HC to decide whether it can make Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim pay for damages in Panchkula
In Panchkula, where nearly 2 lakh followers had assembled 32 people had died and property worth crores were damaged.punjab Updated: Aug 31, 2017 12:30 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court has decided to ponder over whether it can make Dera Sacha Sauda head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, pay for the damage to public or private properties in the violence reported in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh after his conviction in two rape cases, on Friday.
The court would also decide whether the expenses for the loss and damages could be recovered and whether it would include expenses on the arrangements for mobilisation of security forces. It would further examine whether the compensation amount can be recovered from persons indulging in the agitation that turned violent.
Thirty-eight people have lost their lives in the violence following conviction of the dera head on Friday. In Panchkula, where nearly 2 lakh followers had assembled 32 people had died and property worth crores were damaged.
A full bench comprising justice SS saron, justice Surya Kant and justice Avneesh Jhingan passed these orders during the resumed hearing of a PIL, initially filed seeking proper security arrangements, ahead of verdict in rape cases against dera head.
The court would also examine in what conditions could can entertain PILs relating to law and order and further whether when the police should use full force and when rubber bullets, water cannons etc. should. It would also examine whether Haryana failed to perform its duty in preventing mass scale gathering in Panchkula or whether there was any complicity on the part of state with the agitators.
The HC would also examine whether religious, political organisations can give a call to its followers to assemble with the intent to commit acts of violence. It also directed the government to make arrangements to provide proper medical aid to the injured.
The court disposed of a PIL seeking action against BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj observing that it would “side-track and distract” the court from the main issue of law and order in the matter. Maharaj had given a statement in favour of Ram Rahim despite court asking politicians to refrain from doing so.
Don’t misquote oral observations, HC to media
The HC bench asked media organisations to not to “misquote oral observations” of the court. “We once again impress upon the media to play a pro-active role in this issue and not to misquote the oral observations made in court,” the HC bench’s order released on Wednesday says.
Earlier on Tuesday, the court had said that the media reported oral observations in respect of the Prime Minister “out of context”. Several media organisations had reported observations of court made during Friday’s hearing, “The Prime Minister is of the nation and not the BJP”.
However, on Tuesday, the court at the beginning of hearing had said that the media quoted observations “out of context”. Senior advocate Anupam Gupta had submitted that there was no need for the court to “clarify” and that it would send out a “wrong signal”. To this, the court had said that it was not “wilting under any kind of pressure” but media should report “responsibly”.
First Published: Aug 31, 2017 12:29 IST