20 May 2023 1:53 PM GMT
The Punjab & Haryana High Court has ordered personal appearance of Punjab DGP for failure to comply with its direction for removal of road blockades near the Chandigarh-Mohali border, made by protestors seeking release of Sikh prisoners.The bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Harpreet Singh Brar remarked that “lenient view at the end of the Court” appears to be a...
The Punjab & Haryana High Court has ordered personal appearance of Punjab DGP for failure to comply with its direction for removal of road blockades near the Chandigarh-Mohali border, made by protestors seeking release of Sikh prisoners.
The bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Harpreet Singh Brar remarked that “lenient view at the end of the Court” appears to be a “reason for the inaction” of authorities. "Respondents were required to take necessary steps/action to clear the road which is squandered upon by the agitators.”
The Court was hearing the petition filed by NGO Arrive Safe Society for removal of the “encroachment" by protestors around YPS Chowk in Mohali.
In the last hearing, the court stressed that there “has to be an end to all of this.”
Advocate Ravi Kamal Gupta, representing the petitioner, had informed the Court about incidents of violence among the agitators and a death at the protest site. The Punjab AG had sought time to seek instructions and provide details of the incident. The Court had called for a status report.
When the matter was taken up again, the bench expressed displeasure that the status report filed in the form of an affidavit by Senior SP, Mohali did not even comply with the information as was sought by the Court. “It appears that an eye wash is being done just to put the Court at ease without realising the responsibility”, the Court remarked.
While posting the matter to May 24, the Court said “let the Director General of Police, Punjab, be present in Court on the next date of hearing to explain as to why the directions issued by this Court are not being complied with.”
In March 2023, a PIL was filed by the Arrive Safe Society, which works on developing road safety programs, against the Dharna led by Quami Insaf Morcha. The PIL alleges that the protest has been going on since January 2023, causing inconvenience to the general public who need medical facilities, and school-going students.
According to the petition, the members of several Sikh bodies and others are supporting the demands of the morcha. The protesters have been seeking the release of Sikh prisoners, including Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in former Punjab CM Beant Singh’s assassination, the petition said. The protesters also demand the release of Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, a 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict, it adds.
In the last hearing in April, the court had said that the protestors, who had been on an indefinite protest for weeks near the Chandigarh-Mohali border (by that time), cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely.
Case Title: Arrive Safe Society v. State Of Punjab & Ors.
Appearance: Ravi Kamal Gupta for the petitioner.
Vinod Ghai, AG, Punjab with. V.G. Jauhar, A. A.G., Punjab.
Ashu Mohan Punchhi, PP for U.T. Chandigarh.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (PH) 63
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