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Save people from public nuisance: SC

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The court was dealing with a petition by a retired Director-General of Police about the misery caused to a neighbourhood in Rajasthan by open urination on compound walls and indiscriminate use of loudspeakers during demonstrations.

The Supreme Court has held that the State should leave no stone unturned in protecting its citizen’s health and dignity against acts of public nuisance.

The court was dealing with a petition by a retired Director-General of Police about the misery caused to a neighbourhood in Rajasthan by open urination on compound walls and indiscriminate use of loudspeakers during demonstrations.

State must act as ‘honest person’ in protecting rights

The Supreme Court judgment on November 7 that the State should leave no stone unturned to protect its citizen’s health and dignity against acts of public nuisance comes at a time when the Union government stresses cleanliness in public spaces and has launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

A Bench of Justices Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla and A.M. Sapre was dealing with a petition from a retired Director-General of Police, Balwant Singh, who represented the misery caused to his neighbourhood by open urination on their compound walls and indiscriminate use of loudspeakers during demonstrations.

The State, in its counter, accepted its duty to protect the neighbourhood from harm. The court found that the Rajasthan government had already issued directions to depute a senior police official to ensure law and order in the area, besides ordering two mobile public toilets to be placed in the residential area to maintain hygiene during demonstrations.

Taking the State’s reply into consideration, the Bench said the government was right in taking remedial measures instead of contesting the neighbourhood’s rights.

“In our considered view, the Constitution casts a duty on the State and their authorities to ensure that every citizen’s cherished rights guaranteed to him are respected and preserved,” the judgment said.

Quoting from a 1954 judgment, the Bench said the State should not resort to legal technicalities when it dealt with the just cause of an aggrieved citizen. Instead, it [the State] must act as an “honest person.”

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 4:19:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/save-people-from-public-nuisance-supreme-court/article6579265.ece

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