December 6, 2021

Gauhati HC bans blockades, agitators to pay for losses

The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday ruled against bandhs and blockades declaring them illegal and unconstitutional and ordered the creation of a fund to recover losses during such agitations from the organisers.

Justice Ujjal Bhuyan passed the order while delivering the judgment on a petition filed by Lower Assam Inter-district Stage Carriage Bus Owner’s Association.

Justice Bhuyan also directed lodging of FIR against bandh and blockade organisers within 24 hours of their occurrence considering various judgments passed by the Supreme Court and different high courts on the issue.

The investigating officers in all such cases would carry out the probe expeditiously and file charge sheets before the competent criminal court promptly so that the offenders can be tried in a fast track mode, the court ruled.

The judgment said organisers of such blockades are liable to be prosecuted under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code 1860, National Highways Act 1956 and the Railways Act 1989.

In addition those indulging in violence and intimidation like preventing people from attending their duties during such agitations will also have to be booked under the relevant penal provisions, it said.

The court also directed the Assam Police Accountability Commission to monitor filing of FIR and registration of cases.

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