In  CM-37-CWP-PIL-2023-PUNJ HC- Administration would use force to disperse mob only as a last resort, orders P&H HC while issuing directions to ensure that NH-44 is kept open for movement of traffic in wake of protests by farmers
Justices Manjari Nehru Kaul & Manisha Batra [06-06-2023]


Read Order:Randeep Tanwar Vs. State Of Haryana & Others 


Tulip Kanth


Chandigarh, June 7, 2023:  While considering an application filed under Section 151 CPC r/w Article 226 of the Constitution for issuance of directions to stop a mob of people from gathering at National Highway-44, at the behest of the respondent-Bhartiya Kisan Union, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered that NH-44 be kept open for free flow and movement of the traffic.


“However, at the same time, it is made clear that the administration shall exercise utmost restraint and would use force to disperse the mob collected at the spot, only as a last resort”, the Division Bench of Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul & Justice Manisha Batra added.


It was the petitioner’s case that an affidavit of the Chief Secretary, Government of Haryana was filed pursuant to directions given by this Court, as a result of which talks were resumed with the leaders of the Union. It was agreed upon that the Union would remove the blockade, if the agricultural produce lying in the mandis was protected from the rains. 


Thereafter, on an assurance given by the Deputy Commissioner, the Union had called off the road blockade on NH-44, at Shahabad, leading to normal flow and movement of traffic. However, the Union had once again threatened the administration that in case the purchase of produce of Surajmukhi crop is not initiated at the earliest they would once again resort to blockade of NH-44 and in fact a large mob had been gathering since then. 

It was shown in a video recording of some News Channels that some leaders of the Union, were asking the administration to divert traffic from NH-44, as they would soon start blocking traffic.


It was submitted that the Union was not adhering to the interim directions issued by this Court on September 23, 2022. 


“In view of the averments made in the application and material on record, this Court deems it appropriate to issue directions to the official respondents to ensure that NH-44, which is the life-line of the country and connects the length and breadth of India, be kept open for free flow and movement of the traffic, without any hindrance, so that the public at  large, is not put to any kind of inconvenience”, the Bench held.


Ordering that this direction be given effect to forthwith, without any further delay, the Bench adjourned the matter to June 13, 2023 and also asked the Chief Secretary to submit a report qua the steps taken in pursuance of such directions alongwith the status report.


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