HC questions Govt's inaction
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 06 2011:
The Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench has directed Advocate General N Kostishwar to take instruction as to why miscreants imposing the blockade on the National Highways were not punished under Section 8B of the National Highways Act, 1956 .
The High Court issued this directive yesterday after hearing a PIL filed by one RK Joysana.
The Court observed that the Government cannot be a silent spectator in such situation when prices of all essential commodities have skyrocketed on account of the continuing economic blockades.
The Government cannot simply put up its hands because the matter is a highly politically charged matter.
"The Government, if necessary may use the force for preventing the economic blockade.
Are the personnel of the Assam Rifles and/or the personnel of CRPF doing their duties for preventing the economic blockade imposed on the said two National Highways ? Where have the armed personnel and the Commandos of Manipur Police gone ?", read the Court's order.
In the course of the hearing, the Court put a pointed question to Advocate General N Kotishwar Singh appearing for the State Government and CGSC C Komal appearing for the Union of India and others by referring to Section 8 A of the National Highways Act 1956 as to who was the authority maintaining the two National Highways.
Referring to the brief note submitted by the AG on September 1 which said that even CRPF convoys have stopped moving since August 3 due to the SHDDC blockade, the Court observed that such activities of the CRPF convoys should be brought to the notice of the Union Secretary (Home), Government of India.
The Court further observed that as lives of the people are at stake, the Ministry of Home Affairs should make available additional deployment of armed forces sought by the State Government.
The Court also directed the AG to take definite instructions as to the steps taken up by the State respondents.
The case is listed for further hearing on September 8.Copies of the same order have also been forwarded to the Secretary (Home) Government of India, CRPF Director General and Assam Rifles Director General.
Advocate M Hemchandra is appearing for the petitioner while AG N Kotishwar and CGSC C Komal are appearing on behalf of the respondents.