Should Political parties be de-recognised for calling blockage? asks SC to Centre
'Should political parties be de-recognized if they be the causes of long-term road or rail blockages that disturb the life of common men?' asked Supreme Court to Centre while hearing the matters of various prolonged road and rail blockages including 11-day blockade of rail and road traffic in Rajasthan and Haryana in 2011 by members of Jat Community and nearly four month blockage by Naga group in Manipur last year that caused severe disturbance in common men life and the movement of essential items, including foodgrains.
Hearing the matter, two-bench of judges Justice G S Singhvi and Justice S J Mukhopadhyay posed this question to solicitor general R F Nariman as soon as he presented the Centre's suggestions to counter the prolonged blockade of rail and road by protestors.
Giving the eight points suggestions, Centre Tuesday told the apex court that it was the state governments' responsibility to maintain law and order and ensure free and uninterrupted movement of traffic along the national highways while to prevent this sort of problems appropriate prosecution and civil recovery should be initiated against the people involved in the agitation.
"The district magistrate shall record the quantum of loss suffered due to violent acts of the agitationists leading to the destruction of public and private property" and thereafter "undertake appropriate proceedings to recover the losses as arrears of land revenue against the delinquents individually", the central government said.
The government said that the district judge, who would act as a special designated court, would dispose of the prosecution proceedings within six months.
The Court has sought the Centre's suggestion on countering this type of pain to the common men and loss to the government.
The bench asked two questions to Nariman. First, whether political parties calling for rail/road blockade should face de- recognition and second, whether the state failing to remove the blockade be asked to pay damages caused to public property by the protestors?
The Centre had suggested that the district magistrate would record quantum of damage to public and private property due to violent acts of agitators and initiate appropriate legal proceedings to recover the quantified loss as revenue arrears.
The DM should also initiate criminal proceedings against protestors indulging in violent acts and suggested that such cases should be decided by courts within six months.
If a blockade continued beyond a week, then the principal secretary home or the director general of police would send a report to the HC concerned. "The High Court will examine the efforts made at different levels, fix responsibility for failure and call upon the delinquent officers to explain their conduct and issue such orders as may be considered appropriate," the Centre suggested.
--With Agencies Inputs--
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