The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday (12th January) directed the Punjab Police to provide adequate security personnel to former Punjab minister and senior BJP leader Tikshan Sud.
The Bench of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi observed that the Constitution of India guarantees to all citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression, to assemble peaceably and without arms and to move freely through the territory of India and these rights include within their fold the right to protest peacefully.
Importantly, the Court said,
"However, the protesters cannot violate fundamental rights of others and indulge in any criminal act constituting an offence punishable under the law in force."
The matter before the Court
The petitioner before the Court, Tikshan Sud is Senior BJP leader Tikshan Sud who was a Cabinet Minister twice and is currently a Member of Punjab BJP Core Committee.
He filed a plea seeking directions for respondents No.2 to 5 to assess the threat perception to him as well as his family members and protect their life, liberty and property and provide permanent security cover required to be granted round-the-clock to the petitioner and his family members.
He stated before the Court that he never intended to make nor made any statement hurting the feelings of the protesting farmers but the political opponents twisted his statement attributing to him statement that the protesters having no knowledge of the laws in questions were going to Delhi for picnic.
He further submitted before the Court that threats are being extended to the petitioner under the conviction that the petitioner is not supporting the on-going Kisan agitation.
He alleged that on 01st January 2021, Ranvir Singh Khalsa along with 10-15 other persons who were armed with dandas came in tractor-trolley, used abusive language, threatened the petitioner and his servants, endangered their lives, forcibly entered his house and unloaded cow dung-laden trolley at the gate of his house.
Lastly, he submitted that threats are being extended by anti-social elements to the petitioner as well as his family members including his wife, who is Municipal Councillor at present and is also contesting election for the office of Municipal Councillor.
Also, he stated that his wife is not being allowed to go outside for canvassing and visitors including BJP workers are not allowed to enter the locality.
Significantly, the Court noted,
"The State is under constitutional mandate to protect the life, liberty and property of every human being, be he a citizen or otherwise, against any harm by criminal acts constituting an offence punishable under the law in force committed by any person or group of persons for any cause whatsoever."
Further, the Court ordered Punjab Police to make assessment of perception of danger to Sud and his family and take appropriate steps for protection of the life, liberty and property of the petitioner and his family members.
For this purpose, the Court directed the State to provide PSOs who would escort the petitioner and his family members while going out of the house.
The Court also ordered that adequate number of armed police officials be deputed as members of the static guard outside the house of the petitioner with requisite number of arms and communication devices round-the-clock.
Lastly, the Court said
"Appropriate steps be also taken to ensure that the petitioner and his family members and their visitors, as permitted by them, are allowed egress and ingress to Saraswati Vihar and house of the petitioner."
Case title - Tikshan Sood v. State Of Punjab And Others [CRWP-263-2021]