24 Oct 2009

Strikers to be prosecuted for damage: High Court

Taking a suo motu action in view of a death which took place due to strike called out by political parties, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Government to initiate criminal proceedings against those involved in the strike and cause loss of life and property to others. The Court on its own motion initiated the proceedings upon the report that a person died on the way to the hospital as "a mob comprising several leaders of Shiv Sena, Vishav Hindu Parishad and other members of political party, namely, BJP had stopped the passage" and the person was not allowed to be taken to the hospital.

Taking note of the consistent judicial opinion against calls of strike and participation therein, the High Court observed as under;

From the above judicial pronouncements of Courts of law from time to time, it is evident that those who want to commute and undertake their journey cannot be forced or compelled to shelve off their travelling by the organisers who had given call for strike. Forcibly preventing the common man by the strikers is unlawful. It has been well recognised that resorting to such kind of strikes, the sufferer is society and the public at large. The Courts have often held that there cannot be any right to impose or enforce a bandh which interferes with the exercise of fundamental freedom of other citizens. Such a call of chakka jam, bandh or strike, not only causes national loss in many ways but as is depicted in the present case, has caused loss of precious life.
In these circumstances, coming heavily against those calling and participating in the strike, the High Court directed registration of case and submission of charge sheet against the erring participants of the chakka jam/bandh. The High Court also directed the State administration to take necessary precaution that nobody be allowed to forcibly restrain or compel any person who does not want to become part of strike or chakka jam and to ensure free flow of traffic.

One may have a look at this decision here, however (as it we had earlier written to this effect) it is only unfortunate that each time the judiciary has to come into action to direct against the damage to life and property while the executive machinery of the State, which is actually responsible for ensure that such incidents do not take place consider their work sufficed by giving undertaking in courts of such events not happening again, only to be found to give such undertakings again and again and ...

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