Haryana to withdraw 8,275 cases related to Covid norm violations, says Khattar

Haryana to withdraw 8,275 cases related to Covid norm violations, says Khattar

Chandigarh, Nov 23 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday said the state government will start the process of withdrawing FIRs registered against individuals who violated the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and other guidelines issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing a press conference here, Khattar said 8,275 such FIRs have been registered for non-compliance of the Covid norms.

The chief minister said 14,127 people have been arrested due to these cases and later released on bail.

'We will start the process of taking back back 8,275 cases.' he said, adding that in some of these cases there are pending court trials.

'We will be taking up the matter with the courts and initiate proceedings to withdraw all such FIRs,' Khattar said.

The FIRS are related to violations of SOPs and guidelines related to COVID-19, including for not wearing masks, violation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPc, disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant, the chief minister said.

Khattar said 1,030 of these cases have been lodged in Gurugram, 814 in Jhajjar, 765 in Faridabad, 646 in Rohtak and 545 in Karnal.

On the recent case of spurious liquor which claimed 20 lives in Yamunanagar and Ambala districts, Khattar said stringent measures to tackle illegal activities associated with the production and distribution of spurious liquor have been implemented.

'Consequently, 35 people have been arrested, fines totalling Rs 2.51 crores have been levied, and six FIRs have been registered,' he said.

In Yamunanagar, three FIRs have been registered, resulting in 19 arrests, and 16 people have been apprehended in Ambala.

Four liquor license holders have been declared defaulters, and 12 vending zones -- six urban and six rural -- have been cancelled. Forty-one sub-vend licenses have also been cancelled, he said.

Asked if there was any involvement of excise department officials, Khattar said investigations are going on but no such issue has come so far.

Khattar, however, assured that if any official is found guilty, he will not be spared.

Khattar said one of the accused 'has links with Congress, but it is good that they have suspended him from the party'.

Khattar on Thursday disbursed over Rs 38 lakh directly into the accounts of the kin of 11 people who lost their lives after consuming spurious liquor.

Officials said payment to other victims are also being processed, adding that one of the deceased did not leave behind any immediate kin.

On Punjab and Haryana High Court's order to quash the law that proposed to have 75 per cent reservation for residents of the state in private sector jobs, Khattar said the government will move the Supreme Court over the issue.

'We will strongly plead on this matter in the court. We will fight the (legal) battle,' he said.

On being asked about the Jind government school principal arrested for alleged sexual harassment of several female students, the chief minister said the government will not tolerate such 'shameful incidents', and that the accused 'would not be spared'.

After the incident came to light, police took immediate action and arrested the accused, he said.

Now a woman principal has taken charge of the concerned school, and 16 other staff members have been transferred out, Khattar added.

On Supreme Court's remarks asking the Punjab government to take cue from Haryana's efforts to check stubble burning, Khattar said his government's 'serious and collaborative efforts' with farmers have resulted in substantial success in reducing farm fires in the state.

Haryana government has given various incentives to farmers to dissuade them from burning stubble and providing them machinery to manage stubble, he said.

Khattar said farmers have been told that stubble can be used in thermal power plants and can be a profitable product in various other industries.

If Punjab too gives such facilities and incentives, farmers will stop burning the crop residue.

'As against 36,000 farm fires in Punjab this year, Haryana has reported only 2,300,' he said.

Meanwhile, in a move aimed at providing social and financial security to the 'Antyodaya' families, Khattar disbursed Rs 44.48 crore directly into the bank accounts of 1,159 beneficiaries of the government's Dayalu scheme, catering to those with death or permanent disability of a family member. PTI SUN SKY SKY

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