J. Venkatesan

Maintains bandh was observed on October 1, 2007

New Delhi: The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Wednesday maintained in the Supreme Court that the State government and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi violated the order banning the bandh in Tamil Nadu on October 1, 2007, on the Sethusamudram issue.

Acting on a petition from the AIADMK, the Supreme Court had issued contempt notice to the then Chief Secretary; the then DGP; Mr. Karunanidhi; Transport Secretary; Transport Minister and Union Minister T.R. Baalu.

All the respondents denied that they disobeyed the order dated September 30, 2007. In their replies, they stated that no bandh was observed. Mr. Karunanidhi, in his counter affidavit, stated that on receipt of the Supreme Court order, he instructed government officials to carry it out.

In its reply, the AIADMK said Mr. Karunanidhi’s claim that he had not violated the order was false, as ample evidence had been submitted by the petitioner to show that the bandh was enforced. Mr. Karunanidhi had not given details as to how the so-called instructions were issued. Any steps taken ought to have been by way of written orders, consistent with the demands of the situation.

It said the claim of total restoration of transport services was false as normal services were not run that day. Mr. Karunanidhi had not denied any of the materials produced by the petitioner to show that the bandh was enforced.

As regards the then Chief Secretary and the then DGP, the AIADMK said that the court should not accept their unconditional apology as it was not bona fide. They had failed in their duty to implement the orders of the apex court and had become pliable tools in the hands of their political masters to frustrate the court order. “It is reiterated that normal life in the State was completely paralysed on October 1, 2007 not for non existent reasons as trotted out, but because of the enforcement of the bandh.”

Referring to Mr. Baalu’s averment that what he had said was only fair criticism and expression of the factual situation, the AIADMK said his speech was an open attack on the judiciary, to the extent of holding out a threat of impeachment. He goaded the Members of Parliament present at the venue to invoke the provisions of impeachment.