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Allahabad HC orders clearance of tracks and highways blocked by Jats

Last Updated: Saturday, March 19, 2011 - 00:23

Lucknow: Taking suo motu cognisance of
public inconvenience caused by the ongoing Jat agitation, the
Allahabad High Court on Friday directed officials of the state and
central governments concerned to clear railway tracks and
national highways blocked due to the stir over quota issue.
A division bench comprising Justice Umanath Singh and
Justice Virendra Kumar Dixit of the court`s Lucknow bench
directed Union Home Secretary, Chairman Railway Board and
state Principal Secretary Home and DGP to get the railway
tracks and national highways cleared.

Earlier in the day, the bench summoned the state DGP
and directed the Additional Solicitor General to take report
from Union Home department and present it to the court.

The matter came up for hearing after Allabahad High Court
Chief Justice FI Rebello, taking suo-motu cognisance of the
matter, directed the justices of Lucknow bench to hear the
matter as public interest litigation.

After being summoned by the court in the afternoon, State
Principal Secretary Home and DGP along with Advocate General
Jyotindra Mishra and Additional Solicitor General Ashok Nigam
appeared before the court and informed it about the ground
"Since it is a matter involving inconvenience and
hardship to the general public lasting over more than 12 days,
the court can not be expected to act like a mute spectator",
the division bench comprising Justice Imtiyaz Murtaza and
Justice Shyam Shankar Tiwari of Allahabad High Court remarked.

The court also directed the UP DGP to appear before the
court on March 29 next and make a statement "about the action
plan to allow unhindered flow of railway traffic".

"The DGP shall also update the court as to what action
has been taken by him so far against the people who have
blocked the railway tracks, and further, how many cases were
registered and what is the result of investigations", the
bench said.

The court also directed the Indian Railways to
"announce restoring normal traffic on the lines in between
Lucknow and Delhi" and to "make its own arrangements for
security of railway tracks and passengers".

"A notice be also issued to General Managers, Railways,
at Lucknow and Delhi to respond by the next date fixed", the
court added.
The order came on a Public Interest Litigation filed by
one Bharti Kashyap, who had moved the court "claiming to be a
public spirited person who is rattled by recent events of
blocking the railway tracks by Jat community resulting in
inconvenience to the general public".

The petitioner had also drawn the court`s attention
towards media reports wherein Chief Minister Mayawati was
stated to have supported the Jats` stir and alleged "this has
given the oxygen of publicity" to the agitators.

The court observed, "If the movement is peaceful, it
breaches no law. If movement results in inconvenience by
disrupting movement of rail traffic, it certainly falls within
the domain of the state government to restore normalcy and to
facilitate smooth flow of trains".


First Published: Saturday, March 19, 2011 - 00:23

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