BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 18: A division bench of Chief Justice (acting) K Shreedhar Rao and Justice PK Saikia of the Gauhati High Court on Monday directed the State government to submit details within the next four weeks about the number of bandhs called by organizations since 2014 in Assam, and the loss suffered by the State as a result of these bandh calls.
The court also asked the State government to make some changes in the draft policy to curb bandhs prepared by the latter. It may be mentioned here that the draft policy was submitted to the High Court by the State government on Monday. Several PILs have been filed in the court against the prevailing bandh culture which has infringed on the fundamental rights of citizens. Taking up two such PILs in January 2010, the Gauhati High Court had declared as illegal all bandhs in Assam and Meghalaya, saying it is violation of the fundamental rights of citizens.
Assam has witnessed a never-ending succession of bandhs for the last two decades. Almost every other day, some or the other part of the State has been under the purview of a bandh.
In 2012, the High Court had asked the State government to set up a consistent policy to deal with the prevailing bandh culture in the State.
The High Court order came on a PIL filed by a businessman. The petitioner had pleaded for the State government to set up a compensation fund for people who had suffered loss and injury to person or property due to bandhs.