Protesters can't hold country to ransom, says apex court

Protesters can't hold country to ransom, says apex court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday raised serious concern over the damage caused to public and private properties during violent protests in Haryana.

The court said it would lay down “parameters” for fixing accountability of losses on organisers as the country cannot be held to ransom.

“Where is our country going? You just cannot burn the country’s or its citizens properties. Whether it's the BJP or the Congress or whichever organisation or party it is, it may be asked to pay for the property damaged. They will collect the money and pay for the damages,” a bench comprising Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan said. Hearing a plea of Gujarat Pattidar leader Hardik Patel, the court made the observation in the wake of large-scale violence and loss of public and private properties to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore in Haryana during the Jat quota stir.

“We must take a call on the issue and we would frame guidelines for taking action against people indulging in such acts. The country must know what are its consequences. No one can take the country to ransom during agitations,” the bench said.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Gujarat government, submitted the chargesheet against Hardik had already been filed. He also said a bail petition by Hardik would also come up for consideration before the sessions court.

The court put the matter for consideration of the petition by Hardik, arrested for various offences including of sedition, on Thursday.The court said it would deal with the larger issue relating to damage to public properties caused during the agitation.

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