Punjab and Haryana High Court notice to IAS officer, others on ‘illegal’ nakas

Plea claims contractor has no right to check state border

Punjab and Haryana High Court notice to IAS officer, others on ‘illegal’ nakas

Photo for representation only. - File photo

Chandigarh, November 20

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has put Director, Rural Development and Panchayats, and IAS officer Manpreet Singh Chatwal on notice on a petition alleging installation of illegal checkpoints for collecting fee/taxes/statutory dues from vehicles ferrying cattle under the Punjab Cattle Fairs (Regulation) Act and Rules.

Among other things, Justice Ritu Bahri was told collection of fee was a sovereign function of the state authorities and could not be delegated to a firm — ALM Foods Products Ltd. Taking up the petition filed by Harnoor Singh through counsel Mansur Ali, Justice Bahri also issued notice to the state and the firm.

Appearing before the Bench through videoconferencing, Ali referred to a clause in an e-auction notice for cattle fair-2020-21 before contending a contractor would not have the right of checking at the state border.

In case the contractor received information regarding the theft of fee, he was to contact the Director or the District Development and Panchayat Officer concerned. Ali also brought to the court’s notice photographs in an attempt to show nakas set up by the firm against the e-auction notice. Ali said the petitioner was apprehending the Director would allow the firm to instal ‘illegal’ checkpoints. His apprehensions came true as the Director passed an innocuous and illegal order, under the garb of which the firm set up ‘illegal’ nakas and started collecting fee from vehicles carrying cattle. — TNS

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