Farmers' Protest- Punjab And Haryana HC Directs Removal Of Blockade Of National Highway By Bhartiya Kisan Union
After a midnight hearing on the issue of blockade of National Highway no. 44 by protesting farmers, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the State of Haryana to ensure that National Highway No. 44 is kept open for free flow and movement of traffic so that public at large is not put to inconvenience.
The Bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Alok Jain has also cautioned that usage of force should be the last option and that too unless the administration has no other way out.
The Court has directed the Chief Secretary of Haryana Government to submit the steps taken and report in pursuance of the aforesaid directions.
This comes after Petitioner, Advocate Randeep Tanwar highlighted that National Highway no. 44 was being blocked by deploying tractor trolleys and other vehicles. It was submitted that the blockade was resorted to by a group of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) led by the President of the Union- Gurnam Singh Chaduni. It was contended that by doing so general public was put to discomfort.
It was further submitted that initially there were few members of the Union, who had started it but with the passage of time, the Members and other farmers have gathered there with the strength now reaching 400 to 500 people and 75-80 tractors and other vehicles have also reached the site.
Advocate Padamkant Dwivedi appearing for the petitioner asserted that the Highway which has been blocked by the members of BKU, which resulted in a traffic jam, cannot be permitted to continue.
The Court noted that "Citizens who have a basic right for movement without any hindrance throughout the country, cannot be restricted and hampered at the behest of some people, which act is against the interest of the public. Even the statue does not permit such type of blockade on the National highways."
"…we are of the considered view that the said impasse cannot be permitted to sustain and the District Administration should have immediately taken steps that such a thing should not have happened which has led to a situation where the National Highway has been blocked and such illegal activities cannot be permitted.", the Court held.
Cause Title- Randeep Tanwar v. State of Haryana & Ors.