Earlier this week on 11th July 2021, Sunday, the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court held a midnight hearing to provide relief to the people who had been allegedly detained illegally by an armed mob consisting of farmers. The group of petitioners included two minors as well. The petitioners have submitted that they had been attending a meeting at the house of one of the Bhartiya Janata Party leaders when a mob of five hundred, with arms and violent means, entered the premise, disrupted the electronic connections, threw stones at the residence, and wreaked havoc, ultimately holding all the attendees, hostage.
The action has been taken as a part of the Farmers’ Protest. The plea has been filed by Berjeshwar Jaswal through Advocate Anil Mehta urging the Hon’ble court to issue directions to ensure the safety of the hostages.
Hon’ble Justice Suvir Sehgal, while responding to the plea, stated that the detainment was illegal and that the group was held captive in house number 179, Guru Arjan Dev Colony, Rajpura, District Patiala should be released with immediate effect without any harm being done to them. The Hon’ble court also directed the Additional Solicitor General of India and the Advocate General of Punjab to take measures in this regard as early as possible. The report was supposed to be submitted by today.
The plea states that the mob had appeared at the residence of the Bhartiya Janata Party leader with arms and had started threatening to set the house at the fire because the government had not complied with their demands regarding the Farmers’ Bill. The police had been informed but after arriving at the spot, instead of stopping the mob, they started assisting them and therefore they succeeded in holding the hostage captive. Writ petitions have been filed under Habeus Corpus and Mandamus before the Hon’ble court. The Hon’ble High Court has observed while interpreting Article 21: The Right to life and liberty, that the guarantee to this basic right is extremely essential for the smooth functioning of a successful democracy and a welfare state. Ensuring the same is also the duty of the state personnel and the government.
The implementation of the Farmers’ Bill has had violent reactions from some sections among the farmers especially in the states of Punjab and Haryana. While respecting their right to freedom of speech and expression, the Hon’ble court also has to protect the lives of the people and the stability and harmony of the system. The judgement has been passed keeping in mind, this vital note.