Take Action Against Bandh Organisers: Gauhati High Court Tells Assam Police

Assam had incurred around Rs 881.40 crore loss due to 13 statewide bandhs in 2018
Assam had incurred around Rs 881.40 crore loss due to 13 statewide bandhs in 2018

Guwahati, March 19, 2019

The Gauhati High Court on March 19th, 2019 directed the Assam Police to act tough against the organisations and supports over bandh call.

Way back in 2010, the Guwahati High Court declared all bandhs in Assam and Meghalaya as illegal and said it is a violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens.

As per the order, the Assam Police has been directed to lodge a complaint against bandh organisers and supporters within 24 hours and within a week, a report should be submitted to the Home department. A chargesheet should be filed after the investigation, falling to which the investigating officer will have to file a petition at the court.

“If any organisation calls for an Assam bandh or statewide road blockade/rail blockade and enforces the same, the first information shall be lodged by the Commissioner of Police, Guwahati city or by any of his subordinate officer whom he may authorize before the Panbazar Police Station within 24 hours of such bandh/blockade, whereafter written information shall be furnished by the Commissioner of Police, Guwahati city to the Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Assam, Home and Political Department within 3 to 7 days of lodging of first information with case details,” the court observed, as quoted in Economic Times.

The court also directed the Assam government to constitute Bandh Loss Compensation Fund within three months. The quantum of loss recovered under direction shall be deposited by the Government of Assam in the Home and Political Department into the Bandh Loss Compensation Fund, the court stated.

“General public continue to suffer the depredations of the bandh organizers so much so that even doctors attending to their duties have not been spared,” the court observed.

The Assam Police Accountability Commission shall monitor the filing of first information and registration of cases. The Registrar (Judicial), Gauhati High Court, Guwahati shall maintain a record of monitoring reports submitted by Assam Police Accountability Commission.

As per government records, in 2018 Assam had incurred around Rs 881.40 crore loss due to 13 statewide bandhs. An amount of Rs 67.80 crore was incurred against every statewide bandh. Also, 16 local bandhs were observed in Assam in 2018.