A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar of Delhi HC asked the police on January 14, 2020 to look into the matter of opening the Kalindi Kunj- Shaheen Bagh stretch in consonance with law and order situation to look into traffic restrictions on stretch, which has been closed for nearly a month due to protests against the amended Citizenship Act, for the larger public interest.
The high court had passed the current order disposing of a PIL filed by advocate and social activist Amit Sahni seeking a direction to the Delhi police commissioner to lift restrictions on Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh Stretch which was closed on December 15, 2019 for ongoing protests against the CAA and the NRC proposed by the government.
- The Bench observed that it was for the temporary time and was extended day by day.
- Proper consideration should be taken for the police before opening it to maintain the law and order situation.
- One of the main features of the complaint include that the stretch is vital as it connects Delhi, Faridabad (Haryana) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh) but now the commuters are forced to take the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Expressway and Ashram, which is causing hours of traffic jams and wastage of time and fuel.
- The Bench refused to interfere in the matter as it is out of domain according to them.
Importance of the Kalindi Kunj Stretch
The Kalindi Kunj Stretch is one of the most important connectivity’s prevailing for the city. It was blocked earlier to avoid the protesters to enter the capital and prevent the situation of violation of law and peace. The stretch is vital because it connects Delhi, Faridabad (Haryana) and Noida (Uttar Pradesh). The Stretch marks the connectivity between the three major cities comprising of the NCR-Region. The flow of movement is very essential in the areas of Delhi, Faridabad and Noida. All the major activities of the transportation of the goods, individuals travelling, etc. are done through this route. It can be called as a lifeline providing easy to access all-time connection between the three and the neighbouring states. It can’t be shunned down for longer hours, otherwise, there would be a great loss of the time, money and energy.
The Final Order
The Bench said that the court cannot issue any direction as to how to handle the agitation or protest or the place of protest and the traffic as it all depends upon the ground reality and the wisdom of the police because the situation is not static and keep changing.
The Court also marked that it is not their duty to guide and direct regarding the managing of the protests and the clearance of the blocked roads to the police. It involves purely the administrative power and is out of domain of their view.
Response of Police
The Delhi Police after the order of the Delhi HC dated 14.01.2020 has now initiated the process of clearing the roads and the stretch as per directions of the Court. Though, according to the final order of the Court, the bench clearly stated that the matter is not under their jurisdiction and is of the concern of the law enforcement agencies which primarily include the Delhi police and the other reserved battalions. But, the police taking into the consideration the petitioner of the PIL, started the work of clearing. The police had taken into the consideration about the importance of the stretch. An official from the police of the capital stated that they also had reviewed the situation again.
In their opinion, the stretch could be cleared as there is not a fresh danger to the stretch due to the minimising of the protests. The police itself also facing a huge stress over the blocking of the stretch, as people are forced to use different routes, due to which the roads are becoming congenital and blocking. The police is facing difficulty in managing that routes because they are not meant for such a huge rush.
Beyond inconvenience to the general public, the most dangerous situation if faced by the emergency vehicles consisting of the fire, ambulance and police services. There are daily many of the ambulances shifting patients from the nearby areas to the major hospitals of the Delhi. Due to long jams, they are very crucial victims of jams as in case of some urgency, no one could transport it. Also, for the fire and the police services, the situation remains the same.
Taking all into account and after the certification of no danger of the protesters, the police began the task of opening the stretch with due caution and care. Very soon, the situation will be restored to the original ground.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje