Irked with the police for challaning a judge’s vehicle on a road where it was allowed to ply, the Himachal Pradesh high court on Saturday annulled all permits issued to vehicles to ply between Shimla Club, lift, CTO building and the railway board building.
The court also barred the additional district magistrate and public relations officer from issuing any permit to vehicles to ply on sealed or restricted roads, and directed chief secretary P Mitra to ensure that no vehicle attached to judges was unnecessarily stopped or challaned.
“Permits issued by these authorities will not be valid till the further order of the court,” it observed.
Taking judicial notice of the matter in which the official vehicle of a judge was challaned and another official vehicle of a judge was stopped near the railway board building on November 18, the division bench comprising justices Rajiv Sharma and Tarlok Singh Chauhan on Saturday summoned chief secretary P Mitra, home secretary PC Dhiman and director general of police Sanjay Kumar.
Notably, the Shimla Road Users and Pedestrians (Public Safety and Convenience) Act, 2007, exempts vehicles of judges from obtaining permits to move on sealed or restricted roads.
The court observed, “We are constrained to gather the impression that the functionaries of the state government are trying to put the judges through uncalled-for hardship.”
“No vehicle except that of the governor, chief minister, chief justice and other public utility vehicles will ply between Shimla Club, lift, CTO building and railway board building,” it added.
The HC further directed the chief secretary to file an affidavit in four weeks regarding the steps taken to provide security at the residences of judges keeping the constitutional duties being discharged by them.