Allahabad HC orders clearance of tracks and highways blocked by Jats
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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 reality.

"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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