(1) If, after enquiry in the prescribed manner, the State Government is satisfied that the inhabitants of an area are concerned in, or abetting or instigating, the commission of an offence punishable under section 2 or harbouring persons concerned in the commission of the said offence or failing to render all assistance in their power to discover or apprehend the offender or offenders or suppressing material evidence of the commission of such offence, the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, impose a collective fine on such inhabitants and apportion such fine amongst the inhabitants in such manner as may be prescribed:
Provided that the fine so apportioned shall not be recovered from any of the inhabitants until the petition, if any, filed by him under sub-section (3) is disposed of.
(2) The notification made under sub-section (1), shall be proclaimed in the area by beat of drum or in such other manner as the State Government may think best in the circumstances to bring the imposition of the collective fine to the notice of the inhabitants of the said area.
(3) (a) Any person aggrieved by the imposition of the collective fine or by the order of apportionment under sub-section (1), may, within thirty days of the notification, file a petition before the State Government or such other authority as it may specify in this behalf for being exempted from such fine or for modification of the order of apportionment. No fee shall be charged for filing such petition.
(b) The State Government or the authority specified by it shall, after giving to the petitioner a reasonable opportunity of being heard, pass such order as it may think fit:
Provided that the amount of fine exempted or reduced under this sub-section shall not be realisable from any other person, and the total fine imposed on the inhabitants of the area under sub-section (1) shall be deemed to have been reduced by that extent.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3), the State Government may exempt any of the inhabitants who have suffered loss or damage to their property in the manner stated in section 2 from the liability to pay the collective fine imposed under sub-section (1) or any portion thereof.
(5) The State Government may, after such enquiry as it may consider necessary determine the amount of compensation which in its opinion may be paid to the person or persons who suffered loss or damage as aforesaid and pay the same out of the fine collected.
(6) The portion of collective fine payable by any person may be recovered in the manner provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for the recovery of fines imposed by a court as if it were a fine imposed by a Magistrate.
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