Jayalalithaa should reciprocate the gesture, says Swamy

CHENNAI NOV. 13. The Janata Party president, Subramanian Swamy, today urged the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, to announce that her party would move a resolution in the next session of the Assembly, withdrawing the sentence imposed on five senior members of The Hindu.

Dr. Swamy told presspersons that Ms. Jayalalithaa should reciprocate the gesture of the newspaper's Editor-in-Chief, N. Ram, who had now withdrawn the demand for Central security. "She can announce that she proposes to withdraw [the previous resolution adopted by the Assembly], and she can say that she herself will move a resolution in the new circumstance to create a better atmosphere between the press and the Government, just as Mr. Ram had taken the extraordinary step".

The Speaker, K. Kalimuthu, had also stated that the Chief Minister was not involved in the Assembly's decision to sentence the members of The Hindu and the Editor of Murasoli. "Then, it is all the more reason that she should take this step [for withdrawing the Assembly's decision] because of national and international condemnation of this resolution [of awarding the sentence]".

Asked whether the Chief Minister's statement of compliance with the Supreme Court's stay orders could be construed as accepting the court as the adjudicator of legislative privileges, Dr. Swamy replied in the affirmative and said the Supreme Court had the authority to review judicially violations of fundamental rights. Ms. Jayalalithaa's statement was an acceptance of the philosophy that "even fundamental rights cannot be taken away by resolutions of legislature". He recalled that during the Emergency, the fundamental rights were suspended. Even then, the Supreme Court held that the rights could not be taken away but the executive could only subject them to reasonable restrictions. But, it was the court that could decide on the "reasonable restrictions".

He wondered how could Ms. Jayalalithaa object to the Central move [to deploy its forces to protect The Hindu] when she herself had got an NSG cover.

Dr. Swamy said he had filed a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation, seeking an investigation on the Central Vigilance Commission's report to the Prime Minister that six Ministers were alleged to be engaged in corrupt activities. If the CBI failed to act, he would move the Supreme Court.