In Democracy Farmers Can't Be Stopped From Entering State: High Court On Haryana Govt's Defence For Closing Shambhu Border, Directs Unblocking

Aiman J. Chishti

10 July 2024 8:14 AM GMT

  • In Democracy Farmers Cant Be Stopped From Entering State: High Court On Haryana Govts Defence For Closing Shambhu Border, Directs Unblocking

    The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Haryana Government to unblock Shambhu Border with in a week on experimental basis, observing that it is the "life-line" for citizens' movement between Punjab and Haryana and to Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir, and its closure is causing immense inconvenience to the general public. "State should wake up, border should not be closed for all...

    The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the Haryana Government to unblock Shambhu Border with in a week on experimental basis, observing that it is the "life-line" for citizens' movement between Punjab and Haryana and to Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir, and its closure is causing immense inconvenience to the general public.

    "State should wake up, border should not be closed for all the time," said a division bench of Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Justice Vikas Bahl while hearing the farmers protest PIL. It also directed both the States to ensure that law and order is maintained and the highway is restored to its "original glory."

    Shambhu border was closed by Haryana Government in February during farmers protest, to restrict the protesters from Punjab entering into Haryana.

    Additional Advocate General for Haryana Deepak Sabharwal argued that 400-450 protesters are still sitting on Punjab side at the highway and they may enter Ambala and do gherao at SP's office.

    This prompted Justice Sandhawalia to orally observe,

    "men in uniform cannot be scared of them...we are living in democracy, farmers cannot be stopped from entering to Haryana...let them do the gherao."

    The Court noted that the Highway was closed due to preventive measures by the Haryana Government and 5-6 months have gone by since then. It observed, "the diversion which have been made is causing great inconvenience...there is no free flow of transport vehicles and buses, thus general public is in great inconvenience."

    While noting that now the number of protesting farmers have been reduced to 400-500, the Court said earlier it had restrained from passing any order as the gathering was thousands in number. However now, the situation had changed. The Court also directed Kisan Union to ensure that they abide by the law.

    Protestor's Death

    Court also considered the FSL report filed with respect to death of Shubhkaran Singh, a protesting farmer, on February 21. It was alleged that Singh lost his life in Punjab after being hit by a bullet fired by the Haryana Police.

    However, as per the FSL report Singh's death was caused by a shotgun. Perusing the same, the Court remarked, "Shotgun is not carried by police officers..."

    Addressing to Senior Advocate RS Bains appearing for Kisan Union, the Court said, "it shows that the pellete was shot by one of your men and you people created so much of hue and cry about it". However, the Court nominated a senior IPS officer to investigate the matter. 

    The Court also clarified that the report of Committee on use of force by police and other aspects are awaited.

    Title: Uday Pratap Singh Vs. UOI & others

    Mr. Uday Pratap Singh, petitioner in person(in CWP-PIL-29-2024). 

    Mr. Himmat Singh Deol, Advocate,for the petitioner (in CWP-PIL-36-2024).

    Mr.R.S.Bains, Sr.Advocate, Advocate for the petitioner in (CRWP-1830-2024).

    Mr.Satya Pal Jain, Addl. Solicitor General of India with Mr. Dheeraj Jain, Sr. Standing Counsel, for Union of India.

    Mr. Saurav Khurana, Addl. A.G., Punjab.

    Mr. Deepak Sabherwal, Addl. A.G., Haryana. Mr. Jaiveer S. Chandel, Addl. Standing Counsel for U.T., Chandigarh.

    Click here to read/download the order

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