Mumbai, Jan 30 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Monday pulled up a man who filed a petition claiming that the Maharashtra government did not properly implement the Centre's circular regarding ringing of sirens at 11 am on January 30 to mark Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary observed as Martyrs' Day.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice S V Gangapurwala and Sandeep Marne was hearing a public interest litigation filed by activist Feroz Mithiborwala that alleged that the state government had failed to mention the vital part of activities on national integration in its circular, which was issued based the Central government's circular on January 7.
The Centre, in its circular, had directed the state governments and Union Territories to observe two-minute silence at 11 am on January 30 in the memory of those who sacrificed their lives during the Indian freedom struggle.
All work and movement should be stopped throughout the country, and the two minute silence would be indicated by the sound of sirens, it stated.
The circular also encouraged talks or speeches on the freedom struggle and national integration to be organised in hybrid mode.
The petition was taken up for hearing on Monday after all the courts in the high court observed two-minute silence as per the state circular.
Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Avinash Gokhale argued that the state circular had failed to include the main reason for issuing the circular for the day, which was to give tribute, respect and honour Gandhi's sacrifices and to create awareness among the people with respect to the same.
The bench, however, asked the petitioner to point out specific instances where the siren rule was not followed.
Gokhale argued that most of the police stations did not have sirens or alarm systems even for emergencies.
“Unless you give us specific instances, this is just for the sake of filing the PIL...sirens not being there in the police station is a different thing, you are saying circular is not being followed," the court said.
Gokhale further said that the circular provided for lectures in schools on national integration, and the same had not been implemented by the state.
“What is important is observing two minutes of silence or sirens? How many times have you gone to the schools and delivered lectures on national integration? It's very easy to file a petition in a vague manner," the court said.
The petitioner sought for some time to place additional facts on record, and the court adjourned the hearing to March 30. PTI SP ARU ARU