Chennai, Sept 28: The Madras High Court today termed the shutdown called by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) over the Sethusamudram project as illegal. The DMK has called for a shut down on October 1 in support of the speedy implementation of the 560-million-dollar Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice P Jyothimani passed an interim order, saying that the shutdown was not legal.
"After hearing both sides, honourable Chief Justice of the Madras High Court held that the call of the shut down by the political parties is prima facie illegal. His decision was based on an earlier verdict of the Supreme Court on this issue," said N. Jyothi, advocate for ADMK.
The court further added that if needed the political parties could go on strike provided the state government arranges for maintenance of law and order.
The Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) had approached the High Court to declare the DMK government's proposed shut down as illegal.
The DMK government has assured the Court that it will maintain a peaceful atmosphere during the shutdown.
"On behalf of the government, it was assured that law and order would be maintained and there would be free movement of men and materials and acts of violence and vandalism would be dealt with suitably, and every step would be taken to see to it that the activities are not disturbed by acts of violence," said R. Viduthalai, Advocate General of the Tamil Nadu Government.
The bench also added that it was for the State Government to ensure the fundamental rights of the citizen to move around the city of Chennai.
The Court added that transportation should not be hit on the said date of the shutdown, with the political party placing an advertisement in both print and electronic media to announce the shut down.
While political parties like DMK have supported the project, other political parties like BJP have opposed it saying that the project would destroy the revered 'Ram Sethu' or the Adam's Bridge for constructing the ship lane.