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SC refuses to stay HC order, tells Punjab govt not to ‘bring political disputes’

“Don’t bring your political disputes to court,” a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian said, dismissing the state government’s appeal challenging the high court order.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 17, 2021 10:58:44 pm
The PIL said it is the duty of the Union to effectuate a common education system

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with the Punjab and Haryana High Court verdict staying the Punjab government’s order that cancelled the permits of two bus-operating firms, which are believed to be linked to the Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal in the state.

“Don’t bring your political disputes to court,” a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian said, dismissing the appeal by the Punjab government that had challenged the HC order.

On December 6, the High Court allowed two private transporters of Punjab — New Deep Bus Service and Orbit Aviation Private Ltd — to ply their buses after they challenged a state order cancelling their permits.

Orbit Aviation is owned by the family of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal and New Deep is owned by SAD leader Hardeep Singh Dimpy Dhillon. Previously, Akali leaders have hit out at the Congress government in the state over the action.

The HC, while issuing directions to Punjab, said, “The respondents are directed to release the buses forthwith and to permit the petitioners to ply them subject to the conditions of the permit even while granting liberty to proceed as per law about any other infractions which may have been made by the petitioners.”

The two companies had approached the HC after the Congress-led Punjab government revoked their permit citing road tax dues and incomplete documents in November. The firms argued that the state’s action was politically motivated.

The High Court ruled that the Punjab government’s action was “arbitrary” and “illegal” “….the petitioners deserve opportunity of hearing or at least show cause notice before penal action of cancellation of their permits was taken invoking Section 103(2)(b) of the MV Act”, it said.

On Friday, Punjab Additional Advocate General D S Patwalia contended before the top court that the state had right to cancel the permits of the two firms over road tax dues. But the bench noted that the dues had been deposited and asked: “Now that they have paid, why do you want to cancel (permits)?”

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