Acting swiftly, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday directed the state government to file a status report by June 16 on Sunday’s tragedy and asked whether the project authorities followed standard operating procedure before releasing water.
The HC’s vacation bench, headed by Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, said news reports have been registered as PIL after acting Chief Justice M A Mir took cognizance of the report.
“In case the water has been discharged without any warning, as alleged, then prima facie it is established that it is not only a case of callousness but a case of grave negligence on the part of project authorities,” the court said.
The bench asked the government to file status report with special reference to the cause of incident, details of steps taken with regard to relief and rescue, place on record instructions regarding procedure to be observed before discharge of water from the barrage/reservoir, details of warning system found installed at the site, including and not restricted to siren, board carrying message of warning, and place on record the steps taken to ensure no re-occurrence of such incident.
The court directed the government through Chief Secretary and other respondents to render all possible help to locate and trace the missing students. Justice Chauhan directed to set up helpline number.