The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed serious concern at the frequent strikes paralyzing the normal life and said ironically it was the "custodians of law and constitution" who were behind the "illegal and unlawful agitation."
A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and GS Singhvi made the scathing remarks during the hearing of a public interest litigation seeking free traffic movement on NH-31, the only road connecting Sikkim to the entire country.
Directing the Governments of West Bengal and Sikkim to ensure uninterrupted traffic movement on the Highway, the bench said courts were being forced to "take over" the role of administration, which simply "rests and does nothing," while protestors hold the country to ransom.
The directions were given in wake of another agitation called on July 5. The judges also ordered the five organizations involved in the protests to follow the court directions of maintaining law and order during the demonstration.
"We are doing what the administration should have done on its own. Now, we have given the orders, the authorities will go and tell people that they are taking action on the court's direction. And, then courts are accused of stepping on their toes," said the judges.
Commenting on how strikes had "ruined the country, the judges commented: "Those who have muscle power are involved in it." When the counsel for Sikkim Government suggested the court to let the Army provide transportation facility to the people there, the court retorted: "If you want the Army to perform every role, let us have the Army Rule in the State. You don't need the local Government."