Ensure rule of law: Punjab and Haryana High Court to Government

Chandigarh, December 9: Just over a week before the municipal elections, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday directed the Advocate General to ensure prevalence of peace, law and order in the state. He was also asked to prevent disruption of routine business and traffic. The clamping of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code as per requirement was also ordered.

The court issued a notice to the government, the DGP and the SAD in connection with the statewide dharnas.
The Bench made it clear that any dharna, meeting or congregation called or held by any political party today onwards without prior approval from the Deputy Commissioner would not “satisfy the test of being legal”.

Taking up a petition filed in public interest by Varinder Pal Singh, the Division Bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Amit Rawal asked Advocate General Atul Nanda to ensure that any dharna, meeting, congregation or activity having potential of disrupting traffic, peace, law and order, routine trade and business of the general public was not permitted in the state, keeping in view the ensuing municipal elections.

Nanda was also asked to apprise the court of the steps being taken to prevent any untoward incident in the state during the ensuing elections scheduled to be held on December 17.
“The Advocate General shall also ensure invocation of the provisions of Section 144 of the CrPC, wherever required by the authorities concerned, in accordance with law,” the Bench added.

Appearing before the Bench, Nanda — on the basis of information received from Director General of Police (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta — did not dispute that the situation in Punjab was grave due to the ensuing elections.
He also did not dispute that the blockage of national highways and internal roads passing through the state may cause hindrance to the supply of essential commodities, besides ferrying patients to hospitals and other such eventualities.

The petitioner had earlier stated that “hundreds of workers and voters of various political parties” had thronged bridges connecting Ferozepur city with neighbouring districts. “Similar is the situation in rest of Punjab,” it was added. The Bench was also told that people from different political parties were also blocking the national highways and internal roads.

News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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