The Sikkim High Court on Tuesday
restrained opposition Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) and its president Prem Singh Tamang from going ahead with its proposed bandh on February 28 or any procession or rally.
A division bench of Chief Justice Vijai Kumar Bist and Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai passed the interim order on a writ petition filed by Anita Sharma and others.
The SKM had given a call for statewide bandh on February 28 alleging that the Pawan Kumar Chamling government "failed" to implement its charter of demands which includes representation of Limboo and Tamang communities in the state assembly, restoration of Assembly seats for the Sikkimese- Nepalese community and regularisation of all temporary jobs.
The petitioner requested the court to declare the proposed bandh
as illegal and unconstitutional, saying it will cause large-scale inconvenience to the students writing Class 10 examination and general public due to the likely disruption in road traffic.
The petitioner quoted media reports that the SKM president had called upon the people of Sikkim to support the bandh and, in the event of not doing so, threatened with dire consequences.
Taking serious view of the documentary evidences submitted by the petitioner, the court said, "it is the duty of the state government to ensure law and order and also ensure life of citizens are not disturbed."
Passing the interim order, the court said, "Considering all these facts we restrain respondent (SKM) from going ahead with the call of bandh on February 28 next from what has been reported in the newspapers."
"We also direct the respondent (PS Tamang) not to go ahead with any peaceful procession or rally on February 28 next," the bench said in a terse order.
The court directed the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police of the state to ensure that if anybody is involved in giving effect to any kind of bandh and intends to disrupt the normal life and also affect the law and rule of the state, then such persons be booked under necessary provisions of the law.
"In the event of failure, we make it clear that appropriate action will be taken against the CS and the DGP," the court warned the top two officials of Sikkim.
It further said that in case any public or private property getting damaged and if any person being prevented from moving from one place to another necessary action be taken against those persons found involved do and they shall be liable to pay compensation as directed by the court.
The court posted the matter for final hearing on April 1.
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