The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday directed the Punjab Police to provide proper security personnel to former Punjab minister and senior BJP Leader Tikshan Sud.
A single-judge bench of Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi passed this order while hearing a criminal writ petition filed by Sud. The case was registered under Sections 148, 307, 323, 452 and 506 read with Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code in Hoshiarpur.
The Petitioner has filed the plea under Article 226 of the Constitution for directing respondents No 2 to 5 to assess the threat perception to the petitioner as well as his family members and protect their life, liberty and property and provide permanent security cover required to be granted round-the-clock to the petitioner and his family members.
The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the Tikshan Sud is a senior BJP leader, who was the Hoshiarpur MLA from 1997 to 2012, and was appointed Cabinet Minister twice and was a political adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister from 2013 to 2017 and is also a Member of Punjab BJP Core Committee.
The petitioner never intended to make nor made any statement hurting the feelings of the protesting farmers but political opponents twisted his statement, attributing to him a statement that protesters with no knowledge of the laws in questions were going to Delhi for a picnic.
The counsel submitted that threats are being extended to the petitioner under the conviction that the petitioner is not supporting the ongoing Kisan agitation.
On January 1, 2021, Ranvir Singh Khalsa along with 10-15 other people armed with dandas came in a tractor-trolley, used abusive language, threatened the petitioner and his servants, endangered their lives, forcibly entered his house and unloaded the cow dung-laden trolley at the gate of his house.
The petitioner submitted that threats are being extended by anti-social elements to the petitioner as well as his family members including his wife, who is a Municipal Councillor at present and is also contesting election for the office of Municipal Councillor.
His wife is not being allowed to go outside for canvassing and visitors, including BJP workers are not allowed to enter the locality.
The Bench observed that the Constitution guarantees to all citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression, to assemble peaceably and without arms and to move freely through the territory of India and these rights include within their fold the right to protest peacefully.
“However, the protesters cannot violate fundamental rights of others and indulge in any criminal act constituting an offence punishable under the law in force.”
the Court said.
Significantly, the Court noted,
“The State is under constitutional mandate to protect the life, liberty and property of every human being, be he a citizen or otherwise, against any harm by criminal acts constituting an offence punishable under the law in force committed by any person or group of persons for any cause whatsoever.”
Further, the Court ordered Punjab Police to make assessment of perception of danger to Sud and his family and take appropriate steps for protection of the life, liberty and property of the petitioner and his family members.
The Court directed the State to provide PSOs who would escort the petitioner and his family members while going out of the house.
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The Court also ordered that adequate number of armed police be deputed as members of the static guard outside the house of the petitioner with requisite number of arms and communication devices round-the-clock.
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