'MK's call for TN bandh violative of court order'

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New Delhi, Sep 25: The October 1 Tamil Nadu bandh, called by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on the issue of the Setusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP), would be legally untenable and violative of the Supreme Court's directive, Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy said today.

''The proposed statewide bandh...is a gross violation of law and contempt of the Supreme Court. Mr Karunanidhi will also be personally liable in law for costs suffered by the public in such a bandh,'' Dr Swamy said.

He said both the Kerala High Court and the Mumbai High Court have ruled that the Chief Minister of a state can not lead a bandh in his own state and is liable for costs suffered by the public.

''This is binding not only on Kerala and Maharashtra Chief Ministers, but also all Chief Ministers as well, since the orders of the court were under Article 226 of the Constitution,'' he pointed out.

The Janata Party President also said the demand for the proposed bandh would be in disregard to the Supreme Court directions of September 14 that were given on a plea of the Union Government to permit withdrawal of its counter-affidavit filed earlier in reply to his petition in the apex court.

''Such a demand, therefore, explicit or implicit, is a clear contempt of the court, calling for severe punishment,'' he observed.

Mr Karunanidhi has called for a Tamil Nadu bandh on October 1, seeking timely completion of the Rs 2427-crore SSCP. The project is scheduled to be completed by December next year.

Dr Swamy alleged that he has information that Mr Karunanidhii and his coalition partners have ''requested the LTTE to send its 'sleeper' agents in Tamil Nadu and torch and commit arson in all Sangh Parivar offices in the state.'' He said he had written to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil to provide a CRPF security cover to all Sangh Parivar offices. ''Mr Karunanidhi cannot object to this because his own personal security and that of his son, Stalin, are covered by the Central Police (NSG and CRPF respectively),'' he added.


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