destroyed, or the property therein has been injured, stolen, or destroyed, by any persons riotously and tumultuously assembled together, compensation shall be payable to the owners thereof for the damage so caused in such manner as is provided by this Ordinance.



4. Minister may appoint Commissioners.

(1) For the purpose of assessing any damage so caused and for awarding compensation in respect thereof, the Minister may appoint Commissioners, with such powers and duties as are hereinafter defined.

(2) Where a Commissioner has been appointed, damages shall not be recoverable by any person in respect of any matter specified in section 3 which is within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner, except in pursuance of the provisions of this Ordinance, and all actions already instituted for the recovery of such damages shall abate accordingly.

5. Duties of Commissioners.

It shall be the duty of the Commissioners so appointed—

(a) to ascertain by personal inquiry the amount of the damage;

(b) to report the amount of such damage to the Minister;

(c) to apportion to any area for which they may be appointed the shares respectively payable by the administrative divisions comprised in such area;

(d) to allot the sums payable as compensation for such damage among the persons residing or owning property within each administrative division.

6. Powers of Commissioners.

(1) The Commissioners so appointed shall have the following powers—

(a) all the powers of a Magistrate for the purpose of summoning witnesses and enforcing the attendance of persons, the production of documents, the administration of oaths, and the issue of search warrants, and any other powers belonging to a Magistrate which may be reasonably required for the discharge of their duties under this Ordinance;

(b) the power to call upon any person to declare on oath the amount of any damage which he may have sustained and in respect of which he claims compensation;

(c) the power to require any person to furnish to them in such form as they may demand a full return in writing of all movable and immovable property of which such person is possessed, as well as his total annual income from all sources.

(2) Any person who within any time fixed by the Commissioner for the purpose (without reasonable excuse, the proof whereof shall be on him) refuses or neglects to furnish to a Commissioner any return demanded by the Commissioner under the last preceding subsection shall be guilty of an offence, and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred rupees, and in default to rigorous imprisonment not exceeding three months.

(3) Any person who in any inquiry held by a Com missioner, or in any document furnished upon his demand, or in any declaration made before him or presented to him, makes any statement which he knows, or has reason to believe, to be false shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence of giving false evidence in a judicial proceeding, and shall be punishable in accordance with the Penal Code.



7. Notice of assessment.

Before assessing any damage the Commissioner shall give in such manner as may be prescribed by Order under section 12, or in the absence of such Order in such manner as he may deem appropriate, either generally with reference to damage in any administrative division or part thereof, or particularly with reference to any special premises, stating—

(a) the time and place at which he proposes to make the assessment;

(b) the manner in which claims for assessment shall be presented to him;

(c) a date (not being less than one month from the date of the notice) beyond which no claims for the assessment of damage will be entertained.

8. Limit of time for claims for assessment.

No claim for assessment of damages which is presented after the date fixed in any notice given under the last preceding section shall be entertained by the Commissioner, unless on good cause shown he in his discretion shall otherwise order.

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