The Punjab and Haryana High Court made a very strong comment against the Punjab government over the rail and road routes being blocked due to farmer agitation. Hearing the petition filed in this regard, the High Court reprimanded the Punjab government. The Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha, made the stern remark – “If the Punjab government fails to handle law and order, the court should pass an order in this matter.”
“We will issue an order and write that the Punjab government has failed to follow the constitution,” added Jha.
Along with this, the High Court has directed the Central and Punjab Government to try to find a solution to this problem. The court directed the Punjab government to provide information about the action taken to open rail and road on the next hearing. The case will be next heard on 18 November.
Earlier during the hearing, the court was told by the Punjab government that almost all the railway tracks have been emptied.On this, Additional Solicitor General Satyapal Jain said on behalf of the Center that Punjab government is continuously accusing the Center that the central government is not running goods trains but four railway tracks and 29 railway platforms are still in the possession of agitating farmers in Punjab.
Jain told the court that while responding to a letter written by Captain Amarinder Singh to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Goyal had said that the state government should first vacate the railway tracks and ensure the safety of the railway staff. Jain added that even though the Punjab government is saying that the tracks have been emptied but farmers are still sitting at many places on the railway track. When goods trains were allowed to run, they were intercepted and searched at several places
by the farmers. Along with this, it was said that they (farmers) will only let the government thermal plant carry coal, not private thermal plants.
Jain said that farmers are not even allowing petroids to be transported in goods trains. The Central Government has said that the Central Government cannot run goods and passenger trains until the Punjab government makes sure that the railway staff and goods trains are safe.
High Court directed the Central and Punjab Government to try to find a solution to this problem. On next hearing, the Punjab government has been ordered to inform the court about all the steps that the Punjab government has taken to open rail and road routes.
Additionaly, the High Court has called for details of accused and convicts in uniform. It has asked the Punjab Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Home Affairs and Justice, to file an affidavit setting out the details of FIRs registered against the serving police officers of all ranks in the state.
Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal has made it clear that the affidavit was required to mention that the nature and status of the FIRs along with the current posting of the officers. It would also elaborate upon the number of officers still continuing in service even after being convicted by a court of law.
“The affidavit shall also state as to what is the rationale in reinstating/allowing the continuance of police officers, who are facing criminal cases and those who have been convicted,” Justice Grewal added.