§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
asked the Secretary of State for India whether collective fines in villages are still being levied; how many villages have so far been subject to such fines; whether such fines are levied only in Bengal or in other districts; and whether in every case the villages concerned were connected with terrorist activities?
§ Sir S. HOARE
Power to impose collective fines on the inhabitants of turbulent areas is contained in Section 26 of the Emergency Powers Ordinance, which applies to the Provinces of Bengal, Bombay, the Punjab, the United Provinces, the North-West Frontier Province, Bihar and Orissa and Delhi. Collective fines may be imposed on the inhabitants of any area who are concerned in the commission of acts prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order or are harbouring persons concerned in the commission of such offences. A similar provision is contained in Section 14 of the Bengal Emergency Powers Ordinance, 1931, which applies only to the district of Chittagong and is concerned with terrorist offences. I have no statistics showing the number of such fines imposed, but I believe that these powers have been used in a few cases only.