On being apprised that the Chandigarh police were not complying with their own statement given in the court regarding providing proper security at the Chandigarh Night Food Street in Sector 14, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed Chandigarh deputy inspector general (DIG) police AS Cheema to remain present in court on the next date of hearing.
Special division bench comprising justices Surya Kant and Ajay Tewari directed this during the hearing of a case related to poor maintenance of Night Food Street by the authorities.
The high court had taken suo motu notice of a news item “Popularity of food street takes a dip as prices soar”in HT Chandigarh on October 2, 2010, that highlighted its poor condition, including high prices of food items as well as poor hygiene. Since then, the matter was under scanner of the high court.
When the case came up for hearing on Friday, amicus curiae (advocate appointed to assist the court) Atul Lakhanpal informed the court that he had visited the Night Food Street recently and remained there for around 40 minutes.
He submitted that he could neither find police control room (PCR) vehicle, as claimed by UT police, nor a single cop was present on the site, despite clear directions of the court.
There was no provision for the toilet, and even the close circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed were not functional.
Some persons present during the hearing in court informed that they had even found the UT cops visiting the Night Food Street after consuming liquor on duty.
On this, the court directed the DIG to file a reply as to why the safety of public was not being ensured at the food street and what action was being taken against erring cops. The court has also directed the UT municipal commissioner to file the status report.