PIL petition wants “bandh” declared illegal

Special Correspondent

City advocate files the plea in the Madras High Court

CHENNAI: A city advocate has filed a public interest litigation petition in the Madras High Court seeking to declare the “bandh” on Thursday illegal and unconstitutional.

In his petition, M.Gnanasekar said the ruling party had called for a State-wide “bandh” on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

The Chief Secretary had issued a statement that buses would be operated, government offices would remain open and normal life would not be affected.

The Director-General of Police also seemed to have given instructions to his subordinates to ensure proper protection to the public on Thursday.

“All the statements are only on paper,” the petitioner said.

The authorities had not taken steps to ensure normalcy. Not a single bus of the MTC was run.

Even assuming that the “bandh” was called by the ruling party, the government could not be a party to it. It had a duty to ensure that all its organs, including the police, discharged their lawful duties. Not only was public transport withdrawn, but all major establishments in the city remained closed. Educational institutions declared a holiday.

He said the ruling party had no right to call for a “bandh.”

Its action had been deprecated by the Supreme Court on many occasions.

“Even though it is not a bandh called by the government, in effect it is so because the bandh is called by the political party which is ruling.” Because of the ruling party’s action, the general public was deprived of its fundamental rights.

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