War-like situation has to be fought accordingly
By Team Legistify / 2017-08-31

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A war-like situation has to be fought accordingly, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today observed while refusing to go into the action of security forces in Panchkula after violence broke out following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the rape case.

At the same time, the High Court directed that to investigate all the FIRs registered at various places in connection with the Dera violence issue, both Haryana and Punjab will set up Special Investigation Teams of three officers to be headed by an officer, not below the rank of an ADGP.It also directed that no FIR registered by the two states during the episode shall be cancelled without the permission of the high court.The high court bench directed the Haryana government to file the detailed status report regarding steps taken to sanitise Dera Sacha Sauda centres including the Dera headquarters at Sirsa.

The Dera counsel today submitted before a bench, comprising acting Chief Justice S S Saron and Justices Surya Kant and Avneesh Jhingan, that security forces should have used rubber bullets to disperse the mob in Panchkula and not opened fire.

However, the judges did not agree. The bench said you can’t go soft when some people come armed with petrol bombs and deadly weapons to indulge in arson and lawlessness.Senior advocate Anupam Gupta also said that he disagrees with Dera counsel as entire Haryana would have burnt had the security forces not responded strongly to the situation.Justice Saron, while agreeing with Gupta, verbally observed, “ This was a war-like situation and it had to be fought like a war-like situation ”.Gupta further observed that when mob mentality comes and threatens everything, there has to be a hard response.The bench also made clear its intent to lay guidelines on situations in which regular bullets or rubber bullets were required to be fired.

It was hearing a PIL filed by a Panchkula resident Ravinder Dhull, a lawyer, who had raised law and order concerns and stated that over 1.5 lakh people had reportedly entered the district earlier despite prohibitory orders.Violence broke out at Panchkula after Ram Rahim was convicted in a rape case by the special CBI court on Friday leaving 32 people dead while six died at Sirsa, even as incidents of violence were reported from parts of Punjab as well.The court also directed that case diaries of each FIR and the report of investigation in connection with the violence will be submitted on a monthly basis to the concerned “area magistrates”.The magistrates, within ten days thereafter, will submit their comments to the high Court.

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