High Court staysSKM bandh call after student group files PIL

Gangtok, 26 Feb:

The High Court today stayed the bandh called by Sikkim Krantikari Morcha for 28 Feb. The order was delivered while admitting a PIL filed by a group of students complaining against the inconvenience that a bandh could cause. The High Court has also put a stay on the SDF peace rally proposed for 28 Feb.

Admitting the PIL filed by Anish Sharma and others, the High Court also directed the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police to ensure that if anybody is involved in giving effect to any kind of bandh, and intends to disrupt normal public life and also affect the law and order of the State, he shall be booked under necessary provision of law.

“In case of failure, we make it clear that appropriate action will be taken against the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police,” the HC said.

Further, the court has directed that if any public/private property is damaged and if anyone is prevented from moving from one place to another, necessary action be taken against those persons found involved in such damage or restraint and they shall also be liable to pay compensation as directed by the court.

In the PIL, the petitioners have said that there are a number of students coming from far flung places including Singtam and Rangpo to schools and colleges and due to the bandh, it will be difficult for them to travel and come to the schools and colleges which would hamper their studies.

They have further said that CBSE and ICSE board exams of Classes X and XII are underway and students appearing for the examinations will face difficulties on account of the bandh.

Citing similar incidents in the recent past where bandhs and demonstrations have disrupted public life, the petitioners have also accused the state government of failing to take appropriate steps at the time.

The final hearing has been listed for 01 April 2019.