The Punjab and Haryana high court has chided Haryana Police for their failing to prevent the supporters of religious preacher Sant Rampal from laying siege to courtrooms in Rohtak and Hisar in July during a murder trial against him.
The court asked additional chief secretary Roshan Lal, and the Hisar and Rohtak senior superintendents of police (SSPs) to file affidavits about what the police had been doing when the protesters from Rampal’s Satlok Ashram had gathered outside the venues of videoconferencing trial.
They have 15 days to reply. The case is adjourned for August 27.
The division bench of justice Rajive Bhalla and justice Surinder Gupta has asked for the video clipping and detailed report of the incident. The bench held: “If the police don’t cooperate… with what moral authority do we tell the advocates not to abstain from work. The followers (of Rampal) checked the IDs of advocates outside the court. In what capacity, when the police were present? Why did the police not stop them?”
The Hisar SSP submitted that Rampal’s followers had not checked any IDs, at which the bench directed the district bar association to file an affidavit mentioning all the details of how the members were misbehaved with. The court has asked additional chief secretary Roshan Lal specifically to “explain in simple words the absolute failure of the police to maintain law and order” and how the followers were able to enter the court, harass the advocates, and hold placards against the judge.
38 TOLD TO APPEAR
The division bench asked murder accused Sant Rampal and 37 more people to appear before it on August 27. The Rohtak superintendent of police has orders to serve the fresh notices personally to the people who had sent their counsels. “The accused who did not appear, we assume they have nothing to say,” said the court.
The high court was under high security on Friday in anticipation of another siege by the supporters of the murder accused.
Police were also stationed at Inter-State Bus Terminuses in Sectors 43 and 17.