Security over rights


Given a choice between legality and rights, the Supreme Court has opted for the former and ignored the untold hardships faced by the common man due to shutdown of Net services in the Kashmir Valley for more than five months (Op-Ed page, “Favouring public order over justice,” Jan. 13). The decision will not help distraught Kashmiris to resume normal life anytime soon. The ruling has left a lot of scope for interpretation and the affected people may now be at the mercy of bureaucrats and High Courts to get relief on a piecemeal and case-by-case basis. Periodic reviews would only be manipulated to maintain the status quo and the aggrieved citizens may not have the wherewithal, time and energy to pursue their case to a logical conclusion. The court could have walked the extra mile and delved deeper into the question whether Internet is a fundamental right. It has missed the opportunity to set a historic precedent.

V. Subramanian,


The razing of four apartment complexes in Maradu, as ordered by the Supreme Court, is a rare instance where an act of illegality has been exemplarily punished. The demolition of the illegal constructions has sent shock waves of disbelief and awe across the builders’ community that has been used to getting away with transgressions by paying fines. But conspicuously absent in the triumphalist narratives about the law's majesty and the higher judiciary’s uncompromising stance against environmental crimes is the role of the bureaucracy in facilitating illegal constructions by collaborating with the greedy builders for pecuniary gains. In the Maradu case, the arrests of a few local officials, presumably to give the impression that the law is taking its course, will barely deter the corrupt dealings of the state bureaucracy that doles out construction permits.

The Supreme Court adjudicates cases relating to the violation of building rules based on records of malfeasance; it can hardly track the political corruption’s invisible trail that leads to the corridors of power. The court can only look into cases that are brought to its notice, it can hardly act as a national real estate regulator. All the talk of the imminent end of illegal construction misses the deep-rooted political patronage of corruption and its extended influence on the body politic.

V.N. Mukundarajan,



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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 12:14:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/security-over-rights/article30561967.ece

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