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Law and order ‘pathetic’ in Chandigarh: HC to police

The HC was hearing two different petitions – one on spurt in the cases of chain snatching, which have crossed the 90 mark this year, and second on traffic violations and making helmets mandatory for women riding two-wheelers

punjab Updated: Apr 25, 2018 23:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindusta Times, Chandigarh
(Representative Image)

The Chandigarh police’s failure to maintain law and order in the city invited the Punjab and Haryana high court’s ire on Wednesday.

The high court (HC) division bench of justices AK Mittal and AS Grewal regretted its observation made on April 3, wherein it had conveyed satisfaction with efforts of Chandigarh Police in curbing incidents of snatching and other crimes.

“It was our mistake …We said two words …we are satisfied. A day after SSP goes out of court…two incidents (of snatchings) were reported,” the division bench observed.

The HC was hearing two different petitions – one on spurt in the cases of chain snatching, which have crossed the 90 mark this year, and second on traffic violations and making helmets mandatory for women riding two-wheelers.

The bench wondered whether police are oblivious to what is happening under their jurisdiction.

‘You can’t catch one person’

“Situation is pathetic in Chandigarh,” the bench observed. “ You can’t catch one person,” justice Mittal remarked, pointing out that a person was riding a bike with a modified silencer around his house in Sector 4, creating noise, in the morning but police could not catch him.

The Sector-3 station house officer was called to be present in court, but he did not turn up, said the senior judge.

The court warned that it would be compelled to pass “difficult orders” and expressed its “total displeasure”.

“You have to be alive to the situation,” the bench remarked, adding why should the bench be compelled to call police officers to court when they should be doing their duty.

‘Strict punishment for snatchers’

During the hearing, the Centre sought two weeks time on the UT police proposal on increasing jail term for chain snatching.

The court asked the Centre to even consider bringing an ordinance to introduce stringent punishment, which it suggested could be approved from the Parliament during the monsoon session. The Union home ministry is sitting on a proposal since July last year to increase punishment for snatching from three years to up to 10 years and making the offence non-bailable.

The court also directed the administration to submit a status report on year-wise installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. It had earlier come to light that 600 cameras were planned to be installed under the smart city project in 2015, but have not been installed so far.

Report sought on traffic violations

The UT police also submitted a draft notification on making helmets mandatory for women, except for Sikh women wearing turban, while riding two-wheelers.

However, the court was not satisfied with the measures being taken to curb traffic violations. The HC has sought a report on traffic violations, not only from Chandigarh but from Punjab and Haryana as well, since it came to light that in the past two years no woman riding a two-wheeler without helmet was challaned in Panchkula.

The bench also suggested that those recording violations and reporting them to police should be rewarded. It also suggested that driving licence of those found drunk while driving should be cancelled and premium on insurance should be increased.

What court said so far

April 25: “We will have to leave court work and go out for surprise checks in tricity.”

April 3: “Bring back the old days of Chandigarh when... residents didn’t lock their homes.”

March 21: “After 6pm, police presence is zero. PCRs are there but policemen sitting idle”

March 14: “Would you react only when relatives of policemen and lawyers are targeted by snatchers?”

First Published: Apr 25, 2018 23:02 IST