Delhi HC rejects PIL seeking medical facilities for farmers protesting at borders

The plea filed through advocate Rohit Jha also claimed that under the present circumstances, the farmers’ agitation may take the face of ‘violent riots’ at any point of time.
Farmers shout slogans during their protest against the new farm laws, at Singhu Border in New Delhi.(PTI)
Farmers shout slogans during their protest against the new farm laws, at Singhu Border in New Delhi.(PTI)
Updated on Dec 17, 2020 04:51 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRicha Banka | Edited by Abhinav Sahay

The Delhi high court on Thursday refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) which sought medical and health facilities at borders with Delhi where the farmers have been protesting against the new farm laws.

A bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice Prateek Jalan said the matter is already pending with the Supreme Court, which is looking into the larger issue. It also said that the petitioner, a lawyer, Ashish, could have filed the petition at the Punjab and Haryana high court rather than coming here.

“We are not the central govt. Where are they protesting? Outside Delhi? Is this publicity interest or public interest?,” the bench said. The court also said that since the protests are being held at the borders, it does not have jurisdiction.

It said the same plea could have been filed before the Punjab and Haryana HC which could have adjudicated it.

The plea filed through advocate Rohit Jha contends that under the present circumstances the agitation may take the face of “violent riots” at any point of time. It said that ‘unavoidable situations’ have been witnessed between the farmers and police authorities while the former has been agitating against the newly passed farms laws.

The plea said that the farmers gathered at various borders of Delhi are at a high risk of getting infected from Covid-19 as there is no adherence to social distancing and most of the protestors are spotted without facemasks, which shows they are least aware about their own safety in the present situation of Covid-19 pandemic.

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The petition argued that it was likely to turn the situation in Delhi critical if a large number of protestors get infected, thereby increasing the chance of a mass spread of the disease in the capital.

“That the farmers who are protesting at various borders of the NCT Delhi are vulnerable to various kinds of diseases and are a threat to the women, children and aged protesters,” the plea said.

The plea further argues that “it is a possibility that the violent anti-national groups may see a good opportunity to convert the peaceful protests by the farmers into violent riots and create communal tension among people. The protesting farmers who are already de-motivated by the utter negligence of the Union of India may act violently due to the inducement and abetment by the bad elements.”

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