Farmers protest: “The law is clear on internet suspension” Court asks state government to submit internet suspension orders

Punjab and Haryana Court direct both state governments to submit orders for internet suspension, enquires about post mortem report for farmer who died during the protests
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As farmers convene today on February 29 to decide how the further course of their movement will continue, whether they will continue their march onwards to Delhi or stop midway, legal proceedings continue. Livelaw today reported that the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed both Punjab and Haryana governments to officially submit the “requisite” regarding the suspension of internet services amidst the ongoing farmers’ protest.

Furthermore, according to Livelaw, a bench which has Acting Chief Justice GS Sandhawalia and Justice Lapita Banerji reportedly cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Anuradha Bhasin v Union of India case, and stated that “the law is very clear on suspension of internet.” The bench instructed both states to provide on record the orders for the suspension of internet services.

During the proceedings, the court also addressed two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) which were filed to have a judicial inquiry into the death of a protestor on February 21st. Justice Sandhawalia asked the Punjab government about the delay in the post-mortem report, and enquired why it took a week to conduct the examination. He also asked whether it was a natural death. As per reports, a young farmer who was named Shubh Karan Singh had died during the protests. 

Responding to the queries, the counsel for the Punjab government informed the court that as the post-mortem was conducted recently, they are still awaiting the report. The counsel also mentioned the registration of a “Zero-FIR” in the matter under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Similarly, on February 28, The Quint reported that the Punjab and Haryana High Court took up PGIMS Rohtak and expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of clarity in the case of one Preetpal Singh, a protesting farmer. Singh was reportedly “kidnapped” by Haryana Police from the Khanauri Border on February 21st. The court was responding to a habeas corpus petition that was filed by Davinder Singh, the father of the 30-year-old injured farmer. In his petition, he had asserted that his son was taken by Haryana Police on land that comes under Punjab while he was engaging in a “peaceful protest.” The court has told the PGI Chandigarh to initiate a medical board that will evaluate the injuries on Singh who is currently hospitalised. 


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