Blockades: SC warns Centre of special courts

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 19:24

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday warned
that it would pass orders for creating special courts to try
agitators blocking rail and road traffic as they paralyse
normal public activities resulting in untold hardships to
people.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S D Mukhopadhyay
granted 3 weeks to the Centre to come out with concrete
suggestions to tackle the menace, failing which it will have
to intervene to ensure prosecution of the agitators for
criminal offence.

"We are going to order mandatory prosecution of those who
give calls for rail and rasta roko. Cases against them should
be disposed in 3 months. We are intending to pass orders for
creation of special courts for this," it said.

The apex court made the remarks while dealing with a PIL
relating to attacks on Dalits in Haryana`s Mirchpur village,
resulting in the death of two persons, including a physically
challenged girl in April 2010.

The bench had earlier expanded the scope of the petition
by inviting suggestions from the Centre to tackle frequent
blockades and measures to recover the losses from the
protesters, while noting that the protests are the handiwork
of politicians including ministers.

"Honourable ministers also take part in rail and rasta
roko agitations. It is part of their political agenda," the
bench quipped.

The Centre had pleaded for more time to come out with its
suggestions for tackling rasta/rail rokos and measures to
recover the losses sustained from the agitators.

"Are you really serious in stopping it? We would like to
know how many policemen are deployed to protect passengers
from hooligans and vandals? 184 transport buses were put to
fire in one day agitation in Hyderabad. Ours is a country
where tolerance limit is unlimited," the bench remarked.

The apex court warned the Centre that if it failed to
come out with concrete suggestions, it would have to
intervene.

"Since you are not doing it, we will do it. We are the
third constituent of the state. It is your function. If you
don`t do, we will do it.

"All of us at a given point of time are victims. A few
months ago, there was a jam in Delhi due to agitation. Lawyers
could not reach court and cases were adjourned. Victims are
poor persons," the bench said.
The apex court later granted three weeks for the Centre
to suggest norms for stopping the blockades and penalising
those involved in such agitations.

Earlier, the Railways and Haryana government had filed
affidavits putting their losses during the Jat community
organised stir at Rs 34 crore and Rs 46 lakh, respectively.

Members of the Jat community had resorted to rail and
rasta roko protests in Haryana to give vent to their anger at
the alleged victimisation of the community members for the
Mirchpur violence against Dalits.

A trial court in Delhi had on October 31 awarded life
imprisonment to three persons for the Mirchpur killings.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 19:24

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