The Punjab & Haryana High Court has directed the formation of a committee to find a way to resolve the situation arising out of a blockade created by farm laws protestors outside a warehouse in Ferozepur (Adani Wilmar Limited v. State of Punjab).
The Court has directed the parties to “think out of the box” and act expeditiously to prevent further wastage of food grains lying in the facility.
Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul observed,
“This Court has no doubt in its mind that as stated in the aforementioned affidavits/status reports filed by the State of Punjab, the State is doing its best to ensure that the law takes its own course and no untoward incident happens. As noticed earlier, this is not simply a law and order problem but is an extraordinary situation requiring an extraordinary response.”
The petitioners before the Court were owners of a facility that stores food grains till they are delivered to distributors. Protestors agitating against the Centre’s farm laws blocked the facility, thus breaking the supply chain for the goods lying inside, several of which were nearing expiry.
The owners of the facility had approached the District Collector and even the Chief Minister and the Deputy Commissioner, seeking intervention.
When the pleas fell on deaf ears, the petitioner moved the High Court for a direction to the State authorities to ensure that the free movement of food grains is not hindered.
During the hearing, the State indicated that it is open to the idea of involving senior officials to find a way forward and to reach an early end to the stalemate, since they were conscious of the wastage of food grains.
The Committee formed by the Court will comprise the Principal Secretary Home, Government of Punjab; Additional Director General of Police, Law & Order Punjab; Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur; and Senior Superintendent of Police, Ferozepur, amongst other officers.
On a concluding note, the Court stated,
“…it is expected and hoped that all efforts would be made by the quarters concerned in the spirit of “malice towards none with charity for all” to borrow from Abraham Lincoln.”
Advocates Ashish Prasad, Rohit Sharma, Asheesh Gupta, Ishan, Rohit Chandel, Abhinav Sood, Pruthi Dhinoja and Jubin Mehta appeared for the petitioners.
Deputy Advocate General Gaurav Garg Dhuriwala appeared for the State.
Read Order here: