ASSERTING THAT those agitating cannot be permitted to take law into their own hands and disrupt the lives of general public by blocking roads and causing damage to the public property, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday ordered the associations of contractual teachers, who are protesting against the recent regularization policy of Punjab government, to obtain prior permission from District Administration in Patiala for a planned demonstration on December 02 or any other date.
The organizers will carry out peaceful activities only at the place identified to carry out the same by District Administration, the division bench of Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli said in an order passed in a Public Interest Litigation on Friday, adding, any violation of the directions will make protesting teachers liable to face legal consequences and the protest will not be treated legal in character and nature.
The PIL filed by an advocate from Patiala on Friday morning was mentioned for an urgent hearing by Senior Advocate Puneet Bali. In the plea filed through advocate Arun Gupta, the petitioner expressed an apprehension that there will be a disruption of public life in Patiala due to the protest called by those representing the contractual teachers and sought directions to ensure that no untoward incident takes place in the city because of the protest.
The division bench asked the Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda to assist the court and also asked the Director General of Police to remain present in the court before noon.
Nanda during the hearing told the court that there are intelligence inputs regarding the protest which reflect a matter of concern and same cannot be divulged in the open court. Also, he told the court that there were five designated places for protest in Patiala and the teachers had already filed a petition regarding against the government policy in High Court.
The division bench following the submission decided to take the hearing in-camera and asked Nanda, Arora and Bali to remain present. The hearing took place for nearly half an hour inside the chambers.
In the order passed following the hearing, the division bench said that it has been assured by the DGP that Section 144 has been imposed and also the Police is fully prepared to face the situation and has planned out effective steps to ensure that the agitation does not turn violent.