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Call a bandh, and pay for it

January 09, 2004 04:47 IST

The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit by February 4 in response to a bunch of petitions asking the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party to pay Rs 50 crore for losses suffered by citizens due to the bandh organised by them in the city in July last year.

The PILs, filed by former cabinet secretary B G Deshmukh, former police commissioner Julio Ribeiro and nine others, came up for hearing before Chief Justice C K Thakker and Justice S A Bobade.

The petitioners urged the court to direct the two political parties to create a fund named "Bandh Damage Fund" with a corpus of Rs 50 crore to be disbursed to the claimants who suffered losses.

Demanding the arrest of political leaders responsible for calling the bandh and unleash violence on that day, the petitioners contended that such type of protest had been banned by the Kerala high court and the Supreme Court. Despite such judicial orders, the Maharashtra government was allowing political parties to organise bandh and put citizens in hardship, the petitioners argued.

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