File affidavit on steps to restrict bandhs, govt told

High Court of Karnataka

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to file an affidavit on the steps it has taken during bandhs so that public are not affected.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice B M Shyam Prasad was hearing a batch of public interest litigations (PILs), challenging the permission granted to organise a bandh on April 12 by various pro-Kannada organisations, including Vatal Nagaraj, over the Cauvery issue.

They said in the petition that the government was giving permission to bandhs, despite the High Court and Supreme Court orders, which state that permission should not be given to bandhs called by individuals and organisations. The ultimate sufferers of the bandhs are the public, they said.

The bandh called on April 12 was challenged by C Raja, president of the Rajajinagar Shradha Poshakara Sangha, and others.

During the hearing, the advocate representing one of the petitioners submitted that the government was not taking any steps to implement the high court order restricting bandhs. The pro-Kannada organisations call for bandhs frequently by violating the order. The government supports the bandhs called by Vatal Nagaraj, he said.

The bench asked additional advocate general A S Ponnanna as to what action the government had taken to restrict the bandhs.

Ponnanna submitted that the government had taken all precautionary steps on the safety of the public and against the inconveniences during the shutdowns.

The bench said that the advocate representing the petitioners had charged that the government stopped the operation of the public transport during bandhs. Stopping necessary services was not good. The government should implement the Supreme Court order, it said.

The court then directed the government to file an affidavit on the steps it had taken to restrict the bandhs.

Since the April 12 bandh has since been called off, the bench did not pass any order in this regard. It adjourned the PILs to April 26 for hearing.

 

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