Notice Issued To Punjab On Wire Mesh Barricades in canals

On a petition filed by Lawyers For human Rights International, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice to State of Punjab regarding installation of wire mesh bariicates at various places in canals of Punjab so that the dead bodies of humans can be fished out so that the relatives of the deseased can perform last rites.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT    CHANDIGARH

Civil Writ Petition No.______/2012

 

Lawyers for Human Rights International

……      Petitioner

 

Versus

State of Punjab etc       . . .     Respondents

S y n o p s i s

 

 

 

20.2.2012

 

Ann P-1

That a news item appeared in the ‘The Tribune’ dated 20.2.2012 wherein  the correspondent of the Tribune reported about the case of one Shingara Singh who was camping along the Bhakra Main Line at village Khanauri, searching for the dead body of 20 years niece who had jumped into the Bhakra canal in village Brahmpur on 20.2.2012. The news item reported that this is the place where the water from the water channel flows from Haryana and the jurisdiction of Punjab ends. The reporter has disclosed the apathy of the people who suspect their dear ones had jumped in the canal to commit suicide or other wise.

 

That in many cases even criminals kills their victims and throw them in the canal, as they are so sure that the body would not be fished out by the police and the crimes committed by them will be going undetected. Though this is the problem of every State but the petitioner organization is focusing in the State of Punjab at present.

 

That the petitioner organization feels that there is an easy solution to the problem and in case the same is implemented in the State of Punjab many unsolved crimes can be solved and the relatives of the people who have drowned/committed suicide/been murdered, can live in solace in case they know the circumstances in which their near and dear one has lost his/her life and they can perform the last rites of the deceased.

 

That the immediate intention is required at the Bhakra Main Line at Khanauri following in Sangrur district, which is the last point of jurisdiction of Punjab and effective steps can be taken by the Sangrur police with the collaboration of some NGO to ensure that the dead bodies are not allowed to cross into Haryana.

 

Hence the present Public Interest Litigation for issuance of directions to the respondents to ensure that the dead bodies of humans which are found in the canals of Punjab are collected and disposed of as per the Rule 25.38 of Punjab Police Rules 1934 or any other law of instructions in this regard.

With the further prayer that the State of Punjab should ensure that wire mesh barricades should be installed at various places in the canals of Punjab, so that the dead bodies of humans can be fished out, so that the relatives of the deceased can perform the last rites.

 

 

(NAVKIRAN SINGH)

P/786/1986

(RUBINA N.SINGH)(HARPREET KAUR)(DILPREET SINGH)

P/71/1988      P/769/2008     P/1822/2011

CHANDIGARH: A D V O C A T E S

DATED:22.02.2012    COUNSEL FOR  THE PETITIONER


IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

 

Civil Writ Petition No.______/2012

(Public Interest Litigation)

 

Lawyers for Human Rights International (Regd.)

Office at Kothi No.516, Sector 11-B, Chandigarh

through Tejinder Singh Sudan Advocate, President Chandigarh Unit.

. . . Petitioner

Versus

1. State of Punjab through Home Secretary,

Civil Secretariat, Chandigarh.

2. Director General of Police, Punjab,

Chandigarh.

3. Senior Superintendent of Police, Sangrur.

4. S.H.O. Police Station Khanauri,

District Sangrur.

. . . Respondents

 

Civil Writ Petition under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution of India for issuance of a writ of Mandamus or any other writ order or direction for issuance of directions to the respondents to ensure that the dead bodies of humans which are found in the canals of Punjab are collected and disposed of as per the Rule 25.38 of Punjab Police Rules 1934 or any other law of instructions in this regard.

 

With the further prayer that the State of Punjab should ensure that wire mesh barricades should be installed at various places in the canals of Punjab, so that the dead bodies of humans can be fished out, so that the relatives of the deceased can perform the last rites.

. . .

Respectfully showeth:-

  1. That the petitioner organization is comprised of Lawyers who are practicing in this Hon’ble Court as well as the Districts Courts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.  Though the organization has membership throughout the world, however the units of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are actively involved in upholding of Human Rights and rule of law through Public Interest Litigations and by providing free legal aid to the persons who are unable to afford litigation. The organization also trains and disseminates Human Rights knowledge through seminars and workshops. The organization does not accept any grants nationally or inter-nationally and the members of the organization make expenditure from their own earnings. The petitioner organization is also part of the International Campaign against Death Penalty and ratification of the treaty for formation of International Criminal Court at Hague. So the petitioner No.1 organization is competent to invoke the extra ordinary jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court by way of the Public Interest Litigation under Articles 226/227 of Constitution of India in the present matter of public importance.
  2. That a news item appeared in the ‘The Tribune’ dated 20.2.2012 wherein  the correspondent of the Tribune reported about the case of one Shingara Singh who was camping along the Bhakra Main Line at village Khanauri, searching for the dead body of 20 years niece who had jumped into the Bhakra canal in village Brahmpur on 20.2.2012. The news item reported that this is the place where the water from the water channel flows into Haryana and the jurisdiction of Punjab ends. The reporter has disclosed the apathy of the people who suspect their dear ones had jumped in the canal to commit suicide or otherwise. The copy of the said news item dated 20.2.2012 is being appended herewith as Annexure P-1.
  3. That to add the insult to the injury, even though the police station is reported to be just at a stone throw  from the canal, the  police men do not care to get the dead body recovered from the canal, in order to avoid taking of legal action.
  4. That it is a matter of common knowledge that even the State of Rajasthan in the days of terrorism had been reporting that large numbers of dead bodies were being found in their canal which were running from Punjab to Haryana and then to Rajasthan. Even now few of the dead bodies land up in the State of Rajasthan or Haryana.
  5. That in many cases even criminals kills their victims and throw them in the canal, as they are so sure that the body would not be fished out by the police and the crimes committed by them will be going undetected. Though this is the problem of every State but the petitioner organization is focusing in the State of Punjab at present.
  6. That the petitioner organization feels that there is an easy solution to the problem and in case the same is implemented in the State of Punjab many unsolved crimes can be solved and the relatives of the people who have drowned/committed suicide/been murdered, can live in solace in case they know the circumstances in which their near and dear one has lost his/her life and they can perform the last rites of the deceased.
  7. That the solution which has come to the mind of the petitioner organization is that the various places at canals can  be identified, where wire mess barricades can be installed which would not allow a dead body to pass from a certain place and near those places police post can be established which would be responsible for fishing out the dead body and taking the necessary actions as per the law and to make the system effective even non government organizations or public spirited citizens can be involved in this whole procedure. The said places can  be supervised through CC TV camera so that records can maintained.
  8. That the immediate attention is required at the Bhakra Main Line at Khanauri following in Sangrur district, which is the last point of jurisdiction of Punjab and effective steps can be taken by the Sangrur police with the collaboration of NGO to ensure that the dead bodies are not allowed to cross into Haryana.
  9. That even the dead have a right to be treated with dignity and the laws are being violated by the respondents with impunity since long and it time that effective steps should be taken and this Hon’ble Court may asked the State of Punjab to formulate a policy regarding this and to ensure that the police and administration does not turn its eyes away and should perform their duties in accordance with law.
  10. That the main law points are involved in this writ petition are as under:                                                                                                                           i).As to whether the Punjab Government and Punjab Police are failing to their duties to ensure the handling the unidentified dead bodies as mandated under Rule 25.38 of Punjab Police Rules, 1934 or any other law.                                                                                                                     ii)As to whether the facts and circumstances warrant interference of this Hon’ble court by way of present Public Interest Litigation.                       iii)That there is no other remedy either by appeal or revision is available with the petitioner except to approach this Hon’ble Court by way of filing the present writ petition.                                                                                                                                                                                                  iv)That no such or similar petition has earlier been filed by the petitioner in this Hon’ble Court or in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.         v)That the documents attached with the writ petition are true copies of the originals as required under Rule 22 of the Writ Jurisdiction Rules.

In the light of the above given circumstances of the case, it is, therefore, respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue a writ of Mandamus or any other writ order or directions:-

 

  1. for issuance of directions to the respondents to ensure that the dead bodies of humans which are found in the canals of Punjab are collected and disposed of as per the Rule 25.38 of Punjab Police Rules 1934 or any other law of instructions in this regard.

2.  with the further prayer that the State of Punjab should ensure that wire mesh barricades should be installed at various places in the canals of       Punjab, so that the dead bodies of humans can be fished out, so that the relatives of the deceased can perform the last rites.

3.   with a further prayer that this Hon’ble Court may kindly pass any other appropriate writ, order or direction which deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case;

4.   advance notice of the writ petition to the respondents may kindly be dispensed with;

5.  filling of the certified  copy of the Annexure P-1 may be dispensed with,

6.  the writ petition be allowed as prayed for.

 

(P E T I T I O N E R)

T H R O U G H

(NAVKIRAN SINGH)

P/786/1986

(RUBINA N.SINGH)(HARPREET KAUR)(DILPREET SINGH)

P/71/1988      P/769/2008     P/1822/2011

CHANDIGARH: A D V O C A T E S

DATED:22.02.2012  COUNSEL FOR  THE PETITIONER

 

 

 

 

 


IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT CHANDIGARH

 

Civil Writ Petition  No.______/2012

 

Lawyers for Human Rights International

……      Petitioner

 

Versus

State of Punjab etc       . . .     Respondents

Affidavit of Tejinder Singh Sudan Advocate, President Chandigarh Unit, Lawyers for Human Rights International (Regd.) Office at Kothi No.516, Sector 11-B, Chandigarh.

I, the above named deponent do hereby solemnly affirm and declare as under:-

1.       That the contents of paras 1 to 9, and 11 to 13 of the writ petition are true and correct to my knowledge and that of para 10 is  believed to be true as per advice of the counsel.  No part of it is false and nothing has been kept concealed therein.

Chandigarh

Dated:22.2.2012                    (DEPONENT)

VERIFICATION:-

Verified that the contents of above affidavit  are true and correct to my knowledge.  No part of it is false and nothing has been concealed therein.

 

Chandigarh:

Dated:22.2.2012                    (DEPONENT)

 

 

Annexure P-1

 

 

 

M A I N   N E W S

Monday, February 20, 2012, Chandigarh, India

By Bhakra canal, they sit down and weep
Aman Sood/TNS

No one cares for the bodies floating in the Bhakra Main Line that pile up at Khanauri water channel, a no-man’s spot between Punjab & Haryana. Tribune photo

 

Khanauri/Padarthkherhi (Sangrur),February 19

For a week, Shingara Singh has been camping along the Bhakra Main at Khanauri, his eyes riveted to the water channel. There are chances the Fatehgarh Sahib resident could locate the body of his 20-year-old niece, who reportedly jumped into the Bhakra canal in Brahmpur village on February 10.

When a tired Shingara moves to another place, a fresh group of anxious villagers arrives. Another search begins, with eyes wet and hope giving way to despair.

Khanauri is a place of floating bodies as Haryana and Punjab quibble over jurisdiction. Scores of families from Punjab arrive at the canal site to locate their missing relatives as the water channel flows towards Haryana, coming from as far back as Ropar.

In the absence of any government official, grieving relatives turn to private divers. These divers charge anything between Rs 1000 and Rs 10,000.

In case a body reaches “no-man’s-land”, it is allowed to pass into Haryana as policemen do not want to register a case.

“If no claimant fishes out a body, it is allowed to pass into Haryana as the policemen avoid registration of an FIR,” says Manoj, a Block Samiti member in Haryana who routinely crosses the site.

The Tribune team was witness to piles of bodies — dogs, pigs and humans. Teenager Satnam knows how morbid his work of collecting coconuts from the flowing canal is. “Sometimes, one chances upon a human foot while looking for coconuts,” he says.

A police station on the Punjab side is a stone’s throw from the canal. When The Tribune team spoke to the policemen, they feigned ignorance. But after the intervention of a senior officer, they agreed to take out a fresh corpse. “If I take out one body, there is another floating behind it. We have other things to do,” said a senior police officer.

 

Patiala DIG LK Yadav said he would look into the matter.

True Copy

Advocate