[Assam] Only in Desi-demokrasy!
cmahanta at charter.net
Wed Feb 4 03:10:16 IST 2009
This is a pretty bizarre interpretation of 'democratic rights".
Obviously their lordships are acutely aware of the fact that ordinary
conflict resolution systems are dysfunctional, thus allowing what
should be the last resort , the first resort in desi-demokrasy.
It will be a lot of fun watching this now!
SC does a U-turn, says bandhs OK in democracy
4 Feb 2009, 0220 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: Supreme Court on Tuesday termed bandhs as legitimate means
of expressing people's feelings in a democracy, reversing a trend
has followed since 1997 when it had come down hard upon political
parties for causing inconvenience to the public by forcing shutdowns.
The volte face, which will be celebrated by a political class which
had chaffed at judiciary's opposition to chakka jams, came when the
court refused to ban the Chennai bandh called for Wednesday to
protest against the killings of civilians in Sri Lanka's military
campaign against LTTE.
The stark change of stand looked even more so because of the fact
that the fresh position was outlined by a Bench headed by Chief
Justice of India K G Balakrishnan. In 1997, the CJI was part of the
Kerala High Court Bench which gave the landmark anti-bandh judgment.
The judgment was upheld by the Supreme Court, setting the stage for
similar rulings from other HCs.
The court scheduled a hearing on the petition against the bandh only
for February 16.
On Tuesday, the Bench headed by CJI and comprising Justices P
Sathasivam and J M Panchal observed that in a democratic country,
everyone had the right to express their feelings: a remark that would
be lapped up by political parties who never acquiesced to judiciary's
stand against bandhs.
The Bench was unmoved when Ajit Puduserry, appearing for petitioner J
Satish Kumar, invoked the 1997 verdict of the Supreme Court.
Pudussery argued that the bandh call given by an umbrella
organisation of political parties -- Sri Lankan Tamils' Protection
Movement -- was a violation of the order that the apex court gave
upholding the Kerala HC's slamming of bandhs.
The line did not work. "What has this court to do with stopping
strikes? India is a democratic state where everyone has a right to
express their feelings," retorted the Bench.
The clock, clearly, has come full circle. In the 1997 judgment, the
HC had said, "No political party or organisation can claim that it is
entitled to paralyse industry and commerce in the entire state or
nation and is entitled to prevent the citizens not in sympathy with
its viewpoint from exercising their fundamental right or from
performing their duties for their own benefits or for the benefit of
the state or the nation."
It added, "Such a claim would be unreasonable and could not be
accepted as a legitimate exercise of a fundamental right by a
political party or those comprising it." The order had met with
thunderous applause from millions across the country.
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