Striking down strikes
In a welcome development, the Maharashtra state government has outlined the measures it would take to prevent organisations from disrupting normal life and hijacking the economy by calling bandhs or general strikes.
The state listed out four broad measures it planned to implement. It said that any party, organisation, group or individual calling for bandh will be served a notice under Section 149 Cr.PC, which will state the illegality of bandh. The notice will also state that the person or organisation calling for bandh will be liable for legal action for any loss of life, injury or property damage. The state will also issue public notice informing about the preparations made by the police to deal with any untoward situation and to make people feel secure. It stated that preventive action will be taken against group or individual under various sections of Cr.PC and Bombay Police Act.[Rediff]
The Bombay High Court has fined the BJP and Shiv Sena Rs 20 lakhs (US$ 44,000) each for calling a bandh last year. Its now up to the Supreme Court to uphold this verdict. Why not raise the fine to reflect the scale of the economic damage done?