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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Amid Maratha quota stir, Bombay High Court says govt cannot be mute spectator

If the assurance given by Jarange that the agitation would be peaceful is not kept then it is for the state to 'take care of the situation,' says the bench

PTI Published 26.02.24, 07:16 PM
Bombay High Court.

Bombay High Court. File picture.

The Bombay High Court on Monday said the Maharashtra government cannot remain a mute spectator amid the Maratha quota protests and had powers to maintain law and order.

A division bench of Justices A S Gadkari and Shyam Chandak said the government does not require orders from the court to control the situation.

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The bench was hearing a petition filed by Gunaratan Sadavarte against the protests initiated by Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange.

Last week, Jarange's advocate V M Thorat had assured the court they were carrying out a peaceful agitation.

On Monday, Sadavarte told the bench the agitation had turned violent in many places across the state.

Advocate General Birendra Saraf and public prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar, appearing for the government, told the court 267 cases had been registered across Maharashtra following instances of violence.

The bench then remarked that the state has powers to control the situation.

"It is for the state to take care of the situation. The state cannot be a mute spectator. It has to remove blockades," the HC said.

If the assurance given by Jarange that the agitation would be peaceful is not kept then it is for the state to "take care of the situation", the HC said.

Thorat submitted to the bench that these were political issues and should not be brought to court.

He claimed Jarange had called off the agitation on January 26 after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde assured that his demands would be met.

"However, since the demands were not met, a second phase of agitation has started," Thorat said.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on March 5.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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