J. Venkatesan

“The bandh is in violation of Supreme Court judgments”

SLP seeks a direction to quash High Court order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on Sunday a Special Leave Petition filed by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Saturday seeking to restrain the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and other constituents of the Democratic Progressive Alliance from proceeding with a State-wide bandh in Tamil Nadu on October 1.

A Bench headed by Justice B.N. Agrawal will hear the petition in the court. Since the Tamil Nadu Government had filed a caveat, counsel for the State would also be heard before the court passes any order on the petition.

The decision to hear the matter in the court on Sunday, though it is a holiday, was taken by Mr. Justice Agrawal tonight after he perused the petition submitted to him by the Supreme Court Registry.

In its special leave petition against the Madras High Court order dated September 28, the AIADMK, through its presidium chairman E. Madhusoodhanan, said the High Court had erred in not restraining the political parties (DMK, Congress, CPI (M), CPI and PMK) from proceeding with the bandh, notwithstanding its own finding that prima facie there was substance in the petitioners’ contentions.

A violation

The SLP said the bandh call was in violation of Supreme Court judgments. The High Court ought to have noted that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who is also the leader of the DMK, had chaired a committee and taken the decision.

The High Court had failed to appreciate that the bandh call was given by the very same political parties who were running and supporting the Government and thus the call was ironically by the State, which was duty bound to protect law and order and prevent enforcement of a bandh.

It said various directions had been issued by the High Court for ensuring maintenance of law and order, which was, in any event, the duty of the State. Thus the State itself created the occasion for commission of unconstitutional and illegal acts and issue orders thereafter to purport to take steps for maintaining law and order.

The various directions issued related only to maintenance of essential services and did not envisage carrying out regular commercial, trading and official activities. Even schools and colleges had declared a holiday on October 1.

Contending that grave prejudice and irreparable loss and hardship would be caused to the public and the nation by the bandh, the SLP sought a direction to quash the impugned order and an interim injunction to restrain the DMK and other political parties from going ahead with it.

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