fifty years ago November 16, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (November 16, 1971): Indecent behaviour(From an Editorial)

The ugliest perhaps among the many unsavoury incidents that have taken place in the wake of the split in the Indian National Congress is the forcible occupation of the headquarters of the undivided AICC in New Delhi on Saturday by some leaders of the Congress (R) and their supporters. The premises involved was in the continued possession of the Congress (O). And it is obvious that any rights to the premises that the Congress headed by Mr. Sanjivayya thinks it has, can be established only in the same manner in which the dispute over the election symbol has been established, namely, by recourse to a court of law. Especially after the Supreme Court has indicated that its verdict in the symbol case is confined to the symbol and any other dispute about the division of property belonging to the undivided Congress has to be resolved by lawful means. By the ruling that it regarded the symbol as “not property to be divided by co-owners”, the Supreme Court had made it clear that disputed property calls for other legal remedies. By taking the law into their own hands and occupying the building the Congress (R) leaders have not merely ignored the implications of the court’s ruling; they have set a bad example for public conduct by thus substituting naked force to the rule of law.

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