He submitted that three Union ministers had held a meeting with the farmer leaders first on February 8 and then two ministers another round of meeting on Monday (PTI Photo)
The Punjab and Haryana High court Tuesday issued notices to the Centre, and the states of Haryana and Punjab, on two separate petitions filed pertaining to the farmers' Delhi Chalo march.
One of the petitioners has sought directions from the court to stay all "obstructive" actions by the governments of Haryana and Punjab and the Union government against the farmers' protest, while the other has pleaded for directions to ensure no highway is blocked by the protesters and those who do so are punished.
The petitions came up for hearing before a bench of Acting Chief Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Lapita Banerji.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Additional Solicitor General of India Satya Pal Jain, who was representing the Centre, said the court has issued notices and fixed February 15 as the next date of hearing.
He submitted that three Union ministers had held a meeting with the farmer leaders first on February 8 and then two ministers another round of meeting on Monday.
The government is ready for talks with the representatives of farmers on any issue, said Jain, stressing it is the government's view that the matter should be resolved through dialogue.
On the law and order situation, Jain said the court was informed that it was a state subject.
The Centre is ready to provide any support, even additional force, if the governments of Haryana and Punjab request for it, he said.
Petitioner Uday Partap Singh, based in Haryana's Panchkula, sought directions from the court to stay all obstructive actions by the governments of Haryana and Punjab and the central dispensation against farmers' protest.
In the plea, he submitted that the issue pertains to the unlawful sealing of the border between Haryana and Punjab, particularly at Shambhu border near Ambala, by the Haryana authorities, with an objective to prevent farmers from exercising their constitutional right to assemble and protest peacefully.
The petitioner further submitted that the Haryana government's actions, which include suspension of mobile internet services and bulk SMS in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, and Sirsa, exacerbate the situation, depriving the citizens of their right to information and communication.
"The road blockade not only inconveniences residents but also hampers the movement of ambulances, school buses, pedestrians, and other vehicles. This obstruction has resulted in increased traffic on alternative routes, causing delays and difficulties for including professionals like advocates, doctors and emergency services who are unable to reach their workplaces and attend promptly," the plea read.
The other petition, filed by one Arvind Seth, has sought directions to the states of Punjab, Haryana, the Centre and the National Highway Authority of India to ensure that none of the highways or other roads are blocked by protesters.
First Published: Feb 13 2024 | 8:19 PM IST