Dera row HC praises Punjab, Haryana Centre given three days to file reply
Tribune News Service
The Punjab and Haryana governments today received a pat from the Punjab and Haryana High Court for taking adequate and timely steps to maintain law and order in the wake of frayed tempers over the Dera Sacha Sauda row.
The praise came when the court was hearing a couple of petitions relating to the Dera issue in which petitioners had sought protection of the life and property of dera followers in particular and other citizens in general.
“We appreciate the steps taken by the Punjab and Haryana governments in protecting the life, liberty and property of their citizens,” the Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover, said.
The Punjab government filed an affidavit stating that “necessary steps and measures to control law and order and to maintain peace had been taken”. It was emphasised that the Bathinda police had been told to take immediate action and adequate steps to protect the life and property of dera followers. The affidavit highlighted the fact that during the Punjab bandh, no untoward incident had been allowed to take place and paramilitary forces had been deployed at sensitive places.
A similar affidavit was filed by the Haryana government stating that the government showed no laxity in handling the situation and companies of paramilitary forces were requisitioned from the Centre to maintain law and order.
The Union of India’s counsel, Daya Chaudhary, sought two days to file reply but the court in its order allowed her three days to do the same. The case has been fixed for hearing on May 31.
The much-awaited moment came when the UT Administration’s counsel, Anupam Gupta, whose submissions during the previous hearing had left the court fuming and fretting, stood up to address the Division Bench.
Gupta filed his personal affidavit which was ordered to be taken on record by the court But the court asked him to file another affidavit of the UT Administration, saying: “We never addressed you in your personal capacity. We referred to you as the senior standing counsel for the Chandigarh Administration”.