Acting on a petition of O.P.Bhandari, a Sikkim Resident, the Supreme Court today (3rd July’08) asked the West Bengal Government to ensure that the sole highway, NH 31A, joining Sikkim with the rest of the country was open to traffic when indefinite Bandh in the Darjeeling Hills resumes on 5th July.
Reacting strongly against the Bandh culture, the bench consisting of Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice G.S.Singhvi said, “You (West Bengal Government) are waiting for a court order to do something that you should do yourself….. and then you say that there is interference and judicial overreach. You are the State of West Bengal. You are required to maintain law and order ……keep the National Highway (31A) open to traffic”
The bench also directed the Central Government to provide whatever help the Sikkim and the Bengal Governments require in the matter. The bench also referred to the recent Bandh in Hyderabad during which seven patient died because they could not reach hospital in time.